ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Why Do Farmers Commit Suicide?

Individuals and communities are under pressure to cope with the changes brought about by a churn in socio-economic conditions. The policies associated with the process of economic liberalisation have imposed a stress on the peasantry leading to suicides. The tragic developments in rural Andhra Pradesh should compel us to draw important lessons for India's agrarian economy.

The summer of 2004 was an unprecedented one for rural Andhra Pradesh, even by the dubious standards established in the last two decades when the number of suicides by peasants had risen alarmingly. In a short span of less than two months, between May and July 2004, more than 400 peasants in the state committed suicide. Although peasant suicides have repeatedly occurred in the state in the past, the significance of this round of deaths lay in the fact that they were reported from every single district in the state, barring Hyderabad.

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