Satire Shot

FAQ: A ready reckoner on how to take care of India's traitors

Only because the police and the courts are busy does not mean that traitors should be allowed to go scot-free.

Because the police and the courts are often busy, lynch mobs have become increasingly popular. Traitors cannot be allowed to go scot-free. Here are easy-to-follow instructions and answers to frequently asked questions on how to form a lynch mob.

Do I have to wear orange?
Not necessarily. In 1984, in New Delhi, most people were wearing white. However, times change. Today, orange is the new white, so you should probably wear orange. If the colour does not suit your complexion, at least tie a strip around your head.

Should I rehearse my abuses, or can I go with the flow?
Ideally you should rehearse. Use references. Your model is Sunny Deol abusing Pakistanis in the motion picture Gadar.

How long should the lynching go on for?
There are two major news cycles – morning and evening. If you ensure that your event goes on throughout the day, you can be featured in both. If the police are adequately co-operative, you could start around 11am with some slogan shouting and finish by around 6pm with some minor assault, in which case you will be able to get home in time to see yourself on TV. In order to get best coverage, beat up some media people. Threaten some women if you can, because patriots do this.

Beating up the media sounds wrong. Shouldn’t I be wooing them?
Not the ones who are anti-national Porkistani sluts. Arnab is different. Have a drink with Arnab. Help him jump to a conclusion. The demands of the 24-hour news cycle are intense. Conclusions have to be jumped to. If he shouts while at the restaurant, don’t interrupt. Even if the veins stand out in his forehead, don’t worry. Usually they have a medical team on standby. Tell him lots of people agree with your views. He will help you. He wants lots of people to watch his channel.

What if my blood is not boiling enough?
Think about Arundhati Roy.

Do I need to get my mob members verified by the police?
This is smart thinking on your part. You definitely need to do this. You need to identify your followers to the police and ask them a crucial question. If your followers commit a crime, will they arrest them or not? The police have a list. After consulting this list, they will tell you whether your followers are OK. If so, you can proceed.

Should I be smashing cameras?
Definitely not. This is an elementary mistake that many first time lynchers make. If no one knows about your contribution to the nation, what is the point in contributing? Proper recognition is your due, and can lead to good things in the future. Rather than smashing cameras, you should try to figure out your best angles. Take selfies while pretending to beat someone up. It’s not as easy as you’d think.

Should I have any preference regarding venue?
Somewhere scenic is always nice, because then you and the family can have a little picnic afterwards. If this is not feasible, you should conduct it in a place the Supreme Court has specifically told you not to enter, because nothing is more nationalistic than disobeying the Supreme Court.

What if the Supreme Court gets mad at me?
It would be wrong of me to try to gauge the minds of the honourable justices. You could look at what happened to the last 67 people they were mad at, or expressed unhappiness with. That could provide a clue.

How will I know if I’ve won?
If the only action taken at the end of a fun day full of good activity is that the victim of the lynching is sent into judicial custody, and no one else is arrested, bothered, or disturbed in any way, you can count this as a win.

Is there any preference regarding footwear?
Strong and heavy is good. Or something pointy. Make sure you polish them before you go out. Remember, your footwear will be seen on national TV, next to the faces of traitors. For maximum effect, spend a little money and go for the jackboots, which are also great for marching in. They look sharp, and they’re part of the uniform.

Shovon Chowdhury’s new novel, Murder With Bengali Characters, is set in a Calcutta occupied by China.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

How sustainable farming practices can secure India's food for the future

India is home to 15% of the world’s undernourished population.

Food security is a pressing problem in India and in the world. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), it is estimated that over 190 million people go hungry every day in the country.

Evidence for India’s food challenge can be found in the fact that the yield per hectare of rice, one of India’s principal crops, is 2177 kgs per hectare, lagging behind countries such as China and Brazil that have yield rates of 4263 kgs/hectare and 3265 kgs/hectare respectively. The cereal yield per hectare in the country is also 2,981 kgs per hectare, lagging far behind countries such as China, Japan and the US.

The slow growth of agricultural production in India can be attributed to an inefficient rural transport system, lack of awareness about the treatment of crops, limited access to modern farming technology and the shrinking agricultural land due to urbanization. Add to that, an irregular monsoon and the fact that 63% of agricultural land is dependent on rainfall further increase the difficulties we face.

Despite these odds, there is huge potential for India to increase its agricultural productivity to meet the food requirements of its growing population.

The good news is that experience in India and other countries shows that the adoption of sustainable farming practices can increase both productivity and reduce ecological harm.

Sustainable agriculture techniques enable higher resource efficiency – they help produce greater agricultural output while using lesser land, water and energy, ensuring profitability for the farmer. These essentially include methods that, among other things, protect and enhance the crops and the soil, improve water absorption and use efficient seed treatments. While Indian farmers have traditionally followed these principles, new technology now makes them more effective.

For example, for soil enhancement, certified biodegradable mulch films are now available. A mulch film is a layer of protective material applied to soil to conserve moisture and fertility. Most mulch films used in agriculture today are made of polyethylene (PE), which has the unwanted overhead of disposal. It is a labour intensive and time-consuming process to remove the PE mulch film after usage. If not done, it affects soil quality and hence, crop yield. An independently certified biodegradable mulch film, on the other hand, is directly absorbed by the microorganisms in the soil. It conserves the soil properties, eliminates soil contamination, and saves the labor cost that comes with PE mulch films.

The other perpetual challenge for India’s farms is the availability of water. Many food crops like rice and sugarcane have a high-water requirement. In a country like India, where majority of the agricultural land is rain-fed, low rainfall years can wreak havoc for crops and cause a slew of other problems - a surge in crop prices and a reduction in access to essential food items. Again, Indian farmers have long experience in water conservation that can now be enhanced through technology.

Seeds can now be treated with enhancements that help them improve their root systems. This leads to more efficient water absorption.

In addition to soil and water management, the third big factor, better seed treatment, can also significantly improve crop health and boost productivity. These solutions include application of fungicides and insecticides that protect the seed from unwanted fungi and parasites that can damage crops or hinder growth, and increase productivity.

While sustainable agriculture through soil, water and seed management can increase crop yields, an efficient warehousing and distribution system is also necessary to ensure that the output reaches the consumers. According to a study by CIPHET, Indian government’s harvest-research body, up to 67 million tons of food get wasted every year — a quantity equivalent to that consumed by the entire state of Bihar in a year. Perishables, such as fruits and vegetables, end up rotting in store houses or during transportation due to pests, erratic weather and the lack of modern storage facilities. In fact, simply bringing down food wastage and increasing the efficiency in distribution alone can significantly help improve food security. Innovations such as special tarpaulins, that keep perishables cool during transit, and more efficient insulation solutions can reduce rotting and reduce energy usage in cold storage.

Thus, all three aspects — production, storage, and distribution — need to be optimized if India is to feed its ever-growing population.

One company working to drive increased sustainability down the entire agriculture value chain is BASF. For example, the company offers cutting edge seed treatments that protect crops from disease and provide plant health benefits such as enhanced vitality and better tolerance for stress and cold. In addition, BASF has developed a biodegradable mulch film from its ecovio® bioplastic that is certified compostable – meaning farmers can reap the benefits of better soil without risk of contamination or increased labor costs. These and more of the company’s innovations are helping farmers in India achieve higher and more sustainable yields.

Of course, products are only one part of the solution. The company also recognizes the importance of training farmers in sustainable farming practices and in the safe use of its products. To this end, BASF engaged in a widespread farmer outreach program called Samruddhi from 2007 to 2014. Their ‘Suraksha Hamesha’ (safety always) program reached over 23,000 farmers and 4,000 spray men across India in 2016 alone. In addition to training, the company also offers a ‘Sanrakshan® Kit’ to farmers that includes personal protection tools and equipment. All these efforts serve to spread awareness about the sustainable and responsible use of crop protection products – ensuring that farmers stay safe while producing good quality food.

Interested in learning more about BASF’s work in sustainable agriculture? See here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of BASF and not by the Scroll editorial team.