Friday, September 15, 2006

How Hartals and Bandhs Hijacked our State

Recently, the Kerala chapter of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said “a single day's shutdown costs the state a staggering 7 billion (or 700 crore) rupees”.

Put that estimate and Kerala’s population together and that translates to a cost of 233 rupees per Keralite for a single day’s shutdown. No, don’t look in your wallet; your pocket change is probably still there. The money in your bank vault is probably still there as well. And your house isn’t going anywhere. So, what’s the problem, you ask? Well, let’s suppose that you’re not a government employee and that’s fair to assume since only 3% of our labour force is employed in the government. Are you self-employed? Well, you’ve just lost your daily wages. Are you employed by a private firm? Well, you can be sure that in the long run, your job is in jeopardy as the firm loses money.

Wait, so what, you say? The average Keralite earns less than 150 rupees per day, you say? Ahh, but you ignore the potential that is Kerala. For every rupee that the average Keralite earns, he or she loses out at least another rupee in potential wage increases. Why? Because of the complete absence of any substantial manufacturing industry in our state. Because of the complete lack of any sizable investments in our infrastructure. Because of the 20% of our educated youth who walk around unemployed. Because of these simple frustrations that crop in our lives. All because bandhs and hartals have scared any sensible entrepreneur or investor from Kerala.

Bandhs and hartals have become everyday occurrences in Kerala in stark contrast to the rest of the country. In other parts of India, a call to strike rarely affects all sectors of the economy in the fashion that is afflicted on our state. When a party or trade union calls for a dharna or bandh in Kerala, life comes to a standstill and the average person stays at home. When the same happens in Delhi, Calcutta or Madras, people go to work, stores stay open and general life goes on. Why has our work culture reached this stage?

Most people can point quite readily to the source. Public employees are not required to keep attendance and the costs of cutting work are far lower for them as they are salaried employees. The opportunity cost is even lower for politicians. In fact, they actually gain voting lobbies in the form of government workers and trade union members through such stunts. In contrast, employees in private firms have much to lose by resorting to coercive forms of protest. That is why you see one or two private bus strikes every year. And even those do not lead to full-scale shutdowns. The power to paralyze life has come to define the life of the public sector.

But what a narrow section of society it is. According to the Directorate of Economics and Statistics, government employees constitute 3% of the total working population. Political party workers constitute at most another 0.5%. How can such a narrow section intimidate the rest of society?

Well, they would not be anywhere without outright support by their unions. Most government employees are unionized and all political parties are by default, organized. The same cannot be said for Kerala’s self-employed businesses, which are affected most by these hartals. At last count, this sector constitutes 31% of Kerala’s labour force, a formidable voting bank that can turn the current state of stagnation on its head. Intimidation and apathy, however, have struck this section into inaction. No one wants to say no to bandhs or hartals as long as they are the lone voices in the wilderness.

The writing on the wall is clear. The need of the hour is a new social contract and a grassroots operation to back it.


Babin said...

I guess the worst thing is that hartals are so rooted in our socio-economic-political culture, even the 'Vyapaari Vyavasaayi Ekopana Samithi' won't hesitate to sponsor their own hartals when they have something to negotiate with the government.
The people who calls for hartals calculates the benefit for holding the whole state hostage for achieving their own selfish interests, far outweigh the potential fall outs from the negative public sentiment agiant hartal. Unfortunately their calculation is right, otherwise no one will be calling hartals. We gotta change this dynamics.

Yes, kerala need a new social contract, one that give higher bargaining power to the people, not the ones with muscles to call a bandh. for that, we need some sort of a political contract between the major political fronts agreeing they won't use hartals as a tool to promote their political agenda. Even though, it is tough to imagine our political parties will agree on something like that at this point, if we can pressure them to have constant dialog on this subject some day they will decide to do away with this barbaric practise once and for all!

Welcome to the blog Abishek. Great post!

starscream said...

Hartals have become such an integral part of our psyche that most people consider it as a holiday !!!

Voices that should be protesting the loss of a working day are contendly sitting at home watching TV...

If this state continues we'll soon have programs and special announcements that go like "Innathe Hartal Special Paripadikal... Superhit Movie : Hartal " ;))

Mind Curry said...

apathy is written on every keralites face. but then you wonder why we over-react to most other situations, but remain apathetic only when its about things like development or justice.

we have a society that is ready to watch and enjoy eve-teasing or goondaism on the streets, but then are almost ready to give up an entire life following up gossip or scandals.

unless there is some political gain or backing, nothing ever works in kerala anymore. despite courts banning hartal, we still have it. the leaders we vote and elect cannot do without it. the aspiring youth leaders also wont accept a ban on it as its their stepping stone to the political chair.

the key to progress is employment for the youth in kerala. for employment we need jobs and industries. and if we had those then there will be less "energetic" youth to go after hartals and strikes. we need more privatisation, we need employees who are answerable and responsible for the jobs they do (unlike the secretariat or ksrtc employees who know their unions will back them for any crime they do). but then these are the exact reasons why political parties wont have privatisation or put an end to hartals.

shame on us..

splendid article abhishek. been waiting for this. but then missed it until now as i was travelling. hope to hear more from you soon.

abhishek said...

thanks babin and mc...i agree that that the political parties need to be included, but they won't do that of their own accord. They have to see the benefit in it. To do that, we have to garner the support first, of the most vulnerable section of society, students. Of course, there are hurdles there as well, what with student unions' penchant for violence. Don't need to name names because we know who they are. But, high school students are much easier to recruit for this cause. Once you have their support, you build on that base...because their parents come next. Anyways, I'm still consolidating my thoughts here and for sure, I'll elaborate more in my next post.

Emmanuel said...

i think we want ourselves to be intimidated by the narrow section as you have put it rigtly......
i remember once when i was in college, we were going to the city and found that the roads were getting emptied even at 6pm. the reason: next day is a hartal which is on a friday,which means a 1.5 times weekend. so people are getting ready for the same...

we r ready to be at home when even a "not heard of" party calls for a bandh or a hartal. we just want to see on the front page of the paper that it is a hartal, bandh or a motor strike....

thus we have reached a point in time where politicians use and dictate people instead of serving we enjoy hartals and strikes, they don't have any hesitation .

we will have "hartal dinaashamsakal" by the leading channels in the near future......we should think about greeting cards also...;)

quills said...

I think it is only in Kerala, that we face situations that paralyze and bankrupt the state, its people and industries so completely, but still continue to happen at regular intervals. One of the root causes of this persistent problem, is as you have rightly pointed out the educated voters' apathy. Although we all know these facts and figures, we still continue to view it as part of our daily lives, something that we have to deal and work around if we happen to be living in the state. And the few that are courageous enough to speak out and do something about it, get probably ridiculed and admonished for trying to change something so prevalent and rooted.

So for every silly reason, there will be two people calling a hartal and the whole state comes to a standstill. And if it is the ruling party sponsored one, then all the more reason to fear, for definitely there will be a situation of utter chaos and violence brought about mostly by insufficient deployment of security personnel/cops, in case anyone dares to defy orders.

Education is a way, but maybe like you said, educating the young, while there is still time to instill some sense and responsibility is the way to go. For I see, other than sighs and groans that the middle-upper class educated voters usually elicit, there seems to be no proactive action taken to stop this mockery once and for all.

Great post! And it is nice to see the effort you have taken to research the topic. Look foward to more of your writing.

Blogger Almighty said...

The root cause of Hartal and Bundh's success is Communism. The only other place this ugliness is prevalent is Bengal. There, it's mostly mamta who does it more than the commies.

A good deal of educated keralites are communists. They very sincerely support this "right to protest".

even my 3 year old niece knows most of us are not protesting. We are just scared of some idiot throwing stone on the car, or setting the bus on fire.

And,the history of communism won't allow anyone to defy such violence outrightly.

What is most disheartening is that a good deal of communists are good - and yet they sincerely believe in this stupidity and support it with full vigor.

And, the congress - is worst than communists. What do they care - all they care about is "how to make money" . We need a new political party.


Anonymous said...

“Recently, the Kerala chapter of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said “a single day's shutdown costs the state a staggering 7 billion (or 700 crore) rupees”.

If we assume there is 200 normal working days in an year ( assume 4 days in a week, actual number of working days is much more). Kerala’s gain or output annually will be 200*700 = 140000 crores; that means Rs- 46,000 per man per year. Our official per capita income is just below Rs – 20000 - it is just SDP/ population.

Doesn’t looks ODD?

I request mind curry to get the details of the calculations of 700 crores.

