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Michael Jackson has been dehumanized for over three decades. It’s time to take the narrative back
From “Wacko Jacko” to “child molester”, the King of Pop has been the media’s favorite target since the mid-1980s. Now is the perfect time to reassess his life and his legacy
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“Does it get more bizarre than it’s been getting lately?” — asked journalist Maureen Orth in the opening lines of a 2003 Vanity Fair article, whose absurd jabs at Michael Jackson include accusing him of using voodoo to defeat his enemies and having a prosthetic nose tip.
Jackson, of course, neither used voodoo nor had a fake nose (the latter claim being a widespread gossip that was put to rest for good by his autopsy report). However, he had, at that point, been the victim of relentless bullying by the media for almost 20 years.
But how had Orth managed to make such ludicrous claims in a mainstream publication and get away with it? What were the set of circumstances that allowed a journalist to viciously attack the integrity of Jackson, once the most famous man in the planet, without any proof, and still be believed?
The birth of the image of “Michael Jackson, the child molester”
The attacks on Michael Jackson’s public image started decades before Orth’s article was published. As early as the 1970s, a young Jackson saw himself forced to address the never-ending rumors about his love life. Reporters wanted to know who/if he was dating; they speculated whether he was gay and even if he had a sex change.
As the years went by, the scrutiny of his personal life only grew worse. By the mid-1980s, the focus shifted from his love life to his alleged eccentricities. It was around that time that the tabloid media coined the term “Wacko Jacko”, one that Jackson hated and that would haunt him for the rest of his life.
From the mid-1980s onward, the stories spiraled out of control: he slept in an oxygen chamber, he’d bought the Elephant man’s bones, he’d bleached his skin. They were all proven lies, which had, nevertheless, found in the scandal-thirsty public a growing niche of consumers.
You see, Jackson was a complex figure, a man who was, in many ways, ahead of his time. His vision and his talents in song-writing, singing and dancing became the blueprint for generations to come; his use of his platform to promote social change made him one of the world’s biggest humanitarians.
But as larger than life as he appeared to be sometimes, he was only a man — a man who grew up under unique circumstances, that yearned to live a normal life, and who didn’t shy away from speaking publicly about his personal trials and tribulations. He owed the world nothing, yet, he spoke.
His critics weren’t having it. They were more invested in the freakish character created by the media; they longed for answers, just not the answers Jackson had gladly given them: that he’d never had a childhood, that his changing skin-tone was the product of an incurable disease. His words fell on deaf ears.
By 1993, the rumors had grown to such a proportion that they threatened to overshadow his work. Jackson and his team, realizing how successfully the media had dehumanized him, went on a PR offensive that included an interview to daytime TV host Oprah Winfrey, in which the singer spoke openly about various issues, including his vitiligo, for the first time.
The effort, some say, came too late. Months later, when the news broke that Jackson was being accused of molesting a 13-year-old boy, Jordan Chandler, few in the media challenged the allegations. For many, it was as if the cards had finally fallen into place about the lingering questions surrounding Jackson’s “eccentricities”.
And so, the image of “Michael Jackson, the child molester”, was born. Never mind that the boy’s father, a crook whose dental practice in Beverly Hills was famous for on-demand drug prescriptions, was taped saying that he’d ruin Jackson’s life if he didn’t get what he wanted, or that the Chandlers, who never went to the police with their claims, took the settlement money and ran.
What mattered was that Jackson was different, and for that, he deserved to be punished.
In 2003, allegations were renewed by the Arvizos, a family of grifters who had previously attempted to scam celebrities like Chris Tucker and Jay Leno. They accused the singer of molesting 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo while Jackson was under investigation by law enforcement in the fallout of the controversial documentary Living with Michael Jackson. The investigation included a raid in his Neverland home that didn’t find a trace of evidence of any wrongdoing.
The singer, who by then was facing what was arguably the most challenging period of his life, was acquitted of all charges in 2005. But the media, whose behavior had overstepped any ethical boundaries, shamelessly taunted the singer to the extent that the not-guilty verdict, reached in a court of law, seemed unbelievable to a large part of the public.
The evidence of malicious intent, in the 1993 case as well as the 2003 case, was vast and available for the world to see. So, what was it that convinced a big part of society that Jackson was guilty? Whatever device worked against him that had otherwise smart people fully embracing the claims, in spite of their better judgement?
Repetition and familiarity
In a 2016 BBC article, psychologist Tom Stafford spoke about the “illusion of truth” effect, a device summarized in a quote attributed to the Nazi Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels: “repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth”. Stafford explains the effect through a common psychological experiment, in which the subjects are asked to rate the veracity of a few trivia facts.
After a break, the subjects are asked to repeat the procedure, but with a mix of old and new trivia facts. The key finding is that people tend to “rate items they’ve seen before as more likely to be true, regardless of whether they are true or not, and seemingly for the sole reason that they are more familiar.”
Could that be the case with the public’s perception of Michael Jackson?
It seems so. Where evidence lacks, the repetition of either distorted or entirely made-up stories is the device used by the media and money-seekers to pin Michael Jackson as a monster, a man so devoid of human qualities that child molestation seems not only believable, but plausible. Repeat the allegations often enough, and they start to feel familiar.
The reasons why the media and the accusers chose to pursue their narratives about Jackson goes beyond the purpose of this piece. However, if we look closely at the way he’s been portrayed in the last 30 years or so, we’ll notice that the system repeats itself: each false story is like a layer that is supported by the previous lies, while simultaneously laying the foundations for future deceptions, creating a false sense of plausibility of guilt.
In other words, Jackson’s public image has been so battered that at this point, almost any lie sticks. That’s why it came as no surprise when the allegations made by Wade Robson and James Safechuck against Jackson in the 2019 documentary Leaving Neverland were so quickly embraced by part of society, in spite of the pair’s shady history and the blatant inconsistencies in their stories.
What the future holds for Jackson’s public image
Robson and Safechuck might indeed become two of the more famous Jackson accusers, though not for the reasons they predicted — but because they were the first to have their contradictions exposed on social media in real time, a hurdle that the previous accusers never had to face, and that can spark a long-due process of reevaluation of Jackson’s life and legacy in the public eye.
Some may say that that’s not enough to clear the singer’s reputation, that the debunking of the latest attempt at profiting from his name merely scratches the surface of the accusers’ credibility — and they may be right. Rebuilding Jackson’s public image is not an easy task, and the plausibility of his guilt is ingrained in the mind of a significant part of society.
However, the battle is not lost. While assessing the illusion of truth effect, Stafford concludes that repetition and familiarity aren’t the only aspects to influence our beliefs — “when armed with knowledge”, he says, “we can resist it”. Therefore, it’s through the powers of reasoning that we can counterbalance our instinct to use short-cuts to form opinions.
The social media era, where information is available first-hand and public perception can change from day to night, is the perfect environment to question old narratives and finally bring the truth to light. In this sense, understanding the mechanisms that allow Michael Jackson’s reputation to be continually tarnished is the first step towards bringing him justice.
The second step is to humanize him by providing accurate, contextualized information, which when contrasted with the blatantly mean-spirited, baseless rumors around Jackson, should be enough to expose the stories for what they really are: stories, and not the truth. While we can’t turn back time and undo the harm that was done, we can take the narrative back.

