Politics of fast unto death
Fasting unto death is not new to this state and country. Mahatma Gandhi made this as an effective tool to express his displeasure and protest. This is one weapon which moved millions and helped this country freed from the hands of British. Potti Sriramulu used the same to achieve statehood to Telugu people. The fact that the state is achieved using fast makes the tool very special and powerful. As the political values denigrated after independence, even fasting lost its value and today the same is being used by politicians to achieve their ends. Fast unto death is still a very popular weapon for politicians’ cutting across lines and it is the most famous weapon in Andhra Pradesh.
The havoc that KCR created with his fast last year and the mockery executed by congress MP L Rajagopal in protest of KCR’s fast was phenomenal. The entire country witnessed the mockery of fast unto death politics. Exactly after a year, TDP President and former Chief Minister Chandra Babu Naidu took to indefinite fast in protest of Government’s Antipathy towards farmers. He wants government to save farmers who have lost their land in recent rains. Former CM YSR’s son YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is taking up the weapon of Fasting tomorrow along with one lac farmers on the banks of Krishna River in Vijayawada. The demand of both the politicians is simple- Save the Farmers. Besides Fasting, Farmers is another topic that has always been clincher as any politician who took up the case of farmers is seen as a messiah of the poor.
The politicians of Andhra Pradesh are no strangers to this formula and every politician wants state to support farmers. The big problem here is that no one says how. We have experienced leaders with us who have been part of administration but no one wants to give solution to the woes of the farmers. Not sure if they don’t have a solution themselves or there is a lack of intention. Whether it is an accident or terror attack or natural calamity every politician asks government to give money to the victims. There is no problem in Government supporting victims but no one says from where the money comes and how long can any government support anyone? The money has to come from Tax Payer’s pocket and the developmental works would become victim in this case. If giving money to money makes difference to the lives of the poor and farmers, these honorable leaders should confess, how many times in the past did we wrote off loans, given subsidies and helped farmers and unfortunately still the farmers are suffering.
It is not the fate of farmers but the intent of politicians that needs change and it is high time they change. We need to understand that anything and everything that a politician does is only for his personal gain and not for the people who vote for him. No politician seems to be interested in permanent solution for the problems of farmers as a prosperous farmer is not good for a politician who doesn’t have true intent of serving people.
In this country the politicians who took up the case of farmers thru protest and fast unto death always got benefited, won elections and became rulers and prospered. The farmers themselves never got benefited and after 64 years of Independence, the condition of farmer is as bad as what it was in 1947. We don’t need crocodile tears but real measures to uplift farmers which can change the fate of this country.