People in Kerala celebrated one more 'Hartal' and it was business as usual for the Left Brigade. They came, they saw and they conquered the common man. After all, it was meant for the common man, so the common man too has the responsibility to make it a resounding success!
And a success it was for the organizers and also for the Kerala State Beverages Corporation. Hearty Congratulations! The SMS crazy youth of the state wish each other 'Happy Hartal' !
Hartal, the word has origins from Gujarati language. A certain Gujarati called Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi made it an effective weapon against the British. Hartal has no place in Gujarat today. Everyone there seems to be in a hurry to work and progress, what a shame!
Communists were opposed to the Mahatma most of the time he was alive. But today, they are the only ones who have kept this 'Gujarati' tradition alive and burning. My only worry is about the Left's righteous indignation for Gujarat. If they realize the word Hartal was imported from Gujarat, they might dump it for some other Non-Modifiable name! Hartal is so much more glamorous and attractive than it's outlawed cousin 'Bundh'.
The Indian National Congress has altogether forgotten Gandhi; well the Mahatma I mean! They are too obsessed with that name for totally different reasons known too well to every Indian. Leader of the Opposition in Kerala, Mr Ommen Chandy said: “Including today, in the past four years, the Left has called for nine state-wide hartals. ..."
Mr. Chandy also told elsewhere that the Congress organized only one Hartal in the past four years against nine by the Left Front. In a football match, 9-1 scoreline would have meant a Brazil - India mismatch! This is bad Omen Mr. Chandy! Is this how you serve the common man? The Left has left you gasping.
Some people have called the God's Own Country "Hartal's Own Country". There is a tone of ridicule in these talks and I just don't like it. Let us look at the benefits of Hartal.
No Traffic Jams.
An added holiday for the over worked 'Working Class'.
Well deserved rest for tired travelers and tourists.
Huge profits for the Kerala State Beverages Corporation.
And don't forget the result: The Prices came down tumbling the very next day!
Price rise, Petroleum prices, Party Politics, Religious Intolerance, Atrocities against Minorities and anything and everything is a worthy cause for us to celebrate Hartal in Kerala.
Karnataka refusing to share Kaveri water with Tamil Nadu evoked a Hartal in Kerala while the irresponsible Tamil Nadu people went about their work with no concern whatsoever.
America's Iraq Policy and Israel's misdeeds against 'Innocent' Palestine have brought life to a stand still in Kerala, because we care!
The BJP without a single MLA and the Shiv Sena without even a Party Office can call successful Hartals in Kerala. Isn't this a glorious example of 'Democracy' at its best in Kerala?
So we have to legalize Hartals in Kerala. Encourage other underdeveloped states to take cue from us. Introduce the word in the English Dictionary. People like me will be more comfortable writing about Hartals.
We can say people are 'Hartaling' when they are on strike. It is so convenient to say 'Kochi Hartalized' instead of the old fashioned Life comes to a stand still in Kochi. The affection for Hartals shown by people of Kerala can be termed 'Hartalophilia'.
After celebrating over 100 successful small and large and local and general Hartals each in 2008 and 2009, we should name heartland Kerala as 'Hartaland'!
We can borrow from A. R. Rahaman and Subhash Ghai and sing the Hartal Anthem! Everyone's 'Dil will be bechain' and there will be 'Raste pe nain' to see if there is any traffic! On the one hand we will be calling 'Aaja Saawariya aa aa aa aa..." and then sing "Hartal se Hartal Mila"!
And most importantly, like health tourism and monsoon tourism; we can also encourage 'Hartal Tourism' in Kerala. No other state will have such an attraction except perhaps West Bengal.
So let us all come together and make this a grand reality. "A State by the Hartals, of the Hartals and for the Hartals!" The ultimate Hartalocracy !!!