Hunger isn’t about biology. It’s about politics

News: In the absence of an organized food security net and political commitment, India is being crippled by the challenge of pervasive hunger and malnourishment

James Vernon in his book Hunger: A modern history wrote that hunger is a timeless and inescapable biological condition. While he was right, the real problem was captured by Karl Marx. Karl Marx had stated that hunger is actually a problem of politics, capitalism, and the state.

What is the hunger status of India?

In Global Hunger Index 2021 India has slipped to 101st of 116 countries, from its 2020 position of 94th This is when India’s foodgrain output was at a record 297.5 million tonnes in 2019-20 (July-June).

Read more: Global Hunger Index and India’s stand – Explained, pointwise

What are the lacunas in the Indian system to control hunger?

1) India’s expenditure on health over the last five years has either remained static or declined. 2) Lack of  Political will and commitment. For example, an absence of an organized food security net, especially in urban India will worsen the hunger situation of India.

What should India do to control the rising hunger?

To achieve the SDG target of achieving ‘Zero Hunger, India should adopt the inclusive approach.

Read more: Several trade-offs impede Zero Hunger goal. A UN report explains why, and how

It should learn the practices adopted by various countries like Bangladesh, which has shown significant progress on many socio-economic parameters over the last decade.

Source: This article is based on the post “Hunger isn’t about biology. It’s about politics” published in the Indian Express on 12th November 2021.

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