The concise Oxford dictionary defines ‘tractor’ to be a powerful motor vehicle with large rear wheels used chiefly on farms for hauling equipment and trailers. But going by the unusual purposes for which the vehicle is being used by people here, it seems the term may have to be redefined soon to include its use in many other fields, including politics.
While tractors hauling drinking water tankers have become a common sight on the roads of Madurai, what has not received much attention is that they and their roofless trailers are also being used by politicians as a mobile dais, especially at certain locations where the police and the Municipal Corporation officials refuse permission to erect a stage with wooden or metal planks.
On Thursday, leaders of Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation led a demonstration on Scott Road here on Thursday, and what supported them in lieu of a dais was a trailer attached to a tractor.
Around seven persons, including Dravidar Kazhagam president K.Veeramani, were seated comfortably on chairs placed on the trailer while 10 others stood behind them.
Addressing the demonstrators from the trailer, Mr.Veeramani accused the Sri Lankan government of not keeping up its promise of finding a political solution to the ethnic conflict.
Claiming that the island nation’s navy was always waiting for a chance to attack Tamil fishermen, he opposed the choice of Sri Lanka as the venue for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting scheduled from November 15 to 17.
Later, he spoke to the media contingent too from the trailer which was hauled back by the tractor to their home — the farm — after a successful political stint that lasted for over two hours.