BENGALURU: Unemployed youngsters from the city hit upon a unique way to protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent remarks on television in which he said that a person selling ‘pakodas’ and earning Rs 200 per day could not be considered unemployed. On Saturday, at least 25 youngsters gathered outside the BJP office in Malleswaram and sold pakodas. The sale lasted for about two hours before the protesters ran out of pakodas.
“Even if we earn Rs 200 a day, we make Rs 6,000 a month, which is below minimum wages,” said Mutturaj, convenor of Karnataka for Employment. The 7th Pay Commission recommended a minimum monthly wage of Rs 7,000 in 2016. “We have the utmost respect for pakoda sellers. But it was an unfair statement by the Prime Minister because our parents have made us study further for a better job,” he said, while talking about the different types of pakodas that were sold - BE, MSc and BEd - at Rs10 per plate.
They continued to sell pakodas despite disruptions by the police who asked them if they had permission to hold a protest. “This is not a protest. We are selling pakodas. After the Prime Minister has permitted pakoda sale, what other permission do we need?” one of them asked.
However, the police eventually intervened as the demonstration was being held without permission. The protest received a lot of attention on social media after Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mewani tweeted about it, encouraging such protests to be held across the country.