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

India’s biggest walkathon-for-a-cause keeps its date – online this time

Oxfam Trailwalker, arguably India`s biggest walkathon-for-a-cause challenge, has gone virtual this year, with participants completing the 100 km walk within or around the confines of their homes over a span of 10 days – from November 20 to November 29, complying with the social distancing rules.

How about flagging candidates with criminal past on ballot?

The concept of the ‘Rule of Law’ is the basic structure of our constitution. It becomes imperative to observe the rule of law in order to run the country according to the constitutional provisions. However, in reality, often politicians with criminal records get elected and even become part of

Advocating for Cities Where the Poor and Women Count

The Citymakers: How Women Are Building a Sustainable Future for Urban India, published by Hachette India this month, narrates the genesis and journey of the Mahila Housing SEWA Trust (MHT), set up in 1994 to respond to t

‘Media worst affected with massive job losses’

Coming down heavily on the government for economic de-growth and job losses, Congress national spokesperson Supriya Shrinate has said that even before the Covid pandemic struck, the economy  had been falling down for eight consecutive quarters. The former journalist said that while the

Covid-19: Maintain caution, say new MHA Guidelines

The ministry of home affairs (MHA) on Wednesday issued an ‘Order with Guidelines for Surveillance, Containment and Caution’, effective for the month of December, noting that “to fully overcome the pandemic, there is need to maintain caution and to strictly follow the prescribed containmen

Lakshmi Vilas Bank to be amalgamated with DBS Bank India

The scheme of amalgamation of Lakshmi Vilas Bank Limited (LVB) with DBS Bank India Limited (DBIL) has been approved by the union cabinet on Wednesday. On November 17, to protect depositors’ interest and in the interest of financial and banking stability, on RBI’s application und

Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter