The most striking photograph of the farmers’ agitation against the Yamuna Expressway last month was that of a 45-year-old woman, Rajkumari Devi (Indian Express, August 29, 2010). Captioned "Protesting Farmer, Zikarpur Village, Aligarh", the story that accompanied the photograph described how Rajkumari, holding a lathi in her hands, sat in protest for days on end with other men and women, demanding more compensation for their lands that had been acquired for the Yamuna Expressway. Her life was her land. "My day would start at four in the morning, feeding the cattle and then tilling the land. I would take a brief lunch break and get back to the field. It was during the evening that I finished my household chores and spent some time with my family and neighbours." She told the reporter that she knew no other life than working in her fields, something she had done even as a child as her father was a farmer. "A farmer has no holidays. One is supposed to work everyday and all the time", she said. I was struck by Rajkumari’s photograph and testimony for more than one reason. Her story is that of every farmer, man or woman, but her… Read full this story
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