The Tamil Nadu farmer protest which began this year in March at Jantar Mantar, Delhi, has yet again taken a drastic turn after some of the protesting farmers allegedly ate their own excreta on Sunday, September 10.
A group of ten protesting farmers led by P Ayyakannu, president of the national south Indian rivers linking farmers’ association, took to consuming their excreta to draw the Centre’s attention to their demands.
“We collected the excreta in the morning (in plastic bags) and then ate it… By not giving us revised drought packages, compensation for crops ruined by the bad weather conditions and refusing loan waivers, the central government has forced us into a position of having to eat our own waste,” said Ayyakannu as reported by Hindustan Times.
Tamil Nadu farmers began their protest on March 14 when they grabbed national attention through innovative, and often shocking, forms of agitations. They sat holding human skulls of their kin that they claimed were of farmers who had committed suicide earlier, ate mice, shaved their heads, conducted mock funerals, marched naked outside the Prime Minister’s office and even drank their urine in a bid to protest over drought relief and loan waivers from Centre.
On April 23, they had suspended their agitation on the contention that the Centre meets their demand within a month.
In July, they resumed their protest after the Supreme Court stayed the Madras High Court order directing the state government to waive all agricultural loans, irrespective of how much land the farmer owned. The state government had moved the apex court, asking it to restrict the loan waivers to small or marginal farmers who owned less than five acres of land.
The farmers were back with the same demands mid-July – a central drought relief fund, pension for old farmers, setting up of Cauvery Management Board, crop insurance for individual farmers and profitable prices for agricultural produce.
“Our demands were not met as promised by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami and Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan. So we have decided to resume our protest for another 100 days,” P Ayyakannu had said in July.
Currently, the farmers are on their 58th day of protest since their second stint began. On September 9, about 41 farmers from the state pretended to have been hung upside down as a sign of the Centre leaving them to die.
On September 10, some of them consumed their own excreta. They have threatened to eat human flesh today, September 11.
The farmers have warned to hold a nude protest to grab the Centre’s and state’s attention on the 100th day of the protest if their demands are unfulfilled.