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Steps to Prevent Illness
(The only genuine information about the Corona disease, no need to get brainwashed by the TV and forwarded messages)

CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/…/prevention.html…

There is currently no vaccine to prevent corona-virus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.

Take steps to protect yourself
Clean your hands often
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Take steps to protect others
man in bed

Stay home if you’re sick
Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.

Learn what to do if you are sick.https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/…/about/steps-when-sick.html

Cover coughs and sneezes
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
Throw used tissues in the trash.
Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
man wearing a mask

Wear a face-mask if you are sick
If you are sick: You should wear a face-mask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a face-mask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a face-mask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a face-mask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a face-mask). Face-masks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.

Clean and disinfect
Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, counter tops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

To disinfect:
Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.

Options include:

Diluting your household bleach.
To make a bleach solution, mix:
5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
OR
4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against corona-viruses when properly diluted.

Alcohol solutions.
Ensure solution has at least 70% alcohol.

Other common EPA-registered household disinfectants.
Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens pdf icon[7 pages]external icon claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).

Complete disinfectant guide
https://www.cdc.gov/…/commu…/home/cleaning-disinfection.html

How COVID-19 Spreads
Person-to-person spread
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?
People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads
How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. (Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected)

The German researchers found high levels of viral fragments in 13 stool samples from four patients in their study, but they were unable to grow virus from any of them. The paper noted, though, that all the patients had mild illness, and the fact that they could not find virus in their stool doesn’t rule out that it could happen in other cases.

“Further studies should therefore address whether SARS-CoV-2 shed in stool is rendered non-infectious though contact with the gut environment,” they wrote, adding that their findings suggest measures to try to stop spread of the virus should focus on respiratory tract transmission — protecting others from the coughs and sneezes of people infected with the virus.

Virus could not be grown from blood or urine samples taken from the patients, the authors reported.

The study also noted that people who are infected begin to develop antibodies to the virus quickly, typically within six to 12 days. The rapid rise of antibodies may explain why about 80% of people infected with the virus do not develop severe disease.

According to early WHO estimates, the average reproductive rate (r0) of coronavirus ranged between 1.4 and 2.5. That meant, on average, each confirmed case of coronavirus would infect between 1.4 and 2.5 other people.

Any disease with an r0 of more than one will spread and need effective control measures. WHO said control measures would need to block at least 60 per cent of transmissions to be effective in keeping the coronavirus in check.

The r0 measure is an average – meaning ‘super spreaders’ could infect many more, and others could infect no other people. Early estimates are also dynamic and could vary significantly as the disease develops.

Risk factors including age and location are also significant variables.

But measured against other viral outbreaks and common diseases, coronavirus appears at the first estimate to be less contagious or deadly than many others, giving hope for containment.

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The first ruler of Slave Dynasty in Delhi Sultanate Qutubuddin Aibak died due to falling off from a running horse.

But is it really possible that an army general who first rode a horse in the age 11 and fought countless battles on riding horses can die from falling from a horse?

Real history vs false concocted story

When Qutubuddin Aibak looted the Rajputana, he killed the king of Mewar and imprisoned his Prince Karn Singh. And along with the looted wealth and prince, he also carried Prince’s horse *Shubhrak* to Lahore.

In Lahore, once Prince decided to run away and got caught in that process. Qutubuddin ordered to behead the Prince and to increase the disgrace, to play a Polo Match with the dead Prince’s head.

On the day of beheading, Qutubuddin arrived at the venue riding on the Shubhrak horse. Shubhrak instantly recognized his master Karn Singh and started crying/braying seeing him.

Within a few seconds, Shubhrak became uncontrollable and threw Qutubuddin to the ground. Without allowing him to defend, Shubhrak started hitting his chest and head area with his mighty hooves continuously. After 12–15 powerful hits by a horse, Qutubuddin Aibak died on the spot.

Every single person stunned seeing that. The whole army marched to kill the horse and the Prince. But like a lightning, Shubhrak ran towards his master Karn Singh and when Prince sat on him, he started to run the most difficult journey of his life.

He ran and ran and ran continuosly for 3 days and stopped at the gates of Mewar Kingdom. When Prince Karn Singh came down from the saddle, Shubhrak stood still like a statue.

When Karn Singh rubbed his hands on Shubhrak’s head, he fell to the ground.

He was successful to save his master and to escort him safely to his kingdom before dying.

We have read about Chetak many times but this horse’s story is beyond faithfulness!

Things like these never becomes a part of syllabus in our modern education system.

Most of us haven’t heard that name. Have we?

