Take the pledge to vote

For a better tommorow#AajSawaroApnaKal
  • I agree to receive emails from News18

  • I promise to vote in this year's elections no matter what the odds are.
  • Please check above checkbox.

    SUBMIT

Thank you for
taking the pledge

Vote responsibly as each vote counts
and makes a diffrence

Disclaimer:

Issued in public interest by HDFC Life. HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited (Formerly HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited) (“HDFC Life”). CIN: L65110MH2000PLC128245, IRDAI Reg. No. 101 . The name/letters "HDFC" in the name/logo of the company belongs to Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited ("HDFC Limited") and is used by HDFC Life under an agreement entered into with HDFC Limited. ARN EU/04/19/13618
LIVE TV DownloadNews18 App
News18 English
News18 » India
3-min read

Kerala Suffers 1 Hartal Every 4 Days, Each One Burns Rs 200-Crore Hole in State's Economy

According to data compiled by the ‘Say NO to Harthal’ movement, 33 strikes were called by the BJP, 27 by the Congress-led United Democratic Front and 16 by the Left Democratic Front. In 2017 too, Kerala had witnessed at least 98 strikes.

News18.com

Updated:January 7, 2019, 4:24 PM IST
facebookTwitter Pocket whatsapp
Kerala Suffers 1 Hartal Every 4 Days, Each One Burns Rs 200-Crore Hole in State's Economy
BJP workers burn an effigy of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan during a protest over the Sabarimala issue, in Kanyakumari, Thursday, Jan 03, 2019. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: One protester died and several others were injured in last week’s dawn-to-dusk shutdown in Kerala, called by Right-wing outfits against the entry of two women into the Sabarimala Temple.

Two women, Bindu (42) and Kanakadurga (44), created history on Wednesday after becoming the first female pilgrims of menstruating age to have entered the shrine and perform darshan since the Supreme Court lifted the ban on women's entry to the temple last year.

After this, hundreds of protestors were arrested for inciting violence and causing damage to public property during the shutdown which also saw support of the Congress and the BJP. Protests intensified on Saturday after police claimed that another woman named Sasikala (46) had entered the sanctum of the temple on Friday.

Hartals and lockouts have continued to be a major problem in Kerala over the last few years. Industry bodies such as the Cochin Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCCI) have expressed grave concern over its increasing frequency, along with the rise in the number of 'excuses' used to observe a hartal.

In numbers, Kerala observed at least 363 hartals between 2005 and 2012. The state witnessed as many as 97 strikes and hartals in 2018 up till December 17. The reasons vary from social and political to economic factors, such as rise in fuel prices and the Sabarimala row.

According to data compiled by the ‘Say NO to Harthal’ movement, 33 strikes were called by the BJP, 27 by the Congress-led United Democratic Front and 16 by the Left Democratic Front. In 2017 too, Kerala had witnessed at least 98 strikes.

"Every hartal is called without any sincerity to the issue. The number of hartals that were held in 2018, we know that no party has consistently campaigned against those issues other than just holding a hartal. They call these hartals as a token protest, because it is the ‘in’ thing to do. You just send out a press release and Kerala comes to a standstill," said Raju P Nair, general convener of Say NO to Harthal' movement and district office-bearer of Kerala Congress.

Each hartal burns a Rs 200 crore hole in the state’s economy, as per CCCI estimates. Frequent hartals have hit Kerala’s Rs 29,000-crore tourism industry badly and the “negative impression created by these unwarranted strikes, wherein vehicles are blocked and tourists threatened, has resulted in numerous cancellations.”

Educational institutions are also one of the victims of regular hartals. On Saturday, Kerala Federation of CBSE and ICSE schools called for schools and colleges to be included in the list of essential services so that they can escape the consequences of frequent strikes.

According to the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Kerala lost around 2.1 lakh, 2.11 lakh, 2.94 lakh, and 1.53 lakh of man-days (a unit of one day's work by one person) due to lock-outs in the state’s industrial sector in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 (till October), respectively. The loss was 1.71 lakh, 4.04 lakh, 1.65 lakh and 1.37 lakh days during the same period on account of general strikes.

On the recent rounds of protests by political parties over the Sabarimala issue, Nair claims that internally these parties support entry of women in the temple but are trying to take political mileage from the issue.

"Even the RSS were in support of women's entry. Before the Supreme Court verdict, ‘Bhaiyyaji’ Joshi was one of the first to say that women should be allowed in Sabarimala. The sole MLA from the BJP in Kerala, O Rajagopal, had written an article saying women should be allowed in Sabarimala. Even after the Supreme Court verdict, the BJP didn't do anything for almost one week. It was only after some Hindu outfits protested against the verdict, that the BJP and even the Congress started protesting. They are just trying to cash in on the situation," Nair said.

Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox - subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what's happening in the world around you – in real time.

| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
Read full article
Next Story
Next Story

facebookTwitter Pocket whatsapp

Live TV

Countdown To Elections Results
To Assembly Elections 2018 Results