On International Yoga Day on June 21, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi will perform yoga with scores of people in Lucknow, thousands of farmers across the nation will spread on the floor to perform shavasana. Known as the ‘corpse pose’, the farmers are using this non-violent way to suggest they are on the death bed because of the continuing agrarian crisis.
The farmers will also be putting up effigies to highlight the increasing number of farmer deaths in the country. The union leaders are also expected to visit Mahatma Gandhi memorial at Rajghat on that day. This will be preceded by blocking of national highway for three hours by 62 farmer unions on June 16.
“Our non-violent movement will continue. But, yes we want to tell people across the length and breadth of this country the pitiable condition of farmers. To this end, we plan to perform shavasana on the International Day of Yoga,” Shiv Kumar, chief of Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan was quoted as saying by Business standard.
He also said that the unions are planning to come up with posters of former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri with his rallying cry of ‘jai jawan, jai kisan’ (hail the soldier, hail the farmer) and posters of Atal Bihari Vajpayee with his cry of ‘jai vigyan’ (hail science). In contrast, PM Modi’s poster will be accompanied by the slogan: ‘mar gaya kisan Modiji’ (farmers are dying Modiji).
The Opposition has slammed the Centre for not handling the agrarian crisis effectively. Congress lashed out at BJP for making promises of loan waivers but failing to deliver on them. In New Delhi, Janata Dal (United) leader KC Tyagi said a united opposition will demand a special session of Parliament to discuss agrarian distress. Congress also termed the fast undertaken by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan as “farcical”.
Farmers in Madhya Pradesh have been protesting since June 1 demanding loan waivers and fixed remunerative prices for their produce. The protest took a violent turn after six farmers were killed in police firing. Since then, farmers in various parts of the country have hit the streets in solidarity. A state unit of Congress will hold protests in Rajasthan on Wednesday. Bhartiya Kisan Sang has also announced that it hold protests across Rajasthan on June 15.