April 10th, 2017
A group of farmers stripped near the Prime Minister’s office on the morning of 10 April, demanding that their agricultural loans be waived-off. The farmers have been protesting for nearly a month in Delhi and personify the plight of the Tamil Nadu farmers who are facing their worst drought in 140 years.
Speaking to The Logical Indian, Shakti, a student covering the protest, said, “Today is the 28th day of the protest. The farmers were reportedly told that they had gained an audience with the Prime Minister. Therefore, a group of them left for the PMO on Monday. However, when they reached the PMO, they were denied entry and were told to leave the premises. Frustrated, many of the farmers stripped naked and started raising slogans, demanding that their grievances be met.”
For the past one month, over 150 farmers from Tamil Nadu have been protesting in New Delhi.
The women are protesting wearing petticoats while the men can be seen wearing green lungis and carrying begging bowls and the skulls of dead farmers.
These farmers are from Trichy, Karur, and Thanjavur districts of Tamil Nadu. They had arrived at Delhi on the morning of 14 March 2017 and immediately left to protest outside the Prime Minister’s residence. They were, however, stopped by the authorities. The protesters then went to Jantar Mantar, where they have been protesting ever since.
Today, however, they took their protest to the Prime Minister’s Office.
Why are they protesting?
The ongoing drought in Tamil Nadu is the worst in 140 years. As per the protesters, about 250 farmers have committed suicide in the last three months of drought, although the government claims just 17 suicides.
The ongoing protest is to “prevent suicide by farmers who feed the nation”. The farmers, who numbered more than 150, demand the following:
- Reasonable drought relief package for drought-hit Tamil Nadu
- Prevent Tamil Nadu turning into a desert,
- Prevent Cauvery from turning dry,
- Formation of Cauvery Management Committee,
- Networking all rivers,
- Write off loans borrowed by farmers,
- Profitable price for agricultural products.
The Logical Indian take
Farmers are the backbone of our nation. But their struggles and sufferings are often not highlighted by the media or prioritised by politicians. The plight of the farmers protesting in Delhi with the skulls of their deceased brethren and now protesting by stripping is tragic, to say the least.
Both the central and state government should move swiftly to rehabilitate the farmers so as to alleviate their struggles in the face of the worst drought their state has had to face in over 140 years.
- TN Farmers Protest At Jantar Mantar With Skulls Of Fellow Farmers Who Committed Suicide
- Day 21 Of Farmers’ Protest At Jantar Mantar: Students March In Solidarity With The Protesting Tamil Farmers