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Chemtrails are plumes of toxic chemicals spewed from military and commercial jets that greatly diminish the sunlight, destroy trees, contaminate water supplies and float into the brains and bodies of all living things on earth. Globalresearch.ca reports that independent testing results show the components of these aerosols filtering down around us. A typical chemtrail cocktail includes barium, nano aluminum coated fiberglass, radioactive thorium, nickel, blood, mold spores, yellow fungal mycotoxins, ethylene dibromide, etc.

Activists across the world have alerted the masses as to the extreme health risks of these blanketed sprays. They point to major increases in asthma and upper respiratory diseases, links to diminished brain cognitive function and heart disease.

A new study has discovered nanoparticles of metal are already present in human brains. The name of the study is Magnetite in the human body: Biogenic vs. anthropogenic. Researchers from the UK, Mexico, Scotland and America discovered that “high temperature magnetite spheres” which are less an 200 nanometers (NM) in diameter can “enter the brain directly through the olfactory nerve.” The study says that magnetite is an airborne matter that found in urban areas, and these particles result from “combustion” or high heating.

The study remarks that “biologically formed nanoparticles” were first discovered in the brain over twenty years ago. Although the researchers didn’t look at any of the the toxic substances found in chemtrails, they clearly declare that the olfactory pathway is how magnetite nanoparticles enter into the brain and this alone is a serious concern for health.

If that is true, then how many thousand times more dangerous is breathing in mercury, nano aluminum, fungal mycotoxins or dessicated blood and polymer fibers?

Stopsprayingus.sf is an activist group located in San Francisco. They have discovered very levels of aluminum in their drinking water – 4700μg/L. With this much nano aluminum in the water, how much more are in the brains of San Franciscans?

The physical proof of the entryway of nanoparticles into brains just shows how critical it is to protect ourselves and our families.

Protect yourself and your brain. Stay hydrated with alkaline water, it’s also essential to take detoxing organic herbs like cilantro and turmeric.images (1)

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AN FYI; Ukraine Intelligence Briefing.
Adam Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, knows Ukraine. He is paid for by Ukrainian arms-dealer, Igor Pasternak, who sells weapons to Syria and Iraq.
Nancy Pelosi knows Ukraine. She was a special guest of Pasternak at Schiff’s fundraising event in Pasternak’s DC mansion punting for money for the DNC from Ukrainian billionaires.
Nancy Pelosi knows Ukraine. She employs Ukrainian women in her Congressional office including Ivanna Voronovych whose father, Roman, was the Kiev Bureau Chief.
Obama, Kerry, and Hillary Clinton now Ukraine. Marie Vovanovich was US Ambassador to Ukraine.
The Clinton Foundation received more money from Ukraine than any other European country.
DNC knows Ukraine. They paid Ukrainian Alexandra Chapula to be their point person with the Ukrainian Government to get dirt on Trump and his campaign team including Manefort.
Alexandra Chalupa’s family political consulting business promotes the Ukrainian government and oligarch’s interests in the US.
Nancy Pelosi knows Ukraine through her son’s oil business with Ukraine, for which she appeared in his company’s promo video.
Why Not Impeach Pelosi For Her Family Ukraine Deal?
Photographic evidence via XRVision.FB_IMG_1576741399218

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farmer suicides

The number of farmers who have committed suicide in India between 1997 and 2007 now stands at a staggering 182,936. Close to two-thirds of these suicides have occurred in five states (India has 28 states and seven union territories). The Big 5 – Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh– account for just about a third of the country’s population but two-thirds of farmers’ suicides. The rate at which farmers are killing themselves in these states is far higher than suicide rates among non-farmers. Farm suicides have also been rising in some other states of the country.

It is significant that the count of farmers taking their lives is rising even as the numbers of farmers diminishes, that is, on a shrinking farmer base. As many as 8 million people quit farming between the two censuses of 1991 and 2001. The rate of people leaving farming has only risen since then, but we’ll only have the updated figure of farmers in the census of 2011.

