THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Protesters outside the Secretariat come in myriad forms, but the new tribe that was added to the list on Monday had every passer-by wondering whether to laugh or cry: neat, seated rows of men bawling their hearts out.
The ‘Karachil Samaram’ - crying protest - was organised by a group from rural Kasargode to draw attention to a problem that has been plaguing their villages for long: pothole-ridden roads. The roads in the neighbourhood of Badiyadukka continue to languish in dismal condition despite repeated complaints.
According to them, they were forced to take their protest right across the state to Thiruvananthapuram after all other avenues failed to provide a solution. Even an 18-day protest outside the PWD office had proved futile. They had hit upon this novel way to protest on the premise that a crying baby alone gets the milk. The protest started off at 10 am and ended by 12 noon.
With protests turning routine affairs, it’s not uncommon to see protesters outside the Secretariat resorting to novel, often dangerous, methods to attract the attention of the government. A ‘whistling’ protest was organised by the Vizhinjam Port Action Council urging the Vizhinjam International Seaport Ltd (VISL) to speed up the seaport project a few years ago. The agitation for land in Muthanga saw the protesters staging a ‘stand-in’ rather than a sit-in. On various occasions, protesters have also climbed trees and nearby buildings threatening to jump.