Farmer's suicide at AAP rally: Plight or a Political Gimmick?

Farmer suicide at AAP rally: A farmer's plight or a political gimmick?


Unseasonal rain destroying crops, shattering hard-works and hopes of thousands of farmers is indeed something that would break the strength of toilers. To question whether this was enough of a blow to make a farmer suicide is insensitive diplomacy as some would say but facts have to analyzed keeping aside emotional strides. Why did the CM Kejriwal continue his speech for a whole 20 minutes even when a man had hanged himself to death in front of the rally? What were the police and activists doing when the incident took place right before their eyes? Why did a man from Rajasthan chose a political rally in Delhi of all places to end his life? How many farmers would leave a suicide note before trying to suicide? Isn't it already obvious why farmers suicide in our country? These questions point to an entirely new sphere of this case - a political stunt.

Farmer's plight:

1. Unseasonal rain just when the crops were beginning to get ready to pay the farmers their fruits of effort is a major blow to agriculture dependant families of India. Their entire hopes are set on just one source, their only source of income and livelihood. Gajendra Singh, a farmer in his 40s with a family of 3 children must have had his plans for the after-harvest gains. The feeling of hopelessness and inability to fulfil the responsibly of the bread earner of the family must have taken its toll over the farmer who decided to end his life in a rally intended to be pro-farmers.

2. The Met department's forecast that the southwest monsoon will be 93% of its long period was another blow to the farmers. Whatever hopes they must have preserved from the unusually heavy rain in March got its final blow with the weather forecast predicting the worst. Burdens of debt, with children and family to feed and as he mentioned in his last note that his father must have shown disappointment over the worthlessness of a son could have together triggered immense grief to the farmer.

3. The amendment to land acquisition bill was made a controversy far bigger than what it really intends to be. Opposition took the best advantage that they could and painted a picture of anti-farmers at the face of the government. Congress and AAP both took its share of blaming the government to be traitors trying to snatch the lands from poor farmers for serving the industrialists. Fear, anxiety and misinterpreted dilemma have the farmers thinking that their misery is about to worsen. Gajanand Singh too might have fallen prey to this fear.

Political gimmick:

1. Gajendra Singh is not the usual filthy looking, poverty stricken, hopes replaced by wrinkles kind of farmers. He is known to own 10 acres of land, including a gooseberry orchard and a teak plantation. His household is a single-storey, pucca house, fairly large compared to the shabby thatched roofed houses of underprivileged farmers of India.

2. His life seems to be a well-to-do-farming household which is not to be so affected by weather turning against them as to suicide. His family and friends have confirmed that Gajendra Singh's heart was never in farming. They continue to remember him as politically ambitious person who unsuccessfully tried twice in 2008 and 2013 to fight the assembly elections as a Samajwadi Party candidate. His recent aspiration was to join the Aam Aadmi Party.

3. When he left for Delhi he is known to have told his nephew that he was going to meet CM Kejriwal, nothing to do with a grief-stricken plea to support farmers but for his intentions of joining politics. Whether he did meet AAP leaders or not is not known but he did decide upon the same place where AAP rallied against land bill for a pre planned suicide. Chances are that all he wanted to do was a political stunt to catch attentions of CM Kejriwal and his people. Perhaps his intention was just to seek attention and be rescued from hanging to death in the presence of media. He failed badly in his attempt and before he could be rescued, he died.

4. If we look at the situation from the angle of what would have happened had the man survived, it would be clear that his intention was a political gimmick and nothing more. He would have caught media attention immediately as the farmer who wanted to die due to the grief the government is causing to them, thereby fulfilling the cause for which the rally was organized. AAP activists would have been painted as the ultimate saviours of poor and distressed farmers. Chances are that this man would have gone ahead to become the icon of some farmer's movement against the government's ordinance. A few seconds of error and this man ended up killing himself.

