On January 6, Ramesh Khamankar, a cotton farmer in Maharashtra's Yavatmal district walked to his ruined fields and drank from a bottle of pesticide. He died a few hours later. The government found his death to be a genuine 'farmer suicide', meaning it was caused by rural distress and his family received a compensation of Rs 1 lakh. But as we found, to try and pin official responsibility for rural distress is a futile, Kafkaesque excercise. The Indian state falls back on a rehearsed litany: mounting debt, crop failure, erratic rainfall, rising input costs, climate change - reeling these factors off almost as if they are a cosmic malaise, and not the outcome of very specific policy decisions taken or not taken. In other words, no one killed Ramesh Khamankar.