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IIT students on hunger stir to express solidarity

Students of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras went on a hunger strike on April 15, to show their solidarity towards the Tamil Nadu farmer protesting in New Delhi as well as calling for a closure of TASMAC outlets across the state.

IIT students on hunger stir to express solidarity
Indian Institute of Technology - Madras students observe a hunger strike on the campus


Around 30-40 students have undertaken a two-day hunger strike to support the farmers, who are protesting in New Delhi. 

“As the student community, we wanted to show our solidarity with the farmers. People across Tamil Nadu have also been coming together to shut down the Tasmac outlets. We wanted to respond to what is happening in the society, which we are a part of,” said K Swaminathan, a research scholar. The hunger strike will go on till April 16 (Sunday). Swaminathan added, “The student community wanted to make their voices count. Our management too has granted permission to voice our dissent.” 

Arjun, a 26-year-old doctorate student, said that his participation in the protest was prompted by the injustice meted out to the farmers. “Our farmers have resorted to protesting by various ways and means. The government, with their lackadaisical attitude, has pushed them to do nude protests. We, as students, couldn’t just keep to our rooms and turn a blind eye. In fact, many of the students from IIT Madras come from agrarian background and speak of the problems facing the community. I think more students are trying to understand the problems in the state, including that of drought, water scarcity and heat waves,” said the youngster.

He also added that the academic community could troubleshoot some of these problems. “We would like to contribute beyond the protest. There are many ways in which academia can help – for example, conducting research on reusing water, which will help the farming community,” concluded Arjun.

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