About five million trucks are off the roads in
But truckers of one state are not taking part in this agitation. Can you guess which that state is?
Well it is Kerala, God’s own country. The reason? The obvious answer would be that the Keralites have high literacy rate, are intelligent, and therefore are quick to understand the adverse effects of such a strike. May be.
Then again maybe people require an occasional holiday from even hartals. In the month of June, Kerala had 25 hartals (bandhs, shut downs) either across the state or in some localities. Or so says the media. In addition, the month had five Sundays.
In a way, hartals have some plus points. Which country gives its people so many paid holidays? And, in Kerala, it is a tourist attraction as well. The hartals and the allied activities like slogan shouting processions, stone throwing and grappling with the police do carry some amount of interest to foreigners in spite of the inconvenience.
That reminds me of a story that goes around in the hospitality trade. A few years back an enterprising tour operator organized a
But, as far as tourists are concerned, the Keralite does not forget his civic sense even during traffic-stopping hartals. If there is a white skin in a vehicle on the road, all that the driver has to say is ‘Tourist’ and the car would be waved on.
The month of July is not likely to be different. This morning when I called
Keralites who read this, don’t be worried. The state, in its own way, will carry on despite all these thamashas.