The front page of today’s DNA newspaper carried a story about the loan waiver for indebted farmers. The story caught my eye and I quickly read through it while waiting for the bus in the morning.
I found the story to be quite shocking. It talked of a new trend in society where money lenders were committing suicides because of the waiver offered to farmers. Some of the money lenders had themselves borrowed money from other lenders and were therefore extremely worried about how they would return the money. When the debts were waived off, the farmers didn’t need to pay the money lenders anything-not even the principal amount, in turn making the money lenders themselves indebted to other, richer money lenders.
All this while I was very happy about the waiver. I genuinely felt that this was a move in the right and it would lead to betterment in the lives of many poor farmers. What I didn’t realise was that everything in the social world has multiple facets. And for every ‘good’ action you take, there are innumerable outcomes possible- some good, some not so good. As an academic exercise, it is interesting to see how changing one aspect of social life, countless other aspects get impacted. But in real life -where real people are involved, it becomes that much more important to think through things thoroughly before implementing policies. Not once did I think of what would happen to the money lenders when I heard of the waiver. It just shows how short-sighted one can be.
PS- I tried finding the article on the online version of the newspaper but couldn’t. The article was titled “waiver pain: moneylender and family end life“. If you are keen on reading it, try searching the DNA website or find a hard copy of the paper.