What sort of circumstances leads people to act like a “dead body”, eat rats or carrying a human skull around their neck?
In the recent event, several farmers from Tamil Nadu, gathered at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, carrying a human skull, apparently belonging to those farmers who were succumbed to death after committing suicide. In another event, farmers were mock willing around acted “corpse” to show their agitation against government ignorance and negligence. They repeated the ‘rats for breakfast’ act for shock value in the Capital on Monday. Wearing loincloths, they even climbed the trees at Jantar Mantar to attract attention from the media.
“We escorted the farmers from Jantar Mantar to the Prime Minister’s Office where they submitted a memorandum of their demands. After coming out, some of them removed their clothes. The situation was brought under control and the farmers were dropped at the protest site,” a senior police official said. This is not an overnight protest; farmers were involved in organising a peaceful strike against the government, from last 41 days. Earlier this year, almost 270 farmers committed suicide due to severe drought crisis in Tamil Nadu state itself.
Reasons for the uprising protest
The Tamil Nadu government had asked for a loan amount of 39,000 crores from the central government. The high-level committee of the Union government sanctioned only 2,104 crores, which is definitely very much lower than the actual demands. However, the approved amount is highest among the given capital to the drought-affected areas. This lead to an unsettling aggression among farmers. The ugly battle between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over the release of “Cauvery River” also ignited hatred among the farmers. According to Geological Survey of India (GSI), Tamil Nadu received a very less 166 mm of seasonal rainfall compare to an average rainfall of 437 mm per annum. Due to which cultivation of several crops such as samba (winter crop) failed. The Union government had often ignored farmer-related issues; issue such as “Ban on Jallikattu” or any political news dominates news of national interest.
Demands of the farmers
Farmers of Tamil Nadu were constantly demanding for loan waiver, which will serve as a compensation towards aftermath of drought crisis in the state. The farmer also demanded capital fund to build the project that will help in “water sustainability”. Farm activists point out that the farmer has little support as the price of cultivation of most crops is more than the maximum selling price. During dry monsoon season, the situation becomes worse, as the farmer are always on the disadvantaged position in terms of both money and standard of living.
After a shadowy turn up at Jantar Mantar, PM Narendra Modi gave condolence message to the farmers that by 2022 the income of the farmer will be double. It will be hard to say, what sort of policy implementation will certainly improve the critical situation of the farmers. One thing is for sure, if we do not aim for efficient farming practices soon they will be a crisis on food production.