Introducing Beej A Multi-Faceted View of Indian Farming

Our lives are arranged around celebrations – both individual and collective. Birthdays and
anniversaries are a way of celebrating our selves and the significant events in our lives.
Festivals, on the other hand, provide a way for communities to get together and enjoy
shared traditions and stories.
Harvest festivals are special because anybody can relate to them, regardless of group,
gender or geography. And so, we wanted to dedicate space in this first issue of Beej to pay
homage to the harvest and its bounty. Beyond the pictures, we wanted to get a little closer
to those who work with food in some form or the other. Their perspectives are a big part of
our main feature story.
We are sending our journalists into the hinterland to find out more about the lives of farming
families in our villages. This time around, we spent a day with a family in Karnataka. What
we uncovered both surprised and moved us.
Most of us have seen that famous Mother India poster with Nargis hauling a wooden
plough on her shoulders. But few of us have paused to consider the extreme symbolism of
that image. One of our articles analyses the plough’s value as both a metaphor and a
cultivating tool.
‘Seeds of Thought’ is a space reserved for our guest authors to reflect on food and farming
and people’s equation with these. Our columnist for this issue is Dr. Usha Zehr Barwale,
Chief Technology Officer at Mahyco.
We hope you enjoy this introductory issue of Beej. Please do send your feedback to