5. Local officials have affirmed that crop loss in the Baswa tehsil, under which falls Gajendra’s village, had been between 20-25% which is far less than the damage in many other parts of Rajasthan. This makes it clear why this man took the efforts of writing a suicide note to make belief that the cause is a farmer's plight.

6. Gajendra Singh was never a farmer by choice or heart. After he failed at the 2 attempts to get into politics, he tried his hand at making a living out of tying colourful Rajasthani turbans on tourists at hotels. His friends recall that he was pretty good and fast at that and was able to make some earning out of it. He also managed to grab a chance at tying the turban on home minister Rajnath Singh. In 2010, he also won the title of Mr. Desert, a Rajasthani cultural pageant. No offense, but this is not the picture of farmers who suicide out of misery of debt and spoilt crops.


Investigations would ultimately prove whether or not his suicide was a political gimmick but facts and figures are all inclined towards it's possibility. Even if he died, which is unfortunate, he did not fail in pulling up a political drama altogether. The blame game has taken the centre stage, forget the farmers, they all got a fair chance at alleging each other. AAP is blaming the police and the government for being worthless at not being able to stop the farmer from killing himself. Government is blaming Kejriwal of being insensitive enough to continue giving speech against land bill after the man committed suicide on the spot. And finally, the showstopper is Congress, drinking into the return of Rahul Gandhi and blaming both AAP and the government of being a failure to the farmers of India.
Post your comment


  • RE: Farmer's suicide at AAP rally: Plight or a Political Gimmick? -Ash (04/28/15)
  • Certainly the intent must not have been only the plight of the farmer beacuse of unseasonal rains. Anyone attempting to try such a feat in public has other intentions in his mind too. However, since we cannot actually predict his intentions, we can guess them by his actions. Trying to attract public attention in the midst of a crowded rally points to a political gimmick on the part of the farmer. There are a lot of farmers who have suffered more than him but have never chosen this way of demonstration. Since they know that if they had to get themselves killed by attempting suicide, doing so in front of a large crowd is not possible since anyone among them can rescue him. If the intent was really suicide, then it would have been in private, away from the large crowd.
    But due to negligence of the assembled people, it cost him his life.
    Be it a plight or a political gimmick, it only points us to summarize that the condition of intellect of the people and their comprehension of situations has lowered a lot leading to incidents like this.
  • RE: Farmer's suicide at AAP rally: Plight or a Political Gimmick? -Tobias (04/27/15)
  • It really is difficult to give one's judgement on such a tragic incident. I feel the farmer was trying to attract public attention towards farmer's problems in a manner some would also call a "political melodrama". I would say that it was a combination of both; nevertheless, as thinking citizens, we cannot afford to neglect farmers' problems which is like a fire raging close to our home.
  • RE: Farmer's suicide at AAP rally: Plight or a Political Gimmick? -Deepa Kaushik (04/27/15)
  • With all the stances and the family history of the farmer, he doesn’t seem to be all that poor enough to get broken down by an unseasonal rain. His plight is not all that clear in his suicidal attempt. He belongs to an average income group with some amount to carry on with his life and protect his family even after the loss from the unseasonal rains in march. His suicide doesn’t seem to have any monetary depression or any other concern.

    All that is known about the farmer was his lack of interest in farming and eagerness to join politics. He has also shown the hint of meeting AAP leader while leaving Rajasthan. With his deep intent in meeting the AAP leaders and especially the CM of Delhi, he must have tried a short-cut to get into attention of AAP leaders, who might have never noticed a common man, a farmer like anyone else, who has joined the rally. This definitely gives an intent of the political gimmick by the farmer.

    His intent could be any, but this was height of carelessness by the crowd nearby; including the cops, the party workers, the party leaders and the CM himself who failed to notice someone dying in front of them. The party might be fighting a noble cause with a good agenda having many a followers; but the same doesn’t relieve them of the basic alertness and vigilance. The most seemingly political gimmick of the farmer proved fatal, costing his life, just due to the negligence of those present in the rally.