Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 17 April 2021 5.34 AM IST

EDITORIAL: Win for hartal, loss for people


A strong opinion against hartal was formed in society recently when the BJP and Sangh Parivar organisations observed hartal after a depressed man committed suicide by setting himself on fire in front of the BJP protest pandal at Statue in Thiruvananthapuram.

There were opposition from different sectors against such kind of protest methods that paralyse normal life and hamper State’s progress in various fields.

Last year, there were 97 hartals in the State. Most of them were at local level. Several hartals were also celebrated all over the State. Finally, fed up of hartal, merchants united and declared that they will open their shops, on hartal days, irrespective who calls for it. When several organisations also came out in support of this decision, people became happy.

But now again, the State, on Thursday, went through the terror created by the hartal called by Sabarimala Karma Samithy and other organisations with the backing of the BJP. Though some merchants tried to open their shops, they failed as they couldn’t withstand the threat or else, persuasion. Shops and vehicles came under attack. Schools and colleges remained closed. And, people were kept at tenterhooks.

The hartal was called to protest against the breach of tradition in Sabarimala after two women in menstruating age entered Sabarimala with the help of a bunch of policemen in a covert operation in the wee hours of Wednesday.

As usual, the BJP took over the hartal. This is the seventh hartal in the name of Sabarimala women’s entry. Those who make big talks on tradition and beliefs don’t have any conscience prick or guilty feeling over the hardships and losses faced by people due to hartals. This shows that they are least bothered about the people.

What are they gaining out of holding strike every week and making the life of people miserable. People who reached bus stations and railway stations had to wander even for a drop of water. By now the political aim behind intensifying the protest, putting the blame on the government, is well known.

However, the right to protest against the court order, let alone the government cannot be denied. But calling such destructive hartals again and again for the same cause cannot be accepted by a civilised society. Ever since the news of women’s entry came out, attacks have been going on. Who will answer for the destruction of private properties?

In Pandalam stone throwing incident, a poor person lost his life. Though hartal supporters got a martyr, who will compensate that family’s loss?
Many such families are here in the State.

Rioters on the streets are not at all bothered about law, justice or court. They execute their own justice there. Kerala has seen this for the past two days. The issue in Sabarimala is not the one to be resolved by unleashing violence in the streets. The review petition on women’s entry in Sabarimala is lying before the Supreme Court. It will be considered on January 22. What is needed is the patience to wait for the final verdict.

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