Do we really need Hartals?

Do we really need to "celebrate" hartals every now and then? It would be ideal to say Kerala celebrates four 'major' festivals each year: Vishu, Onam, Christmas and Hartal. The 'hartal' festival recurs more than once each year, and happens at short notice. I lost count of how many times has a Hartal occured in 2010 alone. In addition to the state wide hartals, we also have local hartals - district wise, taluk wise, village wise, etc.

Desolate streets on a Hartal day...
Why did we celebrate a Hartal today? It was announced that it would be an All India Strike to protest some "policies" of the Central Government, and was spearheaded by a trade union supported by the central government - Why should the government protest against itself? The strike was supported by trade unions irrespective of their political affiliations, from left to centre to right, red to orange to green.

Like very 'All India' strike, Kerala celebrated this one too as a dawn-to-dusk hartal. The All India strike rarely affects any part of the country, other than party workers taking out rallies. But Kerala (and its communist cousin, West Bengal) celebrates such strikes with great vigour. Kerala came to a literal standstill today, except two districts (Malappuram and Kottayam) - buses (both government and private) kept off the road, so did taxis and autos. Most televisions carried videos of tourists being stranded at places for want of transportation.

Kerala is trying its level best to promote itself as a tourist destination - it certainly is. However, the government directly supporting such anti-people protests is certainly not sending out a positive message to wannabe tourists. Hartals usually end up forcing people to spend the entire day at the bus station, railway station or the airport or walk their way to their destination. Kerala Police, as always, did their part to transport passengers to important places from the railway station. Their efforts need a praise.

Oh! But why were two districts exempted? Malappuram was exempted because the district is still trying to recover from the Hooch tragedy yesterday, while Kottayam was exempted due to a Church festival. So, don't the people in those districts deserve to protest, or is it that the issue is not valid there? Why is it that only Kerala needs to protest every time? When do we have an end to this political game, called Hartal?

Luckily for political parties, Elections happen very often, and Hartals are a very effective means to attract voters' attention. No wonder we get to celebrate Hartals often. Like the forward messages every Malayalee receives before a hartal, "lets enjoy Hartal! Happy Hartal!".


Ofcourse.... Its now, our right!!!

Whats Say???
Also Check this Harthal Poem....


Pradeep Nair said…
And, finally hartals don't really achieve anything... If at all anything, it's just disruption. Nothing in the positive sense.