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Now, Tamil Nadu farmers to drink urine, eat faeces at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar

Tamil Nadu farmers, who have been protesting at Jantar Mantar for 38 days, have said they will drink urine and eat faeces if the government does not respond to their demands.

delhi Updated: Apr 21, 2017 20:48 IST
A Mariyam Alavi
A Mariyam Alavi
Hindustan Times
Delhi news,Tamil Nadu farmers,Jantar Mantar
The farmers have been grabbing headlines for their unique, and sometimes bizarre, methods of protest since they arrived in Delhi over 38 days ago.

The protest by Tamil Nadu farmers at Jantar Mantar is set to go from curious to revolting as the protesters vowed to drink their urine on Saturday if the government did not pay heed to their demands. Determined to get heard, they also said that if they are still ignored by the Centre, they will be forced to eat human faeces on Sunday.

The farmers have been grabbing headlines for their unique, and sometimes bizarre, methods of protest since they arrived in Delhi over 38 days ago. Armed with skulls, which they claimed to be of farmers who had committed suicide, they have stripped naked, bitten mice and snake, conducted mock funerals and even been flogged. They are now sitting at Jantar Mantar with urine collected in plastic bottles, awaiting a response from the government.

“We are not getting water to drink in Tamil Nadu, and PM Modi has been ignoring our thirst. So, we will have to quench our thirst with our own urine,” said P Ayyakkannu, the state president of the National South-Indian Rivers Linking Farmers’ Association who is leading the protest.

A farmer dressed as Prime Minister Narendra Modi flogs protesting Tamil Nadu farmers at Jantar Mantar. (HT FILE)

On Wednesday, the farmers had agreed to “wait patiently” for two days, to give the government and ministers some time to get the affairs in order. The decision had come after the farmers met Pon Radhakrishnan, minister of state for road transport and highways, who is the only elected BJP MP from Tamil Nadu.

The minister had allegedly assured the farmers that he would talk to finance minister about their plight and try to come up with a solution by May 15. According to the farmers who met the minister, Radhakrishnan had said that he will try to get all loan collections and payments postponed for a year. He had also assured the farmers that any attempt to seize property, will also be suspended during this time. Ayyakkannu said that the minister had assured them of help in getting new loans, but was non-committal on the other demands, like the interlinking of rivers and setting up of a Cauvery Management Board.

Farmers sit with urine collected in plastic bottles at Jantar Mantar on Friday. (HT Photo)

However, as the protesting farmers at Jantar Mantar are yet to hear from the government, many claim that they are being forced to resort to such measures.

“I know it is humiliating to eat and drink our own waste. But, should the government not be ashamed of forcing us farmers to use such desperate measures? If only Modi would meet with us and hear us out,” said 65-year-old Palanichamy who has been protesting at the site since day one.

The farmers have been demanding intervention by Centre to write off their loans from nationalised banks, a revised drought relief package and resolve the alleged drying up of the Tamil Nadu leg of the Kaveri river. The state government and the Madras High Court have already waived their loans from co-operative banks.

First Published: Apr 21, 2017 17:58 IST