Bandh and hartal is causing a lot of problems to common people especially when essential services like hospital and transportation is hit.
Let us address the problem from the perspective of common man not from the perspective of Business man, who, as usual make claims and illogical figures.

abhishek said...

Thanks for bringing up that point, because it allows me to clarify certain issues.

The damage caused to the state can exceed the state gross domestic product if there is damage to property and investment. A shutdown causes irreversible damage to perishable goods and 30% of Kerala's working population deals with perishable goods. They are called farmers and they produce food. Moreover, one day's strike can lead to a whole month's loss of output if that results in customers moving to other markets to seek more secure sources. Why else are we seeing migration of cashew workers to Tamil Nadu and elsewhere? For that matter, why do you think 10% of Kerala lives and works abroad? If having a secure source of income is important, Malayalees would think twice about staying in Kerala to work.

You can find a more detailed explanation on The Hindu at

By the way, according to the Kerala Government's 2004 Economic Review, the state income per capita was Rs.25,764 in 2002-03. As Kerala's economy has been growing at >6% since then, I imagine it exceeds Rs. 26,000 in 2005.

Before you classify the general Kerala populace into "businessmen" and "commen men", let me ask you frankly - what do you think a "business man" means? I think it means someone who manages all the factors of production available to him. People typically think of company managers or executives as businessmen. But if you really think about it, any working person is a "businessperson", because he or she manages his or her own labour. And labour is a huge factor of production. I am going to describe the average Keralite. He owns property, buys raw materials and sells his output to the market. What does that sound to you? A businessman, you say? Well, I just described the typical farmer to you.

It is our politicians who have exploited this language that demarcates society into classes. Let's not fall into that trap. Let's try to find common ground.

Mind Curry said...

@ malayali - i think abhishek has already clarified the points very clearly.

its quite obvious that the 700 crores estimated is not a direct indication of any "income", but a value accrued from multiple losses in terms of salaries, sales, production etc.

kerala has an almost dead industry and business sector, thanks to these goons who conduct strikes, else the loss would have been much higher in terms of money.

but more than money just consider the education of the students. of the 200 odd days students get in school, another 40-50 go waste annually because of strikes, hartals. i dont think there is any way of estimating such losses.

It is our politicians who have exploited this language that demarcates society into classes. Let's not fall into that trap.
that is the most relevant point of this whole post..excellent abhishek. it is time kerala woke up and moved away from the "pothujanam kazhutha" tag.

Anonymous said...

Hope yu guys are aware of the hartla policy (policy for hartjal) by the new LDF government. Our honorable Minister for Home & Tourism announced that tourists and BPO's are excluded from harthals. When press asked why we dont just ban the hartals, his response went something like "most tourists come here to see and experience harthal...". Can you believe that?

If that is the official policy endorsed by the Home Minister, do not expect much change any time soon.

I agree with almost all your arguments. But the ground reality is that the official policy is as stated above and almost everyone (including the small business owner who is a member of the Vyapari Vyavasayi Union) is part of one or the other Special Interest Group (SIG). These SIG's use harthals very creatively to advance their individual agendas so they can;t really oppose it. But it clearly affects the overall socity and that doesn't seem to bother any one of them. They are only worried about their selfish little gains. I think that is one of our dominant mallu traits.

Anonymous said...

Abhishek the points you mentioned are valid , thats true and only one side of the coin.It is wise to discuss with both sides of the coin. You say the loss we are having because of Harthals , but harthals and bandhs are not causing simply there are valid reasons and also because some other huge loss the particular section will face in future they undergo harthals. You gave statistics about governmnet employees ,"3% of our labour force is employed in the government" but you know how many dependents will be on this 3% ???? Also many of the harthals are undergone toprotect the interests of the majority of the people and change the policies which may cause more than the loss you mentioned in future. Harthals means protests and normal protets will be itgnored by givernmnet only if most of the people normal lives even if it is not affecting them gets affected , others also will lo9kk for cause of the issue and people collectively support the cause.This is what is the original democracy and it is not like why should I consider the reason the next door guy is suffering , let him suffer i dont have to investigate until it affects me. We also have to look the total lossbecause of the harthal may be high.But for a small section of people if harthal is opposed they will suffer from greater losses. It is in such cases we have witnessed in past also anti social elements arise because everyone is ignoring them. So the loss should not be calculated purely on present finnacial terms , we should see the social loss , future effects also.