These suicide data are official and tend to be huge underestimates, but they’re bad enough. Suicide data in India are collated by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), a wing of the Ministry of Home Affairs, government of India. The NCRB itself seems to do little harm to the data. But the states where these are gathered leave out thousands from the definition of “farmer” and, thus, massage the numbers downward. For instance, women farmers are not normally accepted as farmers (by custom, land is almost never in their names). They do the bulk of work in agriculture – but are just “farmers’ wives.” This classification enables governments to exclude countless women farmer suicides. They will be recorded as suicide deaths – but not as “farmers’ suicides.” Likewise, many other groups, too, have been excluded from that list.

The spate of farm suicides – the largest sustained wave of such deaths recorded in history – accompanies India’s embrace of the brave new world of neoliberalism. Many reports on that process and how it has affected agriculture have been featured right here, on the Counterpunch site. The rate of farmers’ suicides has worsened particularly after 2001, by which time India was well down the WTO garden path in agriculture. The number of farmers’ suicides in the five years – 1997-2001 – was 78,737 (or 15,747 a year on average). The same figure for the five years 2002-06 was 87,567 (or 17,513 a year on average). That is, in the next  five years after 2001, one farmer took his or her life every 30 minutes on average. The 2007 figures (detailed below) place that year, too, in the higher trend.

What do the farm suicides have in common? Those who have taken their lives were deep in debt – peasant households in debt doubled in the first decade of the neoliberal “economic reforms,” from 26 per cent of farm households to 48.6 per cent. We know that from National Sample Survey data. But in the worst  states, the percentage of such households is far higher. For instance, 82 per cent of all farm households in Andhra Pradesh were in debt by 2001-02. Those who killed themselves were overwhelmingly cash crop farmers – growers of cotton, coffee, sugarcane, groundnut, pepper, vanilla. (Suicides are fewer among food crop farmers – that is, growers of rice, wheat, maize, pulses.) The brave new world philosophy mandated countless millions of Third World farmers forced  to move from food crop cultivation to cash crop (the mantra of “export-led growth”). For millions of subsistence farmers in India, this meant much higher cultivation costs, far greater loans, much higher debt, and being locked into the volatility of global commodity prices. That’s a sector dominated by a handful of multinational corporations. The extent to which the switch to cash crops impacts on the farmer can be seen in this: it used to cost Rs.8,000 ?($165 today) roughly to grow an acre of paddy in Kerala. When many switched to vanilla, the cost per acre was (in 2003-04) almost Rs.150,000 ($3,000) an acre. (The dollar equals about 50 rupees.)

With giant seed companies displacing cheap hybrids and far cheaper and hardier traditional varieties with their own products, a cotton farmer in Monsanto’s net would be paying far more for seed than he or she ever dreamed they would. Local varieties and hybrids were squeezed out with enthusiastic state support. In 1991, you could buy a kilogram of local seed for as little as Rs.7 or Rs.9 in today’s worst affected region of Vidarbha. By 2003, you would pay Rs.350 — ($7) — for a bag with 450 grams of hybrid seed. By 2004, Monsanto’s partners in India were marketing a bag of 450 grams of Bt cotton seed for between Rs.1,650 and Rs.1,800 ($33 to $36). This price was brought down dramatically overnight due to strong governmental intervention in Andhra Pradesh, where the government changed after the 2004 elections. The price fell to around Rs.900 ($18) – still many times higher than 1991 or even 2003.

Meanwhile, inequality was the great man-eater among?the “Emerging Tiger” nations  of the developing world. The predatory commercialization of the countryside devastated all other aspects of life for peasant farmer and landless workers. Health costs, for instance, skyrocketed. Many thousands of youngsters dropped out of both school and college to work on their parents’ farms (including many on scholarships). The average monthly per capita expenditure of the Indian farm household was just Rs.503 (ten dollars) by early this decade. Of that, 60 per cent roughly was spent on food and another 18 per cent on fuel, clothing and footwear.

