Friday, September 17, 2021
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There is no reason for Gajendra to commit suicide

A farmer from Dausa in Rajasthan hanged himself before more than a thousand people at a Kisan rally called by the Aam Aadmi Party to protest against the Land Acquisition Bill, in Jantar Mantar a few kilometers away from Parliament, where layers of police men were deputed and huge media was gathered with well-equipped vans and in front of them, a farmer commits suicide and no one could rescue his life. People near the tree tried to discourage Singh from taking the extreme step but to no avail. It was seem like a drama in a broad daylight. Before hanging himself, Singh threw down a note, written in Hindi, which said that he was 41 years old, from Nangal Jhamarwara village in Dausa, had three children, and had been thrown out of his house by his father because his crops had destroyed. “Give me a solution so I can return home,” said the letter, ending with, “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan.” As soon as he hung himself, they brought his body down and rushed him to a nearby hospital. However, he was declared dead on arrival. After his death, blame game and politics began.

News channels were showing videos of the farmer on the tree from morning to evening. Political parties are blaming each other; there is an outrage on social media. Everyone is busy proving their own stand. Congress is blaming Modi and BJP, BJP blaming AAP and AAP blaming the police department. If anyone is responsible for this situation then it is the Congress which ruled India for more than 50 years and did nothing for farmers. In fact, the current amendments to the Land Acquisition Bill have to go a long way in tackling this problem. Solely depending on agriculture will not meet the requirement of farmers and landless labourers. Alternative job opportunities should be created for improving their earning capacity. That is what; Modi government is trying to create. If you are not satisfied with the bill then ask for amendment. However, blame game will not solve the problems of the farmers.

Gajendra Singh was not even an active farmer but his father was. He was a flopped politician and has been active in politics from last 12 years. He has been an active member of the AAP since 2013. Gajendra had modest two-storey structure with a satellite dish. He had a motorbike and three buffaloes. He owned 17 bighas, or around seven acres of land, full of guava and aamla (gooseberry) trees. His wheat and mustard crops had been damaged by the recent unseasonal rain. The family had suffered losses, but had enough money to survive.

He came to participate in rally with full preparation of gathering limelight for himself. Before doing this, he even called his brother and told him to watch him live on TV. Minute after speaking to his brother, the man seen by many as an attention-seeker, climbed on a tree, tied a noose out of his scarf, slipped it around his neck and died. Some reports say he may have slipped off the branch where he was balanced precariously. The suicide note which found in his pocket was not written by him. He threw it to crowd assuming that people will all rush towards him and media will give all sort of coverage. He hung himself without even knowing that he will die. This person had no reason for committing suicide. He had good sources of income. He was also in politics. It appears that it was all pre-planned stunt, but they never thought that end result could be death of the person. Police is investigating the matter and I am sure that these facts will be their findings as well. Till then everyone should stop politicizing the issue for unfair gains. This is one of the worst cases in Indian politics where one farmer dies because of accident (that’s what police assume) and media and politicians are taking advantage of it. Media is one step ahead of politicians. News channels are focusing on suffering and crying family members of that farmer. One man’s death has become subject of unwanted discussions.

We have been uttering the slogan ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kissan’ since Lal Bahadur Shastriji, gave it to us. However, what we have done for our farmers is sadly insufficient. It is not that we have done nothing for them, but what we have done is like feeding a hungry elephant with a handful of puffed rice. Government should have done much more in the area of irrigation, alternate crops to suit soils and climate changes, storage of products, timely credit, crop insurance, and connecting farmers to the market in a better way. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, total number of suicides committed by farmers for agrarian reasons in last 3 years stands at 3313. Over 3,000+ farmer suicides in the last 3 years, who forced them to death?

Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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