Still I agree with you that there should be a mechanism modelled to control Harthals and Bandhs ,and not to ban bandhs or Harthals. And this mechanism I would like to discuss with you hearing all of your opinions. A mechanism which should view the cause or reason of the Harthals , how for the majority of the section the reason is affecting and what all effects it can cause in future , patients,students who are having exams,marriages,basic provision shops should be excluded from Harthals etc.Also a seperate intellectual section should be made who study the loss affected in the Harthals.There should be solutions to cover these losses effectively. I also invite others views and lets comeout with our discussions about a mechanism to control strikes,bandhs,harthals rather than banning harthals or Bandhs as whole. but still I am telling we can't ban Harthals because they are necessary as i have tried to put forwrad in my points.Hope you guys get my points also. I also know there are some harthals and bandhs occuring for no relevant reasons and they are mostly by UDF .

Before making assumptions can you list of private investors who came but went away without investing in Kerala because of Harthals and Bandhs??????????????????

Anonymous said...

"Hope yu guys are aware of the hartla policy (policy for hartjal) by the new LDF government. Our honorable Minister for Home & Tourism announced that tourists and BPO's are excluded from harthals. When press asked why we dont just ban the hartals, his response went something like "most tourists come here to see and experience harthal...". Can you believe that? " -------> Vivek you really believe Minister told this seriously hahahhahahaha.
Another thing tourist department should not be excluded from harthals, this my view which i differ slightly from Minsiter Kodiyeri.This is because in tourism the people controlling tourism are financially safe , but there are many labourers who are financially very low and whose wages are cheap. If harthals and bandhs are excluded , it is almost like their needs are almost completely neglected.

Mind Curry said...

@ nidhin - then its really sad we have a clown as the home minister..because hartals are one of the single biggest detriments to progress as far as the state of Kerala is concerned, and as a home minister he better have some serious ideas about it.

If harthals and bandhs are excluded , it is almost like their needs are almost completely neglected
i have to ask if you are serious or joking hartals and bandhs we are only going to permanently kill the industries that feed these labourers or employers..and thats what we have seen over the many years..people have left the state and started businesses outside the state..leaving the state and its labourers poorer. yet you continue to harp on the benefits of hartal.. this is exactly why the state and its people need to be woken up!

Anonymous said...

@Mind Curry
Trade Unions increases once collective bargaining Power.It is another form of institution in a democracy. In Simple terms, Unity is strength. There is a difference between one guy asking for a right and 1000 people simultaneously demanding a right.
Strikes happen across the world,even in the mecca of captialism. Last year, New York Bus drivers were on strike for 4 days..and Engineers and IT workers have a strong union in US, which was instrumental in cutting down H1 B visas last year.
In Simple, strikes wont hinder a states development. It has to do more with policies, attitude , opportunities and resources.A person like you who have every faicilities in home and dont need to fight or come to street to raise your rights or needs canot understand.You people will think in a way that it is completely disturbing a man's day .A resposible citizen who is very well attached to society wont think this way and he would rather support those cause.
In a large scale industry if people are doing the work of 10Rs and he is provided 1 rupee , he ahs worked a lot and hence getting money with which he can't survive then even if that industry is gone what is the prolem. Also please give me a list of companies gone from Kerala due to Harthals....and made the labourers poorer.
Pinne strikes are not only caused by tradeunions alone for other social causes for normal people where justice is denied also strikes are conducted.
What right you have to call Kodiyeri a clown.When i asked some questions in previous posts which buged you threatened me t ignore .
When many media people bugging them with unnecessy rubbish questions which sometimes dont even deserve any reply if minister says joke is it a big problem.If anyone called u clown will u allow them to post???????Kodiyeri is a man with proper vision who has started his career from students politics after suffering enough and knowing enough of the masses.You who is just analysing with some incomplete data and analysing evrything what rite you have to call him so???????He is very much worthy of what he is today.
Also now I have some examples to ask which u shud answer since u r of the opinion to ban Bandhs and strikes.
1)If a normal person is murdered by anti social elements and police not doing proper investigation ,how should the person make sure he gets justice????
2)If an average employee in a company of say 10 people makes profit of 100 Rs to the company and he is not getting even 2 Rs with which he cant run his family meaning company owner taking maximum profit through explotation and he is not ready to increase wages what he should do???????
3)Previous UDf rule which implemented 50% merit , 50%payment , by which rich becomes rich and poor becomes poorer and many students eligble not able to receive education what they should do??????????????
4)Incidents like Muthanga were socially back people are even deprived of their home , and no one os hearing them what they should do?????????
5)the sex scandals in which poor girls not able to even raise their voice and the culprits escaping ,all are suiciding what they should do??????
6)the bribes including not giving pension properly and for many thing people have to bribe govt officials at diffrent level if no one is hearing a peron who doesn't have the money to pay these officials what he should do?????????
There are many cases which require harthals and strikes ,u just give me solution to the above questions.Don't dismiss saying they are not relevant .Then you people are not at all worthy of anything

Mind Curry said...

