Farmer In India Hangs Self At Political Rally


The New York Times writes that last week, a dead farmer endeared himself to the nation more than all the dead farmers before him. The New York Times states that Gajendra Singh, who was skilled in tying turbans and had a keen interest in politics, was not exactly a poor farmer.

The New York Times:  “He attended a political rally in the capital, climbed a tree, tied a piece of cloth to a branch and a noose around his neck, and shouted slogans about the plight of farmers. What happened after that is disputed. Some say he fell by accident, some say he hanged himself. There was enthusiastic news coverage until the earthquake in Nepal deflected attention. Politicians visited his family. The government announced it would name a farmer welfare program after him. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that the nation was ‘deeply shattered.'”

However, the Indian TV broadcasting company NDTV tells it differently:

“Before killing himself, Gajender Singh from Dausa district threw a suicide note at the crowd, in which he said he had suffered failed crops and was unable to feed his three children anymore.

“AAP had called the rally at the city’s Jantar Mantar, just a km from Parliament, to protest against the Centre’s proposal to make it easier to buy farmland for development projects.

“41-year-old Gajender, who had contested the 2003 Rajasthan election, caught the crowd’s attention by balancing precariously on a tree, shouting and waving a broom. An AAP worker and others climbed after him urging him to come down.

“The tree was just 40 steps from the stage where Mr Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia were seated. In visuals, people were seen focusing mainly on the stage, their cheers and claps drowning out Gajendra’s voice.”

So the version from India doesn’t doubt that it was a suicide and makes it clear that he had a suicide note.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had staged the rally in Delhi to protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s controversial land acquisition bill.

Opponents of the bill say it will hurt the interests of farmers, states the BBC.

A slightly different view: The Times of India states Delhi Police have blamed the “mob” at AAP ‘s rally for inciting the farmer to commit suicide.

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