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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 24th August 2018 > A Striking Attack

A Striking Attack


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BONE DRY: INDIA'S KILLER DROUGHT A few months after Radha Krishnan took his life, his wife, Rani, was holding her husband’s skull in her sun-beaten hands — the most powerful evidence she could find of a growing disaster back home. She had joined one thousand farmers in traveling thousands of miles to New Delhi to demand a drought relief package for the farmers of Tamil Nadu, India’s southernmost state. Krishnan’s public suicide was a last, hopeless protest. In February 2017, after his crops had failed for the third year in a row and with no chance of repaying his loans, he sat on the street outside the local bank and drank from a bottle of pesticide. He died a few hours later, leaving his wife and four children. An estimated fifty nine thousand, three hundred, farmers in India have taken their lives in similarly overt ways since 1980, and with temperatures rising, the fear is that suicide rates will climb.