Debt and Death in Rural India is a study of farmer suicides in rural Punjab from the mid-1980s up to 2008. Based on comprehensive original research work, it examines various factors ranging from central to state policies and critically analyses political, ecomic and social trends that led to the dismal condition of the farmers between 1988 and 2008. This study presents a unique trajectory on the issue of farmer suicides and contextualises the problem within a historical and geographical framework. It includes interviews of family members of a number of farmers who committed suicide in the subdivision of Sangrur district of Punjab, India, which constitutes the area of the study. This outstanding work analyses the interplay of ecomic and political forces and recommends concrete policy measures to enable Punjab to break out of the vicious farmer-suicide cycle.
Aman Sidhu lost her life in a tragic road accident in 2006. This book is based on her PhD research, focusing on rural suicides in Punjab. Aman Sidhu was 34 years of age when this research began. She had recently returned from the United Kingdom having obtained an MBA degree, prior to which she had completed her Master's in Sociology from Panjab University. Aman's interest in rural suicides developed while working with the Movement Against State Repression (MASR), an NGO, for which she was conducting research in the Lehra and Andana Blocks of Moonak subdivision in Punjab's Sangrur district. She decided to take this work forward, by enrolling for a PhD based on her field-work. Aman was also instrumental in starting the JSJ Degree College at Gurney Kalan, in addition to various vocational centres for village girls. As her PhD research had led to the compilation of a significant amount of statistical data and interviews, her father, Mr Inderjit Singh Jaijee, decided to take the work forward as a memorial to her. Inderjit Singh Jaijee has been a long serving advocate of people's rights and dignity in the Punjab region. In 1985 he was elected to the Punjab Legislative Assembly; he has served as President of the Indian Minority and Dalit Front; has worked for more than 15 years with the Movement Against State Repression (MASR); and is a founding member of the Rescue and Revival Mission of the Baba Nanak Educational Society.