Tamil Nadu farmers: Broken, Battered, Bleak

arun

Arun Kumar | April 18, 2017 | New Delhi


#demonstration   #debt   #crop failure   #drought   #protest   #agriculture   #farmers   #Tamil Nadu  


The footpath near Jantar Mantar, which is considered Delhi’s (and the nation’s) own protest plaza, has been seeing a demonstration that is bizarre by the usual standards of the place. Farmers from Tamil Nadu, not a state generally associated with agricultural distress, have been camping there since March 14 to demand relief – and they are not budging till concrete response comes. Over 200 farmers are learnt to have committed suicide in Tamil Nadu owing to crop failure and inability to repay debts. Call it agit-grotesque for want of a better expression, but the images from the protest site, as our photographer found, are hard to erase from the mind. Here, skulls in hand and barechested, a farmer sears himself into public memory – hoping that the government will wake up to their misery.
 



Uniformed in drawers and dark green turbans and loincloths, the farmers put up many tableaus of pathos. At one point, a group of them brought out dead rats and made a show of eating them. The message: “We have little else to eat. Do something for us.”



A votive ritual in temples of south India involves rolling on the ground in pradakshina. Farmers performed the ritual on harsh macadam to get the government’s ear.

Invoking the Mahatma with a portrait strung around her neck, a woman protester joins farmers to highlight their troubles, caused by a failed monsoon and an impassive administration.


Among the protesters were many old farmers, many of whom were visiting Delhi for the first time. Their hard bodies spoke of years of ceaseless toil in the fields, their grim faces of its futility.
 

One farmer had half of his head shaven – and in strange symmetry, the opposite half of his moustache.


(The photo story appears in the April 16-30, 2017 issue of Governance Now)
 
 

 

Comments

 

Other News

Exclusive Breastfeeding? Yes. Effective Breastfeeding? No. What to do?

Our hearts almost skipped a beat when we heard community health officer (CHO) Dr. Sandeep Kakuste’s success story with baby Pinki Lakhan Patil, who was born underweight in a brick kiln. Pinki weighed 1.7 kg at birth. As she was on exclusive breastfeed she could not have gained weight by any other met

Places of Worship Act: Time for a second look?

A videography survey in the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi this month, along with a similar survey in the mosque in Mathura permitted by a court, has brought the Places of Worship Act under focus after a gap of three decades. In 1991, at the peak of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, the PV Narasimh

Gujarat is key if India is to become $5 trillion economy

The Government of Gujarat had set up a task force committee in February 2022 under the chairmanship of Dr. Hasmukh Adhia, former union finance secretary, to work out a strategy for the state to contribute in making India a USD 5 trillion economy, as per the vision of the prime minister. In three months, th

Why is Lanka in flames: the making of a crisis

This time it was not Lord Hanuman, but the poor decision-making of the political leaders combined with several global economic factors that set Sri Lanka in flames. A state of emergency was declared in Sri Lanka. This month, after the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka resigned from his post, the

Growing Up as a Multilinguist

Being and Becoming Multilingual: Some Narratives Edited by Rajesh Sachdeva and Rama Kant Agnihotri

Mumbai civil body refutes allegations of scam in tenement scheme

The BrihanMumbai municipal corporation (BMC) has rejected the Congress accusations of financial irregularities worth Rs 8,000 crore—9,000 croe in awarding contracts for getting project-affected people (PAP) tenements on private land.    BMC has said that it implements vital p

Visionary Talk: Arvind Sawant, Member of Parliament with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter