Market-dependent urban food practices are swallowing up indigenous food habits Tribal elder Nabbu Supari Tekam in tiny Kolam village of Yavatmal district in Maharashtra loves to tell this story

In one season, land prices in Dhangharwadi shot up from Rs 6,000-10,000 per acre (0.4 hectare) to Rs 1 lakh per acre. But people in this little village in Maharashtra

P. Sainath The shift from cotton to soybean has major implications for agriculture, livelihoods and the future of the Vidharbha region. "The shift began a few seasons ago but has picked up' "Cotton gets more risky each season' "Soybean input costs are far lower'

Suicides continue in the land of white gold. It has been 8 two months since Finance Minister P. Chidambaram announced a Rs 60,000-crore loan waiver for farmers. It was meant to prevent debt-ridden ryots from committing suicide. But in Vidarbha, where a large number of cotton farmers have committed suicide, the script has not changed.

POLA IS THE HARVEST FESTI-val in Maharashtra. On this day every August, farmers in the agricultural belts of the state bathe their buffaloes, paint their horns and parade them around their villages. As the villagers of Bhadumri (in western Vidarbha) were busy sprucing up their cattle in August 2006, 35-year-old Anil Shende, a marginal farmer, staggered out of his two-room mud hut and collapsed.

This paper has three parts: 

This paper traces the political economy of irrigation development, and the issues of regional imbalances created by the process of allocation of development resources based on regional power bases, rather than equity or need. Irrigation development in Maharashtra is taken as a case in point.

Nagpur: Less than a year ago, 50-year-old Kalavati Bandukar knew the value of energy but little about the difference between nuclear, thermal, or renewable energy sources.

But this widow, whose husband, a farmer, committed suicide in 2005 after being unable to pay his debts, is now learning not only about the different kinds of power but also the politics of power.