A bar chart does not make it data-driven analysis

Sainath, Rural Affairs Editor of the The Hindu, is concerned that the incidence of farmer suicides has been wrongly calculated

He says that cultivators comprise only 8% of the population, i.e., close to 100 million people.

Fair enough. What he fails to say is whether the 184, 169 suicides he cites in the period between 2001-2011 all fall into this category of 8% cultivators

 

So, when State Governments and the Police classify a suicide as a farm suicide –

  1. do they count individuals that fall into this 8% of the population that are cultivators 
  2. do they count individuals that fall into the 53% of the population that are dependent upon farming

Without fixing the numerator and denominator, any discussion or comparison of suicide rates is meaningless

 

The rest of his article is polemic that I’d rather do without.

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