Vidarbha farmers’ group objects to ‘Peepli Live’

Nagpur, Aug 14 (IANS) A farmer’s advocacy group in Vidarbha has objected to the content of the just-released Hindi film ‘Peepli Live’, saying it is a wrong representation of the misery of the family members of farmers who committed suicide.

‘The farmers in any region of India commit suicide due to the wrong policies of the government, not because family members can live off the compensation they would get,’ Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) president Kishor Tiwari told IANS.

‘I have written to Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan stating the same and I want him to either get the matter clarified or ban the screening of the film,’ Tiwari added.

The film shows how the protagonist of the film (Natha) decides to commit suicide as he is about to lose his plot of land because he is unable to pay back the bank loan. The protagonist’s brother encourages Natha to commit suicide so that his family can live off the compensation money.

‘People all over India watch films and hence follow and believe in some storylines. Today when I am fighting to get compensation for 40,000 farmers’ widows, this movie sends out a wrong message. The farmers committed suicide due to several problems such as being unable to pay back the loans, infertile lands and continued sub-division of family owned plots of land, and not because they wanted their wives or family members to get compensation,’ Tiwari said.

Vidarbha has been the epicentre of the Indian ‘agrarian crisis’ that has seen two lakh farmers’ suicides in the last decade.

‘However, I respect the social commitment of Amir Khan and other parts of film that exposed the media houses, politicians, bureaucrats and their apathy towards our problems,’ Tiwari said.

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