@ nidhin - trade-unions in the kerala context is not an institution by any measure. they have solely pushed the state into unemployment. can you identify any industry or company surviving here without the issue of militant unions creating havoc?

asking for rights is one thing..but militancy and bringing life to a standstill is another..CITU and INTUC and other bunches of goons are good examples, which affect even the average mans life.

you talk about the survival of the laborers..survival is talk about laborers not earning enough to about the poorer people? what will they do then? should they also come on the streets and stall every day life? and if you think there are thousands of software engineers, doctors, artists and others thinking their salary is not enough to survive..

militancy, hartals etc are no answers to this..taking up jobs and working harder is a better option..but then you will say i am sitting in an AC room and saying this..i can sit in an AC room because my parents worked my next generation grows up will depend on me..i am not planning on teaching them to sit back and then revolt against the haves. if i have every facility at home its because someone worked didnt land in my home suddenly.

unity is certainly a strength..but it should be for the right things.

if koidyeri as a home minister is going to joke for something so serious, then his answers are worthy of a clown only.

and i wasnt threatening you by saying i will ignore your comments! it just meant unless you come up with something substantial i wont spend time responding.

now your questions:

1. murder: you should ask the worthy homeminister kodiyeri this question..he might joke that toursits are coming to see murders in the state.

any case, how is a hartal going to help? a peaceful demonstration without disturbing the society is understandable. or a petition to the authorities. but with a hartal you are just making everyones life miserable.

2. wages: as i said before, ensuring rights is one thing, but militancy is another. how do you justify the so called "nokku koolie" of headload workers? they come and watch someone unloading their stuff at home and demand charges for that? ridiculous..or is there a justification for that too?

anyway by incessant strikes you ensure only closure of the company/industry and that means more poverty and whatever 1 or 10 bucks they earned is also lost.

3. private education: this was discussed in our earlier posts..but anyway do you mean to say that by disallowing anyone to study you gain anything? and all these leaders who are up against the private colleges have all their children and relatives studying in colleges outside kerala. so theres more to this than all the 50% stuff.

4,5. scandals and abuses - so again how is a hartal going to help? to change these things again we need to create awareness in the younger generation. this has also been discussed in earlier posts.

6. pension? bribes?- this was a complicated how will a hartal and bandh prevent bribes?

its crazy to think that anyone would consider hartals and strikes as answers to every issue in the state. then why do we need a government and system?

as we saw in rang-de-basanti, the system is the ultimate answer..we have to bring in change through the system itself.

if there is a disagreement at your house..or something that you think is unfair is done, are you going to create ruckus similar to a hartal or bandh at home?

i hope i havent missed anything..

Anonymous said...

@Mind Curry
You have mentioned hope you have answered my questions and you are asking me questions in return.U couldn't answer.Also how Home minister is going to handle is not an answer which I asked you.Also murder is not occuring in these 5 months of LDF rule ok??So you have clearly shown who has deviated from the topic.Now I will answer you

