The Tamil Nadu farmers who have been protesting outside the Parliament for loan waivers have gone a step ahead in drawing the attention of the authorities toward their plight. They have reportedly eaten their own excreta this time.
Ten of the protesters, including their leader P Ayyakannu, took the drastic step on Sunday. One of the members was reported as saying, "I feel like throwing up when I even think about it."
Meanwhile, Ayyakannu, president of the national south Indian rivers linking farmers’ association, said, "We collected the excreta in the morning (in plastic bags) and then ate it... By not giving us revised drought packages, compensation for crops ruined by the bad weather conditions and refusing loan waivers, the central government has forced us into a position of having to eat our own waste."
The farmers further threatened that they would next eat human flesh to protest. Speaking to the Hindustan Times, Ayyakannu further said, “We had been here for 41 days earlier, and now by Tuesday it will be the 59th day since we came back. So altogether, Tuesday will mark the hundredth day of our protest, and we plan to march in the nude to the PM’s office then."
The farmers had initially grabbed headlines as they were seen protesting by biting mice and snake bits, holding mock funerals and threatening to drink their own urine. They had also protested with the skulls and the remains of the farmers who had committed suicide. Incidentally, the farmers are demanding loan waivers, revised packages for drought, a Cauvery Management Committee and fair prices for their products among others.
The farmers had reportedly resumed their protest after the Supreme Court stayed the Madras High Court order directing the state government to waive all agricultural loans, irrespective of the land owning of the farmers. The state government had moved the apex court, asking it to restrict the loan waivers to small and marginal farmers who owned less than five acres of land.
The Tamil Nadu Government had declared a drought in the state after the India Meteorological Department stated that the northeast monsoon in 2016 was the worst in 140 years.