While the whole world came forward to celebrate the International Yoga Day on June 21, the farmers across north India staged protests by performing ‘shavasana’ on highways.

Barabanki farmer protest (courtesy: ANI)Barabanki farmer protest (courtesy: ANI)


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    Madhya Pradesh farmers protested by performing ‘shavasana’ to highlight their plight.
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    Bharatiya Kisan Union held a ‘yoga on highways’ session as a form of protest.
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    Recently, Punjab became the third state to announce a loan waiver.

While PM Narendra Modi led the country in celebrating the International Yoga Day, farmers in a few states protested by performing shavasana (corpse pose) to highlight the agrarian crisis.

In Madhya Pradesh, farmers under the banner of Bharatiya Kisan Mazdoor Sangh headed by Shivkumar Sharma demonstrated their protest by performing the ‘shavasana’, since their demands for loan waiver and better prices for the agriculture produce are still not met. They demanded action against the administrative and police officials responsible for the firing in Mandsaur which killed five farmers and left scores injured.

Recently, on June 15, a large gathering of farmers from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh converged at Jantar Mantar in the national capital to stage protest against their poor condition.

The Kisan Mahapanchayat, organised by the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), also protested today, organising a ‘Yoga on Highways’ session to protest alleged anti-farmer policies of the Modi government.

In Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh, hundreds of farmers belonging to BKU laid on the highway performing ‘shavasan’, bringing the traffic on NH-28 to a standstill. However, they allowed ambulances and students to pass through.

Harinam Singh Verma, a BKU leader said, “The loan waiver of Yogi was a mere eyewash and not a single farmer has benefited out of it. Imagine, we have to sell our milk at 25 Rs/litre, whereas bottled waters are sold at rs 50 to 60 of some brands.”

Mukesh Singh, another leader demanded higher support price for the produce. He lamented that, “The central government has failed to live up to its promises and the farmers are left to fend for themselves. We are agitated by what happened in Mandsaur.” The farmers however cleared the highway for traffic after the token protest. Earlier, they had plans to stage the protest till 12.00 noon.

According to the BKU President Naresh Tikait, while Prime Minister Modi performs Yoga at Lucknow Stadium; farmers all over the country will block highways between 9 am to 12 noon as a mark of protest.

Yoga Day
Farmers perform yoga on the Delhi-Dehradun highway in Meerut’s Daurala town in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday.(Chahatram/HT)

A farm crisis sweeping several states left its mark on the International Yoga Day celebrations on Wednesday as several politicians used the occasion to send a message about the agricultural distress.

Farmers and Madhya Pradesh Congress leaders performed ‘Shavasana’ (a corpse pose) in different programmes to protest against chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, whom they hold responsible for the death of five farmers in police firing in Mandsaur two weeks ago.

Madhya Pradesh state congress president Arun Yadav along with party workers perform the shavasana to protest against chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Bhopal on Wednesday. (Mujeeb Faruqui/HT)

In Bhopal, a group of farmers under the banner of Bharatiya Kisan Mazdoor Sangh headed by Shivkumar Sharma ‘Kakkaji’ performed Shavasana.

In Uttar Pradesh where chief minister Yogi Adityanath approved a loan waiver two months ago, hundreds of farmers blocked roads and highways to perform shavasana.

The members of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) and their supporters demanded immediate compensation for the families of farmers killed in Madhya Pradesh.

“ We selected shavasana because we wanted to show the government that farmers are reduced merely into a dead body if they are not treated well. Farmer don’t deserve bullets if they demand good rates or loan waiver ,” said Bhartiya Kisan Union’s Alok Varma.

A group of farmers with BKU blocked the traffic on the Delhi- Dehradun highway in Daurala area on Wednesday by. Dharmendra Malik, the Union’s spokesperson said that the farmers also performed Yoga on Delhi- Saharanpur- Hardwar highway at Chutmalpur in district Saharanpur, Mansoorpur, Rampur Tiraha, Lalukheri and Budhana in district Muzaffarnagar, Hapur chungi in Hapur and many other locations on different highways.

There was another group that blocked the Delhi- Pauri highway in Mawana town. Nawab Singh Ahlawat and Sanjay Dauralia were among the BKU leaders that led the protests in Daurala.

The Opposition has slammed the Centre for not managing the farmer crisis efficiently. Congress and other opposition parties criticised the BJP for making false promises of loan waivers. On June 19, Punjab became the third state this year after UP and Maharashtra to announce a waiver on crop loans.http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/international-yoga-day-farmers-shavasana-in-protest/1/983709.html