Political activism in Kerala

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Kiss of Love protest 2014
Vyttila junction during a harthal
Kerala politics is dominated by the communist party
Mural by Farmers' Union, Alappuzha
Ranadive Memorial, Alappuzha
Election campaign in Kerala
A rally by toddy worker's trade union
Vypin Strike

Kerala is a politically active society, with a politically active and aware population. Many of the news events happening in Kerala is related to the political events happening in the state.[1]


A record total of 223 harthals were observed in 2006, resulting in a revenue loss of over 2000 crore.[2] There were around 363 of "Hartals", called by different political parties, between 2005 and 2012. Hartals are called for various reasons, political, economic and social.[3][4]

Political violence in Kannur[edit]

Kannur is the most violent district in Kerala. In 2016, two Hindu nationalists called K.Shyju and Sudheesh were murdered by opponents.

[5] In February, 2016 an RSS activist who was ferrying schoolchildren was dragged out of his autorikshaw and hacked to death. During the last 45 years, about 180 people were killed because of political violence in Kannur district of Kerala.[6][7]

Kannur is historically linked with rebellion because Guerrilla King Pazhashi Raja fought against the British in this region. Kannur is the homeland of communist veterans like A K Gopalan, E K Nayanar and Azhikodan Raghavan. Most of the victims in political are from the toddy tapper community, which a branch of the Thiyya caste.

Most often the fight in Kannur is between CPIM and RSS. Sometimes the fight is between CPIM and Muslim unions. A few years ago, in retaliation to what happened in Kannur, RSS workers attacked the CPI-M's national headquarters in Delhi, the CPI-M state secretary in Karnataka, Visakhapatnam and Madurai on the same day.[8]

Kiss of Love protest[edit]

Kiss of Love protest is a non-violent protest against moral policing which started in Kerala, India, and later spread to other parts of India.[9][10][11][12][13] The movement began when a Facebook page called 'Kiss of love' called forth the youth across Kerala to participate in a protest against moral policing on 2 November 2014, at Marine Drive, Cochin.[14][15] The movement received widespread support with more than 154,404 'Likes' for the Facebook page.[16][17] After the initial protest in Kochi, similar protests were organised in other major cities of the country. It received opposition from various religious and political groups like Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, SDPI, Vishva Hindu Parishad, Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal, Hindu Sena and Ernakulam wing of Kerala Students Union.[18][19][20][21] On specific occasions but not exclusively, both the Supreme Court of India and Delhi High Court have made it clear that kissing in public is not an obscene act and no criminal proceedings can be initiated, for kissing in public, through landmark judgments.[22][23][24][25][26]

Legal remedies[edit]

In 2015, the provincial government in Kerala introduced a law that tried to control harthals and bandhs. According to this new bill, a notification of three days is required for any public agitation. The draft gives the government powers to cancel a strike announced by any party. A punishment of six months' imprisonment is included in the draft bill.[27]

Leftist inclination[edit]

The social thought and behavior of the State in general has a strong inclination towards Leftism and thus the Communist parties have made strong inroads in Kerala. The Malabar region, particularly Kannur and Palakkad are considered to heartland of Communist parties. The Kollam and Alapuzha districts, where trade unions have very strong presence, are generally inclined towards the Left parties; though the UDF have won elections from the constituencies of these districts several times. The largest Communist party in terms of membership is CPI (M) and the second is CPI. Kerala was the first Indian state where the communists were voted to power.[28]


SL No Date Called By Reason Ref
1 18-01-2012 Mullaperiyar Samrakshna Samiti Mullaperiyar Dam Row [29]
2 28-02-2012 Trade unions in India Protest against the 'neo-liberal economic & labour policies' pursued by the Central Government [30]
3 05-05-2012 UDF Protest Against Murder of T. P. Chandrasekharan
4 24-05-2012 LDF & BJP Petrol Price Hike
5 02-08-2012 CPI(M) Protest Against the arrest of CPM Kannur district secretary P Jayarajan
6 15-09-2012 LDF & BJP Petrol Price Hike

Hartals in 2018[edit]

