Why Punjab still holds aloft the flag of 'new politics'

While the entire country appeared unimpressed by the Aam Aadmi Party and its promises, Punjab not only sent four of its candidates to the Lok Sabha, but also overcame the rural-urban divide in its mandate for the party. Srinivasan Ramani explores why.

Elections Government

Scars of the Green Revolution
Sick soils, declining yields, growing debts and rising malnutrition stalk the Punjab farmer, as the practices of the boom years catch up with him, writes Bhaskar Goswami.
Agriculture Agriculture Policy

Natural farmers of Punjab
During the last four to five years, the soil in several parts of Punjab has been regenerated and rejuvenated. Natural farmers are convinced it is working. The movement is led by experienced farmers who believe in Guru Nanak's tenet of Sarbat da bhala (well being of all). Umendra Dutt writes about the transformative work hundreds of farmers are doing.

Sorrow and distress, thy home is Jajjal
The elections in Punjab have unseated the Congress and ushered in the Akali-BJP. But will this change the fortunes of hundreds of cancer-impacted families in the Malwa region? Village after village is plagued by pesticide-linked cancer and rising debt. Umendra Dutt writes about Jajjal, one of them.
Environmental Hazards Health
Babies in the well
In the vicinity of a private hospital in Patiala district, a 30-ft-deep well yielded 50 dead foetuses, all female. The location of the well near the clinic was not accidental. For, clearly, despite the PNDT Act, the aborting of female foetuses continues virtually unchecked. The 'unacceptable crime' is still flourishing, writes Kalpana Sharma.
OP-ED Kalpana Sharma Gender Violence Kalpana's Commentary
Farmers persist with organic, see results
For a number of reasons including frustration with chemical agriculture, improved economic prospects and concern for nature, some farmers in Punjab are growing organic. Kavitha Kuruganti travelled around parts of the state to meet a number of farmers and dealers of organic products last month.
Organic Agriculture

Poison in their veins
Researchers at the New Delhi based Centre for Science and Environment have found alarmingly high levels of pesticides in blood samples of villagers in Punjab, the showpiece state of India's green revolution. India needs to urgently take a tough look at the indiscriminate and careless use of pesticides, writes Ramesh Menon.
Agriculture Environmental Hazards

Was the Bhakra dam worth it?
Three years of painstaking research has shattered many a myth around the most revered hydropower project in the country. A mere 20 per cent of all cultivable area in Punjab is under the dam's command area. Sudhirendar Sharma reviews the recently released Unravelling Bhakra : Assessing the Temple of Resurgent India.
Agriculture Water HARYANA

The slow poisoning of Punjab
Damaged soil, ill-effects from pesticides, and falling water tables are the legacy of practices that were once thought great for the state. Ramesh Menon reports.
Agriculture Health
Rooted in paddy
Can rice farmers make do with less water than they've always thought their crop has needed? Dr. Sudhirendar Sharma reports on a promising innovation.
Agriculture Water
Stopping virtual water trade
Punjab needs water, and that means some of the water-guzzling crops must go. But questions of food security and corporatized agriculture confront the state's proposed shift, says Sudhirendar Sharma.
Water Environment
Unsafe custody in Punjab's prisons
An INASAF investigation finds the state grossly indifferent to the health, medical needs, and humane treatment of its prisoners, some of whom haven't even received trials.
Human Rights
Save the vultures
Rahul Bedi says declining vulture numbers have triggered serious public health problems.
Environment Health
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Amitabha Basu
  • Retired Scientist
  • National Physical
  • Laboratory
  • India Together reader