Farmers, spending so much on food? To begin with, millions of small and marginal Indian farmers are net purchasers of food grain. They cannot produce enough to feed their families and have to work on the fields of others and elsewhere to meet the gap. Having to buy some of the grain they need on the market, they are profoundly affected by hikes in food prices, as has happened since 1991, and particularly sharply earlier this year. Hunger among those who produce food is a very real thing. Add to this the fact that the “per capita net availability” of food grain has fallen dramatically among Indians since the “reforms” began:  from 510 grams per Indian in 1991, to 422 grams by 2005. (That’s not a drop of 88 grams. It’s a fall of 88 multiplied by 365 and then by one billion Indians.) As prof. Utsa Patnaik, India’s top economist on agriculture, has been constantly pointing out, the average poor family has about 100 kg less today than it did just ten years ago – while the elite eat like it’s going out of style.  For many, the shift from food crop to cash crop makes it worse. At the end of the day, you can still eat your paddy. It’s tough, digesting cotton. Meanwhile, even the food crop sector is coming steadily under corporate price-rigging control. Speculation in the futures markets pushed up grain prices across the globe earlier this year.

Meanwhile, the neoliberal model that pushed growth through one kind of consumption also meant re-directing huge amounts of money away from rural credit to fuel the lifestyles of the aspiring elites of the cities (and countryside, too). Thousands of rural bank branches shut down during the 15 years from 1993-2007.

Even as incomes of the farmers crashed, so did the price they got for their cash crops, thanks to obscene subsidies to corporate and rich farmers in the West, from the U.S. and EU. Their battle over cotton subsidies alone (worth billions of dollars) destroyed cotton farmers not merely in India but in African nations such as Burkina Faso, Benin, Mali, and Chad. Meanwhile, all along, India kept reducing investment in agriculture (standard neoliberal procedure). Life was being made more and more impossible for small farmers.

As costs rose, credit dried up. Debt went out of control. Subsidies destroyed their prices. Starving agriculture of investment (worth billions of dollars each year) smashed the countryside. India even cut most of the few, pathetic life supports she had for her farmers. The mess was complete. From the late-’90s, the suicides began to occur at what then seemed a brisk rate.

In fact, India’s agrarian crisis can be summed up in five words (call it Ag Crisis 101): the drive toward corporate farming. The route (in five words): predatory commercialization of the countryside. The result: The biggest displacement in our history.

Corporations do not as yet have direct control of Indian farming land and do not carry out day-to-day operations directly. But they have sewn up every other sector, inputs, outlets, marketing, prices, and are heading for control of water as well (which states in India are busy privatizing in one guise or another).

The largest number of farm suicides is in the state of Maharashtra, home to the Mumbai Stock Exchange and with its capital Mumbai being home to 21 of India’s 51 dollar billionaires and over a fourth of the country’s 100,000 dollar millionaires. Mumbai shot to global attention when terrorists massacred 180 people in the city in a grisly strike in November. In the state of which Mumbai is capital, there have been 40,666 farmers’ suicides since 1995, with very little media attention.

Farmers’ suicides in Maharashtra crossed the 4,000-mark again in 2007, for the third time in four years, according to the National Crime Records Bureau. As many as 4,238 farmers took their lives in the state that year, the latest for which data are available,?accounting?for a fourth of all the 16,632 farmers’ suicides in the country. That national total represents a slight fall from the 17,060 farm suicides of 2006. But the broad trends of the past decade seem unshaken. Farm suicides in the country since 1997 now total 182,936.

To repeat, the five worst affected states?– Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh?– account for two-thirds of all farmers’ suicides in India. Together, they saw 11,026 in 2007. Of these, Maharashtra alone accounted for?over 38 per cent. Of the Big 5, Andhra Pradesh saw a decline of 810 suicides against its 2006 total. Karnataka saw a rise of 415 over the same period. Madhya Pradesh (1,375) posted a decline of 112. But Chattisgarh’s 1,593 farm suicides mean an increase of 110 over 2006. Specific factors in these states nourish the problem. These are zones of highly diversified, commercialized agriculture where cash crops dominate. Water stress has been a common feature, and gets worse with the use of technologies such as Bt seed that demand huge amounts of water. High external inputs and input costs are also common, as also the use of chemicals and pesticides. Mindless deregulation dug a lot of graves, lit a lot of pyres.