1)A murder has been done , the muredered person is a poor or middle class man.Everyone knows the murder has been commited by the goons(This is the real goons not what you think) of some finnacially high person. The incident can be first focussed in media and it has been focussing in Kannadi ,Crime file etc and some were success in getting justice because of this.But still when the person eliminated all the proofs with the help of police officals and politicians , what will the person do?? The responsible citizens(social workers) take this issue into street with slogans and bringing this in front of ministers.The strikes will be conducted ordinarily but when it goes on like this is neglected , how can the persons leave the issue like that.The person in that family died and if some one from my family or your family died we will understand that situation. Then the strikes will try to create huge pressure and mostly Leftist unions will only come to support them majority of the time.Once this is taken seriosly and calling bandhs or harthals which will stop all the days work for all people , others will try to look why this happened .The issue will then only spread like fire . I am not saying this will be 100% but only through these 100% pressure exerted on respective government . Similarly in all the cases.
As for pension strikes(protests) should be done , for bribes it is of different type but for any strikes creating maximum hype should be exerted.
Also what is rangde basanti man?? Does it solve any thing?????? They alsoi killed because justice was denied .
We cant ask people to go and kill those who have done wrong then no need of courts.They should protets to see to that their demands are accepted.If it isrequired to shut down 1 day of evryones life do that also.
Also apart from all these I have mentioned 1 mechanism if u want go back and read it.It is in this same post only. Pinne companies are going , they are not investing because of strikes ,unions please stop these stupid craps.These are falsely spread.Yes some few incidents have occured because of trade unions and strikes companies have gone .But dont relate saying all companies are going.It is your pure ignorance. Abhishek said I am considering you people as a different class , I am not considering you are so biased in that layer that you are either not ready or you are not able to think in the angle of poor or lower middle clss.

Anonymous said...

@Mind curry
Your comments about Wages and Private education.

Wages --> whetehr 1 buck is earned with lots of effort.Try understanding that.I am sure none of you will continue work for 10000/- today even if it is enough.And you are syaing let them live with whatever they have how much effort they put ..ridiculous mannn really ridiculous........
What is the problem if in some areas Load is unloaded by union workers.If they are asking for more or exploiting you that is wrong and thats were law comes into action. People have developed this consumerism in all other things and if some work should be done by union people there they are trying to save money .Also Left Union people are not inhuman to take unnecessary wages from poor people.If they take that is were they are losing.
If leaders are sending their children to study in self financing colleges is since they are having money or by taking loans .When they are bribing only it is wrong whther rightist or leftist. Pinne more than case of disallowing people to study it is a case of allowing eligible and capable people who are poor to study. If you have seen the self-finance bill put forward by M.A Baby(but unfortunately couldn't impleent because of court order) was really a revolutionary step.

Mind Curry said...

@ nidhin - one thing this exercise is teaching me is patience, and also, giving me a preview of what is in store as this initiative goes forward.

i dont know if you have realized this about life, but there are plenty of things that cannot be answered, or at least not in a comment box. if it was that simple we would not need discuss anything in the first place.

i chose to answer your questions with counter questions because your questions had no logic. your questions were in the surmise that bandhs and hartals are justified. thats why i asked how is bandh going to solve issues like murder, bribe and all.

you have come up with more justifications. that just shows reflects extreme nature and a disbelief in the system. we have to have a system in place for everything. and you asked about RDB. the movie said exactly the same thing: killing and violence and extremism is not the answer-but getting into the system and changing it is. i think thats such an important message to the youth of this nation.

I am sure none of you will continue work for 10000/- today even if it is enough.
that is the whole are sure about others and just assume for others. i began working with a stipend of rs.1500 per month for three years, then for 3k, then for 5k and so on. whether its rich or poor, labourer or software engineer, nothing comes for free. so its just incorrect to think that those who earn more have it easy. like i said, its all because of someone in the family has worked hard.

If leaders are sending their children to study in self financing colleges is since they are having money or by taking loans
ofcourse nothing unique about that..then whats the problem? only leaders can send children to SFCs?

What is the problem if in some areas Load is unloaded by union workers.If they are asking for more or exploiting you that is wrong and thats were law comes into action.
personal stories of exploitation by unions are everywhere..again i tell you personal stories by home owners..not companies or factories..and where is the law? or would you suggest a hartal against unions?

and you seem to be ignorant about the murders, lock-up deaths, suicides etc going on in the state. are you sure none of them happened in the last 6 months?

and you say no company has left kerala because of its hartals and bandhs..thats again being so consciously oblivious to the facts..kerala has earned that bad name allover the world. it has single-handedly driven out thousands of youngsters out of the state and country. and you say its a false propoganda? if this is the level of debate, i am sorry there is no point in this discussion.

i think there has been enough commenting i will leave an open invitation for you..let us have your thoughts put together in the form of articles..and then we can take it one at a time. like abhishek suggested, instead of globalisation you can start with something close to your heart: communism. let us try to understand your perspective.

Anonymous said...

