How Kerala Protested Petrol Price Hike

On Monday, opposition parties led by the Congress held a nationwide strike to protest against spiralling petrol and diesel prices.

A look at Tuesday’s Malayalam newspapers showed people protesting in their own, unique ways.

Exhibit A: Kerala’s opposition leader rode pillion on a scooter to reach his son’s engagement

Congress’s Ramesh Chennithala, the leader of the opposition in Kerala’s assembly, led a protest in the morning in Kochi on a bullock cart. Then, he rode pillion on a party worker’s scooter to reach his son’s engagement at a hotel in the city, even as other party MLAs and guests arrived in SUVs. Chennithala told Malayalam media that the engagement date couldn’t be deferred as it had been decided almost two months ago.

Exhibit B: The groom who rode a horse in protest from his own wedding

Exhibit C: The protestors who offered sweets to people who took their vehicles out

In intensely political Kerala, it is not uncommon for bandhs and hartals to lead to violence and damage of public property. And so it was refreshing to see this photo from Mathrubhumi of political workers in Malappuram offering sweets to people who had taken their vehicles out on Monday. The protestors also requested the drivers to cooperate with the strike. Most people promised the political workers that they would head straight back home after finishing their errands in support of the bandh.

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