Field notes

India's agrarian crisis: Farmers march with skulls, photos of suicide victims

At least 50,000 people from across India, including widows seeking compensation and farmers angry over low prices, unite and march in show of strength over India's agriculture crisis.

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On Nov 29 and 30, more than 50,000 farmers from across India marched to the Parliament in New Delhi to draw attention to the country's flaring agrarian crisis.
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When Mr Varukuppala Idayya killed himself in his cotton field, which had yielded little else but despair, the 40-year-old looked set to become just another figure in India's mounting statistics of debt-laden farmers driven to suicide each year.

But nearly three years later, his presence was prominent at a large rally, with his distinctive framed photo held aloft along New Delhi's broad avenues by his widow, Ms V. Idamma.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 15, 2018, with the headline India's agrarian crisis: Farmers march with skulls, photos of suicide victims. Subscribe