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Kerala

Dying In Attapady, One Child At A Time

Tribal children are dying in droves in Kerala’s Palakkad district while authorities convey mere platitudes   By Rejimon K Raman R, 26, a tribal from Attappady in Palakkad, and his wife Bindu R, 21, have not come to terms with their loss. On 22 November 2018, at around 8:30 am, their three-day-old baby boy showed symptoms of uneasiness in breathing.…

Women’s Wall – a renaissance for gender equality?

While Communist leaders state that the Women’s Wall will fortify gender equality, the Indian National Congress-led opposition in the State slams it as a Communal Wall. A few women activists have opted to stay out as they consider the “wall” hollow symbolism. By Rejimon K Will the Women’s Wall being ‘erected’ today by pro-Left progressive groups in Kerala fortify gender equality and protect the social reform values that the state has stood for, so far? Despite political and social groups in the State lacking consensus on this, preparations are on full swing to organise what will be a human chain of women that will begin from the streets of Kasargode in the northern district, to Thiruvananthapuram in the southern district in Kerala. While the Communist leaders say that the Women’s Wall is need of the hour – as they state that Rightist forces have become a threat to gender equality and social reform values – the Indian National Congress-led opposition in the State has slammed it as a Communal Wall. A few women’s groups have also opted to stay out stating that the “wall” is but a hollow symbolism. Reactions To The SC Verdict And The “Wall” The Women’s Wall was announced by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on December 1, 2018, following a meeting with some 150 organisations.…

Church Versus The Left In Kerala

As the Chengannur bypoll hangs in the balance, the Church locks horns with the Kerala government over reopening of bars The Catholic Church in Kerala has sounded the war cry against the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government for its decision to reopen bars in all panchayats in Kerala which have a population of more than ten thousand. The first real battle in what looks like an all out war will be played out at the upcoming Chengannur bypolls to the state assembly.…

South Turns Against The Centre

Ruling parties of all south Indian States are at loggerheads with the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre over a variety of issues The ruling parties in Karnataka and in Kerala – the Congress and the CPM, respectively – are the inevitable rivals of the BJP. While Telangana’s ruling party the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) was lukewarm towards the Centre for around four years, they too have now upped the ante against the BJP-led NDA, demanding reservation for Muslims in the state which was turned down by the courts. The only allies were the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Andhra Pradesh, which was part of the NDA and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) in Tamil Nadu which has been deferential to the Centre since the passing of their party supremo Jayalalithaa in 2016. Now the BJP finds itself alone in the south, with both the TDP as well as the AIADMK deserting it. After a week of haggling, the Telugu Desam Party ended its four-year long association with the NDA following, what it called ‘betrayal’ by the BJP in keeping the promises made in Parliament – special status for Andhra Pradesh – during the historic debates on bifurcation of the state.…

‘Watch’ And Get Paid – The Left Ends Kerala’s Disastrous Labour Union Practice

‘Nokku Kooli’ has for decades been an accepted labour practice that has for long affected the state’s Ease of Doing Business image On May 1 this year, when workers worldwide observe Labour Day to commemorate the 1886 mass labour walkout in Chicago demanding eight-hour working days, headload workers in Kerala will ‘lose’ their most-controversial ‘right’. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, at present the sole Communist Chief Minister in India, who likes to present himself as a ‘doer leader’, has taken the bold step to remove the decades old and widely-criticised ‘Nokku Kooli’ system that has prevented industry and businesses from flourishing in the state.. ‘Nokku Kooli’ is a practice followed by unionists in Kerala, where the owner can load or unload the goods himself, but money has to be paid to the trade unions for ‘watching’ (therefore, literally ‘Nokku’) the movement of goods. As the Leftist CM sees it, ‘Nokku Kooli’ is affecting the state’s status of being investor-friendly and thanks to this, its ‘ease of doing business’ is in the negative.…