17 AUGUST 2018
P Sainath : The Real Picture
Feb 28 2005
Weddings on hold as prices crash
"It is time for my daughter to get married but where's the money? We ran a teashop for a long time. That folded as people had no more to spend." P Sainath finds that as the agrarian crisis has deepened in Wayanad, many people are now simply unable to afford weddings.
Feb 13 2005
Spice of life carries whiff of death
Imports of pepper from Sri Lanka, including large quantities that are simply routed through that country but not actually produced there, have devastated farmers in Wayanad, home of the world's best pepper. P Sainath continues his series on the agrarian crisis in this region.
Feb 10 2005
The unbearable lightness of seeing
The elite wants a society geared to deal with rare disasters but shows no urgency at all when it comes to the destruction of the livelihoods of millions by policy and human agency. P Sainath turns our consciences towards Mumbai's demolitions of tens of thousands of the homes of slum-dwellers.
Feb 07 2005
Coffee sails globally, sinks locally
This is coffee territory, yet you cannot get the local brew in any restaurant here. Drop in at the Coffee Board in Kalpetta to enquire why this is so - and they offer you a cup of tea. P Sainath continues his series on the agrarian crisis in Kerala's Wayanad region.
Jan 31 2005
Commerce and crisis hit students
Two processes have hit Wayanad. One is the policy-driven commercialisation of education. And the second is the collapse of Wayanad's economy. For the first time in decades in this education-proud state thousands of students are dropping out of college and school. P Sainath continues his series on the agrarian crisis in Wayanad.
Jan 10 2005
Wayanad: Arrack as distress trade
Toddy is legal in Kerala, while arrack is banned. Also, while a litre of toddy costs Rs. 30, a sachet of arrack goes for Rs. 11. As the farm crisis sees thousands of migrants crossing over into Karnataka, arrack shops right on the border are booming. P Sainath continues his series on the agrarian crisis in Wayanad.
Dec 01 2004
Crisis drives the bus to Kutta
Prior to 1995, KSRTC did not have a single bus on this route, but nowadays there are 24 trips between Manathavady in Wayanad and Kutta in Kodagu, Karnataka. By the second stop on the journey, there is not a seat vacant. P Sainath continues his series on the agrarian crisis in Wayanad.
Dec 01 2004
So near to God, so far from Heaven
Church income has fallen sharply as the laity have gone into debt in Wayanad. But the larger reality is also more complex. While the church does reflect the pain of its farmer base, it is also, in some cases, a source of at least a few of the dues that worry them, notes P Sainath.
Dec 01 2004
Fewer jobs, more buses in Wayanad
It's no longer just landless labourers on the bus to Kutta. Many masons and carpenters are also crossing the border into Karnataka in search of work, spurred on by the collapse of employment in Wayanad. P Sainath continues his series on the agrarian crisis in Wayanad.
Dec 01 2004
Hope dies slowly in Wayanad
Many plantations have shut down, throwing thousands out of work. The once-numerous Tamil migrant labourers are far fewer today, and out-migration of local labour is the new trend. P Sainath finds the off-screen agrarian crisis is very dramatic too, and has emptied the audiences for big screens in the region.
Dec 01 2004
The cross and the crisis
P Sainath finds that the declining fortune and health of the religious establishment in Kerala's Wayanad region mirrors what is happening to the parishioners themselves.
Oct 01 2004
Maharashtra: The last lap
It needed the final week of an election campaign to force the most minimal attention, if that, towards the real issues people worry about. P Sainath looks at the balance of interests in pre-election Maharashtra.
Oct 01 2004
What happened in Vidarbha
In the Lok Sabha polls, the BSP devastated the Congress-NCP alliance. In the Maharashtra elections, the Sonia Gandhi factor appears to have bailed the Congress out of big trouble. But this time, the BSP wrecked the BJP-Shiv Sena combine in many places, notes P Sainath.
Sep 01 2004
Renew lapsed farmers' insurance policies
Calls for the renewal of hundreds of thousands of lapsed insurance policies have begun, reports P Sainath.
Sep 01 2004
Andhra farmers lose crores in insurance
The ongoing agrarian crisis has had a telling impact, causing the lapse of insurance policies of farmers. P Sainath reports.
Aug 01 2004
The after-death industry
For many in Andhra Pradesh's agrarian crisis, even death is not the end of the trouble. Instead, it is the beginning of a new burden for the families of the survivors. P Sainath continues his series on farmer suicides in Andhra.
Aug 01 2004
How the better half dies
As farming floundered, many families came to the towns. The men sought work as auto drivers or daily wage labour. Often without success. In this struggle against poverty, the stress on their wives was enormous. P Sainath continues his series on farmer suicides in Andhra.
Aug 01 2004
How the better half dies - II
Suicides amongst their own numbers are not the only way women farmers are hit by the ongoing crisis. Suicides by their husbands leave many in a predatory world. P Sainath continues his series on farmer suicides in Andhra.
Aug 01 2004
Jobs drought preceded farm crisis
Long before the drought bit deep, Anantapur was already in trouble. The close links between workers, farming and industry were broken by the new policies of the 1990s. P Sainath continues his series on farmer suicides in Andhra.
Jul 01 2004
Dreaming of water, drowning in debt
Superstition, the occult, God, government and technology have all been pressed into service in Anantapur's desperate search for water. P Sainath continues his series on farmer suicides.
Jul 01 2004
Jul 01 2004
Seeds of suicide - II
Seeds, fertilizer and pesticide dealers are at the centre of a growing controversy in Andhra Pradesh. They are the new moneylenders to a peasantry strapped for credit. P Sainath concludes his series on farmer suicides in AP.
Jul 01 2004
Jul 01 2004
Little panchayat, percentage raj
In Andhra Pradesh, the Naidu government's Janmabhoomi model of development gutted the panchayats and curbed local democracy. Hence, the panchayats have proved totally ineffective during the agrarian crisis, reports P Sainath.
Jul 01 2004
Seeds of suicide - I
The seed, pesticide and fertilizer dealers are the new moneylenders of the AP countryside. The power this group wields is a vital factor in the ongoing crisis and continuing suicides of farmers. P Sainath continues his series.

Palagummi Sainath is the winner of the 2007 Ramon Magsaysay award for Journalism, Literature, and Creative Communication Arts. (click to read India Together's interview with P Sainath)


Over decades of reporting, he has established himself as among the pre-eminent chroniclers of rural life in our times. His stories, photo-essays, and other work record an India seldom visible to many of us. Sainath received the A.H. Boerma Award in 2001 for his contributions. In July 2004, he was awarded the Prem Bhatia Award for excellence in political reporting and analysis for 2003-04 in recognition of his 'outstanding, indeed exceptional, work on the problems of the poorest of the poor, especially in Andhra Pradesh.' He is the Rural Affairs Editor of The Hindu.