India: Stopped trains in Kerala leave passengers stranded

Youngsters play cricket at bus stop during strike

happy harthal 2 by challiyan

The following video uploaded by YouTube user peshaku shows irate commuters at the Angamali railway station in the southern Indian province of Kerala after they have been stranded due to a particular type of protest where workers cease operations. This phenomenon is called Harthal (Hartal) and it has become a constant problem in Kerala.

Back in February 22nd, blogger praveennair complained in Hartal the complementing factor of Kerala:

Well if you are a Keralite or are frequently in touch with Kerala, or your relative or friends live in Kerala then you may have heard many a times the word Hartal (Strike) from them. This term has been a prime element of Kerala, and sooner or later has some how been in news at least once in every two months. With so much of such hartals Kerala is also gaining a new name, the land of hartals.

The situation has become so grim that the lives of the normal man have been put to unrest every time such strikes get going.

There is a difference between a hartal, which is supposed to be non-violent, and bandhs, when strike-breakers can be attacked, as the website explains. On another blog, Hartal Watch, readers can be informed of when and where the following Hartals will take place.

Kerala Views’ post Kerala to be paralysed for the nth time also shows impatience with yet another strike, and provides an alternative reason for the nation wide hartal:

After around 60 local and Statewide hartals this year, Kerala would be paralysed for another day as part of the nation-wide general strike.

This time, the organisers would not be content with blocking road traffic. They would picket trains in all districts through which a railway line passes.

None can dispute the right of workers to go on strike and the farmers to support such an action. However, the strike is obviously politically motiviated. Little doubt that it is being organised with an eye on the coming Lok Sabha elections.

More information on the motivation behind the strikes can be read at

1 comment

  • R.Sajan

    Hartal is not called by workers.

    It is a total stop of everything called by political parties; religious organisations etc. Even the Catholic Church does so; as they recently did in Kerala because the government asked them to stop profiteering from their schools and colleges.

    If you move out of your house on Hartal days, you get beaten up. People have also been killed.

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