Maharashtra registered a fall of 215 farm suicides in 2007. However, no other state even touches the 3,000 mark. And AP (with 1,797) and Karnataka (2,135) – the next two worst hit states – together do not cross Maharashtra’s 4,000-plus mark. A one-year dip of 221 occurred in 2005 too, in Maharashtra, only to be followed by an all-time high of 4,453 suicides in 2006. The state’s trend shows no turnaround and remains dismal.

Maharashtra’s 2007 figure of 4,238 follows one and a half years of farm “relief packages” worth around Rs.5,000 crore ($1 billion) and a prime ministerial visit in mid-2006 to the distressed Vidharbha region. The state has also seen a plethora of official reports, studies and commissions of inquiry over 2005-07, aimed at tackling the problem. However, the 12,617 farm suicides in the same years is its worst ever total for any three-year period since the state began recording such data in 1995. Indeed, farm suicides in Maharashtra since that year have crossed the 40,000 mark. The structural causes of that crisis seem untouched.

Nationally, farmers’ suicides between 2002-07 were worse than for the years 1997-2001. NCRB data for the whole country now exists from 1997-2007. In the five years till 2001, there were 15,747 farmers’ suicides a year on average. For the six years from 2002, that average is 17,366 farmers’ suicides each year. The increase is distressingly higher in the main crisis states.

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The violence came as Imran Khan’s special adviser Bukhari had appealed to the overseas Pakistanis to stage protests outside Indian Consulates on August 15.

LONDON: London Mayor Sadiq Khan has been slammed online for inadequate security arrangements outside the Indian High Commission where Indians and people of Indian origin, gathered to celebrate the 73rd Independence Day of India, were abused and pelted with eggs and water bottles by Pakistan-sponsored protesters.

 

Thousands of protesters, waving Pakistani and Kashmiri flags, rallied outside the Indian High Commission on Thursday and resorted to violence, against the revocation of special status for Jammu and Kashmir, bringing central London to a complete halt.

 

The police were outnumbered by the protesters who also damaged the Indian Tricolour and threw stones at the Indian mission. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s special adviser on overseas Pakistanis Zulfi Bukhari attended the rally and also addressed the charged crowd.

 

The Pakistan-origin London Mayor was the target of Twitterati after the violence. Some accused him of “supporting the violent protest” while many called him to vacate his office.

 

 

“Thousands of murderous #Pakistan thugs who were bussed in from all over #Britain tried to force their way into #India High Commission. This was a planned assault allowed under #London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s watch. #Londonistan just got more dangerous on 15 August,” wrote one user.

 

“News of stone pelting, bottles, eggs being thrown at Indians by Pakistani and pro Khalistani Kashmiri seperatist protesters. @MayorofLondon get your act together and stop this violence. If you cant its time for you to vacate your office,” said another.

 

“This is what London Mayor Sadiq Khan let happen at Indian High Commission despite having the know of what’s about to happen. Deliberately he let Pakistanis create ruckus and take Law and order for a ride. Utter shame!” said another tweet.

 

“Shocked and saddened that this has been allowed to happened outside the Indian High Commission and the London Mayor chose to allow it what message does this send around the world Khan? You are a big embarrassment to London and need to go now,” tweeted one user.

 

The Scotland Yard said that four people were arrested after the violence, reports said.

 

Vijay Chauthaiwale, BJP’s In-Charge, Foreign Affairs Department, termed the happenings outside the Indian High Commission “quite deplorable”.

 

“What happened today in front of the Indian High Commission in London is quite deplorable. @BBCWorld will never report it,” he said, referring to BBC’s reportage of the alleged massive protests in Kashmir Valley last Friday.

 

“Women and children who came to celebrate Independence Day were abused, eggs and water bottle thrown on them by Paki goons,” he said.

 

The violence came as Imran Khan’s special adviser Bukhari had last week appealed to the overseas Pakistanis to stage protests outside Indian Consulates on August 15.

 

 

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