Drought-hit farmers from Tamil Nadu are back in Delhi with renewed vigour to protest
New Delhi, July 18: The first thing that would strike you about the protesting farmers from Tamil Nadu--who are back in the national capital on Sunday--is their determination to fight till the end.
Otherwise, imagine who would take the pain of travelling from far away south to the national capital when one's earning is almost "zero". Thanks to the ongoing drought and ever-increasing debts, the farmers of the southern state are facing one of their worst crises in decades. That is why once again they are back to protest in Delhi on Sunday.
Beginning from March this year, for the first time a group of Tamil Nadu farmers staged a protest at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, demanding loan waiver, better prices for their crops and interlinking of rivers, to name a few.
Their protest attracted a lot of attention as the protesting farmers displayed the skulls of what they claimed belonged to farmers of the state who had committed suicide in the wake of drought and debts.
The first phase of the protest of Tamil Nadu farmers ended after the passage of more than 40 days on April 23. They agreed to end their agitation--which also saw a nude protest in front of the Prime Minister's Office--after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami assured them to address all their concerns.
However, that did not happen and that is why they have to again come back to Delhi to make the authorities, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, listen to their plight and do something about it.
Fortunately, this time the farmers of Tamil Nadu have found friends who are with them in their protest. The All India Kisan Sangarsh (AIKS)--headed by VM Singh--a popular farmer leader from Punjab, has expressed its support for the agitating farmers of Tamil Nadu.
After landing in Delhi on Sunday, around 70 of them were detained when they tried to stage a demonstration near the Prime Minister's residence on Lok Kalyan Marg in the national capital. They were later taken to Parliament Street police station.
"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," farmers' leader P Ayyakannu said.
The farmers have been demanding a drought relief package of Rs 40,000 crore, farm loan waiver and setting up of Cauvery Management Board by the Centre.
They will join an indefinite protest after their counterparts, taking part in "Kisan Mukti Yatra", reach Jantar Mantar on Tuesday. The group, around 100 of them, is being led by Ayyakannu, a farmer leader.