Protest for PM Modi’s attention: TN Farmers try skulls, corpses & rats
Farmers from Tamil Nadu stage a protest at Jantar Mantar by holding living mice in their mouths to demonstrate that they will have to feed on them if the government fails to declare drought relief packages and waiver loans for the farmers from the state. A farmer dressed up as a corpse, while the others, dressed in green loin cloth or green petticoats, mourned his “death” and blew conches. “The agricultural sector in India is dying a slow death, while people watch on. This is supposed to symbolise that,” explained P Ayyakannu, the leader of the protesting farmers. “The plights of alive farmers have gone unnoticed so far. Maybe our dead bodies will be harder to ignore,” added Prem Kumar, another farmer. The farmers have been in the national capital for over two weeks, demanding that their loans from nationalised banks be forgiven, fair and just prices be set for their produce and to come up with realistic solutions to the water scarcity in the state. The issue of drying up of the Tamil Nadu leg of the river Kaveri has also been raised, and the farmers have proposed the Smart Waterways Project, conceptualised by AC Kamaraj, as a viable solution. Though the farmers have met seral politicians and members of the Tamil film fraternity, they are yet to receive any palpable relief. MDMK party general secretary Vaiyapuri Gopalsamy, also known as Vaiko, also visited the protest site.