Will the Tamil Nadu farmers get the attention of the Centre?
The first thing to catch anybody's attention in the Jantar Mantar in Delhi, is the numerous protests that are held in the place. The most interesting aspect of Jantar Mantar is that some of these protesters have been sitting at the same place over years now, but the lucky ones or the 'more significant' ones get the attention of the media and are smeared overs newspapers, and TV screens as headlines and breaking news.
Case in point, the Tamil Nadu farmers, who have been protesting in the national capital's hub for protest - Jantar Mantar, for over 100 days now, are yet to receive any response despite the media coverage. The protest led by the farmers was not any ordinary protest, starting from March 2017, and initially led by 143 farmers, the protest saw various 'innovative' measures to draw the attention of the Centre.
Speaking to Oneindia the farmers revealed their future plans. Along with farmers from all over the country, the Tamil Nadu farmers are going to protest in Telengana on September 16th, in Andhra Pradesh on 17th and 18th, in Tamil Nadu on 19th and 20th, in Kerala on 21st, and in Karnataka on 22nd and 23rd. Apart from this, the farmers are going to conduct a Kisan Parliament starting from the first day of the winter session of the Parliament at Jantar Mantar, where 542 farmers will discuss agricultural issues and policies.
The farmers walked naked in front of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's office, held dead rats in their mouths, drank urine and human waste, wore masks of the Prime Minister and kneeled at the Jantar Mantar. To highlight the depravity of the situation, they also included the dead farmers in their protest - by using skulls and femur bones of the debt-ridden farmers who committed suicide.
While only 23 farmers are left in the capital, as most of them had to go back to Tamil Nadu due to deteriorating health condition, the ones who are left have still not gone easy on the protest. Four of the remaining farmers have resorted to indefinite hunger strike to get a response from the Government.
What makes the protest even more special is the fact that these farmers are not merely protesting for their issues, but also stand in solidarity with others. The President of the Association spoke at a protest held by students and professors in Delhi against the violence unleashed on the female students of Banaras Hindu University. They say they will protest against anything that goes against the freedom and rights of any citizen of the country.
In spite of having no arrangement to save themselves from the harsh climate of the capital and the spread of vector-borne diseases common in this part of the country, the farmers have not leg gone of their protest. They stayed in a make-shift tent during the heavy rains. Daily food is being sent by Bangla Sahib Gurdwara.
Feeling dejected at receiving no response to their cry for help, the farmers said that the Government does not care about the woes of the farmers. They said mere necessities are not being fulfilled by whatever they are being able to earn at present. Ayyakkammu said, "We are not asking for luxury, but at least we need profitable prices for our produce so that we can make ends meet, we are also human beings, we work to produce food, but what about us? We have to take to the streets so that we also have food in our plates,"
Here is a list of their demands:
- Profitable price for agricultural products
- Implementation of National Water Ways Project of Engineer A.C Kamaraj
- Crop Insurance Scheme for individual farmers
- Waiving off of Farmer's Nationalised Bank Loan
- Prevention of Tamil Nadu into turning to desert by formation of Cauvery River Management Board
- Monthly pension of Rs 5000 for farmers above the age of 60 years even if they have children and land