@Mind curry
Brother ,I think you are washing your hands off now. It is not just debate but which whole world is accusing Kerala of harthals?????????
What I meant politicians cna send their children by taking loan is if they able, a middle class person can also send his children by taking loans , but there are many who are not able to afford to take loans......
Anyway u r not getting into the sense and that is not my problem.My questions doesn't make sense ,thank u verymuch after so many posts u realised this fact.
Anyway no point discussing furtehr as u are playing antipoltics here ironically.

Mind Curry said...

@ nidhin - ok i am not "getting into the sense", but i just hope people who has been reading our "debate" has made sense of it all. will wait for the article from you. thanks.

Anonymous said...

@Mind curry

I have mailed the article to ur yahoo id.I have tried my maximum to anlayse the 50 years of kerala and it is a long post.I hope u will post the article in the blog.

sJ said...

Read the entire discussion.Sad to see that it was left off after letting some steam from few.

The idea of a discussion is to build a common solution and not bringing the other in to buying ur view lock stock and barrel.If a solution is not what is desired then discussion is not what is needed but bandh or hartal.

The discussions happening among our political parties are also in the same line as what is written above here.All ask a lot of questions to each other and there never is a solution put forward and then tried to bring in allowances for the ones who are grieved by the proposed solution.

Why is secretariat pick up not a very effective measure any more?
I would say over utilization.If u sing the same tune often enough people are going to be bored.

Let me venture to say with out the backing of any research that 50 % of keralites do not support the last bandh or hartal (I dont remember what they were for , too many to keep track of).Kindly dont think I belong to the elite just because i say this about bandh.Why else should marxist party lose every other election?

Bandh and hartals are options only when u run out of other options.And its rather often that we run out of options these days that these have become common.No one wants a solution but a complete victory over the other.Thats tyranny. How can u not be taking in to consideration the other view even if its minority?

There is a free press and media which is very active in kerala.Kindly do not deny this.We have 'Desabimani and manorama' and not to mention TV channels.All malayalees have heard numerous discussions by the political figure heads.Its always accusations and never answer.Dont they have any? All strikes are against the wrongs of the other party.What they are even the leader doesnot know how to explain to us.
If it is to get mass opinion then there is no need to go for strikes as long as the fourth estate is so popular.That obviosly is not the idea.Its complete victory over the other.So u have to have the show of power and terror.

There is no justification for hartals and bandhs what so ever as long as your right for free speech is not curtailed.The reason I believe parties go in for hartals these days is that they donot have the majority support for any of their issues.Kindly dont tell me that the effectiveness of a strike is the measure of popular support.It is infact the popular fear that makes it a success.I once heard an elderly lady on a long distance train tell that she always books her ticket to kerala in such a way as to make the day of arrival a sunday, the only day when u can be sure as not to have a strike.This after a bitter experiance she had when she was held up in a railway station for half a day after 2 1/2 days of journey at the age of 65.Well if she can travel she is elite and too fussy about minor inconveniences.But she was the wife of a low level worker at a steel plant who migrated out of kerala long ago and the mother of upcoming entrepreuners who never visit kerala and the lady comes once in a while for old times sake.

About self financing colleges:

It does widen the gap between oppurtunities for the poor and middle class.(Elite always gets what they want.They are too less and lets ignore them for the time being). Will having more doctors will be useful or not to the society? Forget about the quality. Govt colleges aint bringing out the best all the time.Will not atleast reduce the scarsity of docs in rural areas a bit.Not that all new graduates are gonna head straight to the rural hospitals.A few will.
So the problem was more free seats.Mind you,its self financing and who will bear the higher fees? Of course the paying ones.That means they will have to take more loans. Yes, a good many of our students at self financing colleges are taking loans.Who provides loans? The money from the elite.So middle class is in a no win situation again.Thats why the elite have stopped sending their wards to professional courses other than MBA now and that too to international universities.(It may even work out cheaper than sending them to our self financing colleges) .
What if the present SFC succeed.Yes , financially first and quality wise second.No new ones will come up.So less oppurtunity for any one -poor or middle class.Just imagine kerala with out its private -AKA self financing AKA extortionist- hospitals! With all the stories of denying the poor apart, that sector has done wonderful service to the community.

The often repeated claim is that SFC makes professional education a buiseness.The same happened with our primary education.Where does our kids go to school? Private schools.Not only the rich but even the daily wager sends his ward there. Affordable schools are there sir!!!! What does a student who gets in to govt professional college do? Buisness sir.Goes to the most highly paid job that is available.Then why should his education be subcidised? We are not talking of elementary education.
Shall continue later

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