Even as the nation’s capital is witness to a massive protest by farmers across the country, marching towards Parliament, farmers from Tamil Nadu too have joined the protest. Called the Kisan Mukti March, farmers from across the country are protesting against low prices for their produce as well as the lack of debt relief. Joining them on Thursday was Ayyakannu, a farmer leader from the state. Ayyakannu and his National South Indian River Interlinking Agriculturalists Association had previously grabbed attention of lawmakers when they protested in New Delhi in March last year using innovative methods.
According to one report in The Hindu, the march has been organised under the banner of the All-India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), a platform of 200 farmers’ groups. The New Indian Express reports that 1200 members of Ayyakannu's farmers organisation had arrived in Delhi early on Thursday with the skulls of farmers in the delta region who had committed suicide.
According to the newspaper, they sought to go to Parliament. They threatened to march naked if they were not allowed. In a similar move, over 100 farmers from Tamil Nadu staged a 41-day long protest in New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar last year.
Seeking drought relief from the Centre, the farmers from the delta region protested holding dead snakes in their mouth and displaying the skulls of their departed colleagues.
A group of these farmers began these alarming forms of protest in Trichy, where they held dead rats in their mouths. Provided with a paltry compensation of Rs 3000, these farmers decided to take the matter up with the Centre. They even rolled semi-nude on the scorching streets of Delhi with partly-shaven heads and moustaches to appeal to lawmakers.
With the demands of the farmers were not met, prompting them to yet again descend on the nation’s capital in November this year.