Monday, October 20, 2008

A Harthal in the Air

Politicians in Kerala are often accused of lacking collective responsibility. But when it comes to conducting harthals, even the bitter rivals join hands, even if the original idea was proposed by a sworn enemy of both the parties. There is going to be yet another harthal in Kerala tomorrow (21/10/08). (You will need a Cricinfo-like database for storing details of all the harthals in Kerala.)

But this harthal has something new and innovative, even by the “high” standards of Kerala in conducting harthals. This was proposed by CPI (M), demanding a High Court Bench in the capital city, Thiruvananthapuram. Soon, the Congress (I) and BJP declared their support for harthal in a rare show of unity (or is it he first time?). It is well known that CPI (M) cannot suffer BJP, at least in Kerala. So, citing some technical reasons, the party withdrew from harthal. Even for harthals, CPI(M) cannot afford to side with BJP in Kerala.

So, what happened is that the other parties, Congress (I) and BJP took the responsibility of conducting the harthal. The original supporters have become organizers. For harthals, these parties are ready to bear the fatherhood of somebody else’s child. So much for conducting harthals. No wonder the reality show of harthal is flourishing in Kerala. But the harthal is confined to Thiruvananthapuram district. One can expect long queues in front of liquor outlets and meat stalls today evening.