It is election time in Punjab. Every body has started talking about development. The word Development has become a major issue. Election manifestos are painting a rosy picture of a Developed Punjab. But, none of them is kind enough to tell what will be cost of this development? And who has to bear the cost? Who will be sacrificed for this? More over how sustainable will be this development?

It was the year rural India's agony gnawed at the conscience of the Government after farmers took desperate measures to voice their plight. Over 8,000 farmers committed suicide in the last decade due to repeated crop failures, inability to meet the rising cost of cultivation, and indebtedness.

India has toppled the us to become the second largest producer of cotton, after China, states the cotton fiscal of 2006-2007. Statistics also show that by October-end, the annual cotton farmers'

Small and marginal farmers are the worst hit by the problems that afflict agriculture. The macro and micro level factors together have created stress among the poor farmers forcing them to commit suicide.

Special Economic Zones

Moneylenders are their bane

The trend of cotton farmers' suicides in Vidarbha keeps showing an upward spike since prime minister Manmohan Singh's visit to the area in early July and the announcement of a package for the

"Sarita's away in Warangal,' Parvata Reddy told HRK. It was past 7 pm, and villagers tend to be suspicious of strangers who walk out of the dark. I moved to a well-lit portion of the courtyard. He looked closely. Better sight led to better memory. He recalled meeting me two years ago. He also remembered that Sarita was aactually in the village, and was willing to show us the way.

it has been less than two months since prime minister Manmohan Singh visited Vidarbha, Maharashtra's cotton country, with a special package for the beleaguered farmers. Since then 200 more farmers

"The Constitution guarantees the right to life and to personal liberty. The values which underlie Article 21 of the Constitution are seriously eroded by deaths on such a systemic scale, as the facts before the court in relation to the State of Maharashtra demonstrate... .