SL No Date Called By Reason Ref
1 22-Jan-2018 CITU, AITUC, INTUC, Trade Unions [Privatization of PSUs, Labor Laws] "News Report on 2018-01-22 from Business Line". Archived from the original on 22 January 2018.
1 02-Apr-2018 CITU, AITUC, INTUC, STU, HMS, UTUC, Trade Unions [Fixed Term Employment Rules] "News Report on 2018-03-31 from Manorama News". Archived from the original on 2 April 2018.
1 9-Apr-2018 Dalit Organizations [Police action against Dalits in north India] "News Report on 2018-04-09 from News 18". Archived from the original on 9 April 2018.
2 29-May-2018 UDF,BJP,BDJS, KC(M) [Kevin Joseph Murder] "News Report on 2018-05-29 from Hindu News". Archived from the original on 29 May 2018.
2 07-Aug-2018 CITU, AITUC, INTUC [Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill 2017] "News Report on 2018-05-29 from Manorama". Archived from the original on 7 August 2018.
2 10-Sep-2018 LDF, UDF [Fuel Price Hike] "News Report on 2018-05-29 from UNI". Archived from the original on 10 September 2018.
2 16-Oct-2018 UDF [Anti-people policies by the state and Centre] "News Report on 2018-05-29 from HT". Archived from the original on 16 October 2018.
3 14-Dec-2018 BJP [Sabarimala Issue] "News Report on 14-12-2018 from TOI". Archived from the original on 14 December 2018.

See also[edit]

  1. Hartal
  2. Bandh
  3. Gherao
  4. Satyagraha


  1. ^ "Onmanorama Kerala News - Latest News | Live Updates | Today's News Headlines | Manorama News in English". OnManorama. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Kerala: Hartals Own Country?" 6 July 2008
  3. ^ "363 Hartals in 7 years in Kerala!" - A News Report on 16-09-2012 from Deccan Chronicle
  4. ^ "India - 363 hartals in 7 years in Kerala!" - A News Report on 17-09-2012 from Pressenza
  5. ^ http://zeenews.india.com/news/kerala/political-activism-doesnt-mean-bomb-making-kerala-minister_1609754.html
  6. ^ "CPM leaders need to speak up on political violence in Kannur in Kerala". The Indian Express. 18 March 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  7. ^ http://www.rediff.com/news/special/is-kannur-indias-political-murder-capital/20160224.htm
  8. ^ http://www.rediff.com/news/special/is-kannur-indias-political-murder-capital/20160224.htm
  9. ^ "'Kiss of Love' protests rattle Modi's conservative India". Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  10. ^ "'Kiss of Love' spreads to Kolkata". Zee News. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  11. ^ "'Kiss of Love' Campaign Spreads to Kolkata, Delhi - New America Media". Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  12. ^ K C, Ramesh Babu (29 October 2014). "'Kiss of Love' to protest moral policing in Kerala". Hindustan Times. HT Media Ltd. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  13. ^ Hashim, Farmis (3 November 2014). "Demonstrators kiss to protest 'moral policing' in Kerala". The Observers. France24. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  14. ^ Staff, FP (30 October 2014). "Kiss of Love: Kochi's version of Pink Chaddi campaign to fight moral policing". Firstpost. Network 18. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  15. ^ Philip, Shaju (28 October 2014). "Youth to mark Nov 2 as 'Kiss Day' to challenge moral policing in Kerala". The Indian Express. Indian Express Group. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  16. ^ https://www.facebook.com/kissoflovekochi:
  17. ^ "'Kiss of love' plan gets more support in Kerala". Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  18. ^ http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/Wary-Cops-Nab-Around-50-Kiss-of-Love-Protesters/2014/11/03/article2504805.ece:
  19. ^ http://www.deccanchronicle.com/141103/nation-current-affairs/article/kiss-love-protest-police-blamed-giving-free-hand-miscreants:
  20. ^ "Kerala's 'Kiss of Love' Protest, Planned for Sunday, Draws Opposition". NDTV.com. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  21. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/student-organisations-condemn-kiss-of-love/article6551314.ece:
  22. ^ "SC clean chit to Gere in Shilpa kissing row". IBNLive. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  23. ^ "BBC NEWS - South Asia - Richard Gere cleared of obscenity". Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  24. ^ "BBC NEWS - South Asia - India couple's kiss 'not obscene'". Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  25. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Kissing-in-public-by-married-couple-not-obscene-HC/articleshow/4066941.cms:
  26. ^ http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090218/jsp/opinion/story_10552589.jsp:
  27. ^ http://www.oneindia.com/india/kerala-government-introduces-new-bill-against-hartal-bandh-strike-1847577.html
  28. ^ Snapshots - India's final voting day BBC News
  29. ^ "News Report on 18-01-2012 from Mathrubhumi". Archived from the original on 28 January 2013.
  30. ^ "News Report on 28-02-2012 from Mathrubhumi". Archived from the original on 1 March 2012.