Farmers were once a national pride but the current scenario is that they are under the national crisis. The trend of farmer’s deaths (can be better termed as ‘suicide due to shock’) has only seen an upward slope and the graphs have continued to be an upward open parabola with each passing year. The suicide of farmers has become such a deep issue as far as Tamil Nadu is concerned that the judiciary has stepped in and has directed Tamil Nadu government to file an affidavit regarding the steps taken by it to prevent suicides of farmers in the state. The NHRC has too swung into action; it has sent a notice to the Tamil Nadu government regarding continuing farmer death in the state. It has rightly pointed out in its notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu on 5th January 2017 that the entire family collapses when a farmer dies or commits suicide. At this need of the hour to alleviate the sufferings of the distress, loan, failure burdened farmers, it is imperative that the country stands up for them, for they are not fighting not only for their own subsistence but that of all the citizens of the country. Various political parties have put forth their demands to the ruling government in order to palliate the agrarian distress in this state. Some of the demands that have been put forth by all concerned alike are; 1) Provide necessary water to save the standing crop, 2) Crop loans should be waived, 3) The Central Government should declare Tamil Nadu as a ‘drought-hit’ state and provide relief, 4) Compensation should be provided to the farmers etc. Recognizing the popular demands, the Tamil Nadu government has set up a high-level panel to assess the farmer distress and has said that the financial aid would be provided based on the reports from the panel. This is a welcome step, but is this step adequate as far as the timings are concerned? With the majority of the demands already put forth by the political parties, our demands can only be expected to be an add-on to the already piled up demands and requests pending to be implemented by the government.
Credits: R Vinudeep, TNNLS.