Over 25,000 farmers in India are seeking “permission” from their President to commit mass suicide on Independence Day
The “Gokul Barrage” is a bridge constructed between 1990 and 2001. The construction of this bridge displaced many farmers and destroyed their livelihoods. In November 2014, more than 50 people were arrested while staging a demonstration over the Gokul Barrage issue. Police used the excuse that the demonstrators were allegedly “defying police by holding a meeting to mobilize the farmers”.
In India, it’s quite common for farmers to commit suicide.
Over 40 farmers committed suicide at the beginning of the year in Mathura, because unseasonal rains destroyed their crops. Thousands of others have taken their lives in recent decades, due to drought and an oppressive segregated society.
Over 25,000 farmers in India are now seeking “permission” from their President to kill themselves on Independence Day, report local media. The fire was sparked by the Indian Government’s failure to pay farmers for the land they lost to the construction of the Gokul Barrage. “Other media reports say the farmers are seeking compensation because the land became submerged when water levels in the barrage rose.” They lost everything and they want the Government to give them help.
If the Indian Government does nothing to help these impoverished men & women, they will have nothing to live for. Farmer Roop Singh was quoted by NDTV as saying: “We have lost all and want to end our lives. We want the president’s permission. Another farmer, Kisan Sangh, said their government is ignoring the farmers’ interests:
“We demand compensation for the land acquired from us years ago for construction of Gokul Barrage. We are left with no land to grow food for children and are forced to do petty jobs,” The Times of India reported.
A metaphorical war has been waged over this issue for over 17 years between the farmers and the Indian Government. For the last 2 weeks, these farmers have been on a relay fast to further highlight their demands. Their Government has responded to the farmer’s demands; sort of.
According to the International Business Times, following the threat, Mathura district magistrate Rajesh Kumar reportedly said the “state government is ready to pay four times extra compensation to the farmers. We have already submitted our files. The funds will be released soon.” A report from NDTV said that a decision from the Allahabad High Court is expected in a few days, and that about 30 farmers have been identified as deserving compensation. 30 out of over 25,000 is not much.
These angry farmers have written a letter to President Pranab Mukherjee claiming that they would either hang themselves or commit self-immolation on August 15, if the government failed to act. It is August 16 and there is no news whether they actually followed through on their threats as of the time of this writing.
Russian Times, 2015, http://www.rt.com/news/312485-india-farmers-suicide-president/