Tamil Nadu Farmers Call Off Protest Till May 25 After Chief Minister’s Promise
April 24th, 2017
Image Credit: New Indian Express
Tamil Nadu farmers protesting at Jantar Mantar suspended their agitation on Sunday evening, after having a meeting with Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi Palaniswami. They have given a month time to the Centre to meet their demands.
“If our demands are not met, we will start our protest again after May 25. We will leave today if we get train tickets,” Ayyakkannu, one of the farmers, Hindustan times reported.
Over 100 farmers from Tamil Nadu were protesting at the Jantar Mantar in the Delhi since March 14. The protesting farmers 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.
What’s an issue?
Farmers from The Tamil Nadu have suffered due to drought and subsequent cyclone in the state. Farmers said they were unable to grow crops over 29 lakh hectare in Cauvery delta since 2016 due to lack of water. In January 2017, Tamil Nadu government declared state drought-hit after over 100 farmers allegedly committed suicide.
Why were they protesting at Jantar Mantar but not in Tamil Nadu?
- Farmers were asking the Central government to waive off their loans from nationalised public sector banks, as the Tamil Nadu government had done with the co-operative banks in the state. Farmers are facing the worst drought in Tamil Nadu in the last 140 years and for their survival, the loan waiver is the only way to tide over the immediate crisis. Waiving off loans from nationalised banks is in the domain of Central government.
- Farmers have no water there in Cauvery delta of Tamil Nadu that resulted in agricultural crisis. Farmers from Tamil Nadu are demanding a Cauvery management board to decide the optimal use of the Cauvery water. The Central government has not yet formed a Cauvery Management Board.
- The earlier Central government helped other drought-hit states and the central government has approved Rs 2000 crore to Tamil Nadu in this regard. But the Tamil Nadu government has sought a relief package of Rs 40,000 crore from Centre. Farmers are protesting to demand to revised drought relief package from Centre which can compensate debt-ridden farmers.
- Farmers are demanding fixed profitable prices for their crops which are regulated by the Central government. Minimum Support Price is the price at which government purchases crops from the farmers, whatever may be the price for the crops. The minimum support prices are announced by the Government of India at the beginning of the sowing season for certain crops on the basis of the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).
- One of the key demands of the farmers is interlinking of the rivers in a similar fashion to Ken-Betwa river linking project. That’s a domain under Central government. Advocates of the rivers interlinking projects claim the solutions to India’s water problem is to conserve the abundant monsoon water bounty, store it in reservoirs, and deliver this water using rivers inter-linking project to areas and over times when water becomes scarce.
- The farmers are also demanding compensation for disabled farmers and pensions for those who can’t do farming activities anymore.
Police stops youth who came for marching in support of Tamil Farmers
Posted by The Logical Indian on Sunday, April 23, 2017
The farmers of Tamil Nadu are squeezed in the tug-of-war between the state government and Centre. Tamil Nadu government should take moral and political responsibility of its thousands of farmers to alleviate their suffering, and not pass the buck to the Central government. But the central government should also focus on improving the prospect of agriculture which is increasingly becoming an unremunerative and unprofitable profession.
The Central government does not provide enough resources for upgrading the agricultural facilities in the states. Also, they lack in ramping up irrigation which is the base for agricultural products. Therefore, the demands for loan waiver are being raised whenever there is crop failure in different states due to the drought situation.
Farmer protest day 41 Dr. Kumar Vishwas joins the protest. Youth dropped at Jantar Mantar by the police. Local farmers join in. Ask your questions in the comment section for us to take them to the protesters for answers.
Posted by The Logical Indian on Sunday, April 23, 2017
Mainstream media has enough time for conducting heated debates over unwanted issues but ignored farmers, Nationalised banks can write off bad debt given to corporates but are making attempts to seize properties of the farmers. Similarly, the central government has paid their attention to the Afghan soldier’s death and condemned stabbing in Britain earlier but for farmers, they have very little to offer.
Farmers are our backbone. They are not only providing food to our plates but also creating huge employment opportunities in rural India.
The Logical Indian requests every stakeholder of the nation to pay attentions to the farmers and work for their betterment.