Farmers protesting at Jantar Mantar with skullsFarmers protesting at Jantar Mantar with skulls
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In a dramatic display of discontent, Tamil Nadu farmers converged in New Delhi, staging a protest at Jantar Mantar on Tuesday. Their grievance: the government’s purported failure to fulfill promises of increasing crop prices, despite repeated assurances. The protest, marked by poignant symbolism with skulls and bones representing farmers’ suicides, drew attention to the plight of agricultural communities grappling with economic hardships.

Approximately 200 farmers from Tamil Nadu rallied in the heart of the capital, highlighting concerns over crop prices and the long-standing issue of interlinking rivers. Their message was clear: the central government’s pledge to double agricultural income remains unfulfilled, as the prices of crops continue to stagnate.

Ayyakannu, the president of the National South Indian River Interlinking Farmers Association, emphasized the disparity between promises made and actions taken. “During the 2019 elections, the PM had announced that he would double the profits of crops and interlink the rivers,” lamented Ayyakannu, underscoring the disappointment felt by farmers nationwide.

Voicing their frustration, the protesters issued a stern warning to the government, declaring their intent to contest Lok Sabha elections in Varanasi, should their demands go unheard. “If the government does not listen to us, we will go to Varanasi and contest elections against PM Modi,” asserted the farmers, expressing their resolve to seek redress through political means.

Dismissing any affiliations with political parties, the farmers reiterated their plea for assistance, emphasizing their right to peaceful protest. “We are not against the PM or have any connection with any political party. We just want his help,” clarified Ayyakannu, emphasizing the non-partisan nature of their struggle.

Amidst allegations of prior suppression of dissent, the farmers underscored their constitutional right to protest, citing previous hurdles faced. “We are living in a democratic country and we have the right to protest, but the police stopped us,” remarked a farmer leader, highlighting the challenges encountered in exercising their fundamental rights.

This demonstration follows a series of similar protests by farmers from Tamil Nadu at Jantar Mantar, indicative of the persistent grievances prevailing within agricultural communities. As the clamor for economic justice grows louder, the farmers’ symbolic protest serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for policy reforms to alleviate the plight of those toiling in India’s fields.

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