About a week ago, I read a piece of very good news amid the welter of speculation about whether M Karunanidhi'sfamily ties with the United Progressive Alliancewould be retained or not. It was a despatch from Rajpura and Patiala by the Indian Express correspondent Aman Sood about the Punjabfarmers.
No, it was not about another green revolution there. Sood conveyed the travails of the Punjab's farmers about not finding enough workers to work on their farms. The issue, of course, is large, for 2.8 million hectares have to be sown this season and those who raise paddy crops are beside themselves in agony. If it is going to change the pattern of farming, by forcing the landowners to use labour-saving devises like machines which sow paddy, then so be it.
There are reasons why I categorise it as 'good news'? The labour that the Punjabi farmers were looking for, as they have been for years on end, are the Bihari migrants who for the season, do their jobs and return. It is just that this year, there are not enough of them arriving by the trains and many have chosen to remain in Bihar this year as things have changed. If things have changed in Bihar, then it is very good news indeed.
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