Is Narendra Modi’s fast more important than people’s fast for life and livelihood?

7th day Update from Idinthakarai Indefinite Fast Sep18th 2011

Narendra Modi’s fast is getting major response and the continuing indefinite fast of 100 odd people for 7 days in Idinthakarai in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu for life and livelihood which is supported by a gathering of more than 15000 is being ignored. Today Justice V.R Krishna Iyer the most respected judge in the country has sent a request to the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J.Jayalitha to initiate a genuine dialogue with the fasting people and also requested the fasting people to continue their struggle in a non-violent manner without putting the lives of the fasters in danger. The fast has reached the 8th day and the protest is spreading to many parts in Tamil Nadu and other states as well with solidarity events happening all over. Medha Patker is expected to join the fasting team tomorrow on September 19th. On the 7th day of the fast no effort from the state or central government has happened with the fasters.
With the hunger strike crossing 7 days the situation of many of the 127 people on hunger strike in Indinthakarai has become critical. Twenty four persons who reached too critical were forcefully hospitalised today and given IV fluid in order to save their lives and to prevent the protest from turning violent. Some fainted and were unconscious. Many people who have reached the fast venue have been requesting the fasting to people to withdraw their indefinite fast considering the situation

Today mass prayer is going to be conducted across Tirunelveli and Thothukudi districts. In Kanyakumari today candle procession is to take place in many locations. Villages around Idinthakarai resorted to “Kanji Thotti” protest which involved just making some rice porridge and eating to highlight their plight because of no livelihood for the past 7days. On Sep 19th a solidarity fast will be observed in Kanyakumari. Protest is planned in many places for today and coming days. The villagers have been on night vigil since yesterday fearing the police will try and arrest the fasting people. For the seventh day in succession fishermen, farmers, manual laborers, merchants of the area did not go for their jobs while students continued to boycott schools and all shops remain closed for kilometers around Idinthakarai. The government and some of the media are trying to portray a picture that the fast and protest is carried out only by one community and are trying to create a split and give a communal color to the fast. People of Hindu, Muslims and Christian faiths and all major caste groups are involved in the hunger strike and the relay fasting by tens of thousands of people. No political party or NGO or INGO is involved either directly or indirectly in the protest.

S P Udayakumar

Peoples Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)


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