80 Shut Downs in 18 Months

Cross posted at mutiny.

80 shutdowns in 18 months, on an average 4 every month. This figure is haunting as this is after the courts have banned bandh and ‘forceful hartals’. While the political parties have given assurances that the hartals will be peaceful and there wouldn’t be any ‘forceful’ closure of shops or disruptions in traffic, it’s seldom followed.

Kerala witnessed yet another hartal yesterday with all major institutions, offices closed down. There were stray incidents caught on camera where the activists forced shopkeepers to close down and abused people who took their vehicles on the road. In one incident a cab with foreign tourists were stopped and the driver was manhandled. The terror in the tourists’ eyes was clearly visible. No wonder these warnings are part of standard country specific documents in foreign government sites.As the two parties try their hand at blaming each other, the people are left tormented. While students enjoy their holiday, there are thousands of travelers left with no other choice but to ruin their day at bus stations.I see no end to this unless the politicians themselves come with a new form of protest and give people the ‘choice’ to take part if they want to.


  1. Sad to see what is happening in Kerala. Really, it is such a developed state in so many ways, I don’t know why this kind of thing should happen.

  2. @Nita,
    developed yes. literacy high. educated folk high.
    But the political parties fail to make kerala proud.

  3. That is really bad… I heard that IT companies are exempted whenever there is a bandh. is it true?

    Bangalore also had 4 shutdowns in 1 and a half years (relatively better) when i lived there.

  4. @balaji
    welcome to ma blog.

    well they can’t ‘exempt’ or ‘force’ people during bandh.
    A bandh should be considered successful, when the ppl voluntarily take part in it and protest.

    But yeah IT companies are not ‘exempted’ but they are required to reach office at any cost.
    At technopark you could see convoys of vehicles with police protection on a hartal day.

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  7. humiliated-malayalee · · Reply

    All this is happening because and average Keralite is just waiting for a reason to shut shops and offices and stay at home. When in Kerala we are the laziest lot and once you are in another country or state we become the best performers.
    No matter which political pary or trade unions call a strike, hartal or bandh we Keralaites extend our full support. I don’t know why we fail to realize how people are affected by this. I saw an old women at the railway station crying not knowing how to reach her dead son in another city with all the jobless, selfish people sitting on the railway tracks blocking the trains.
    Why are we so ignorant when we have the most literate people among us???

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