Kerala, is in the throes of an indefinite newspaper strike. A section of newspaper agents in God’s own country are demanding a trade discount of 50 per cent of the cover price, festival advances, pension schemes, etc. The strike oddly doesn’t affect papers owned by political parties, including the communist newspaper Deshabhimani.
From The Hindu:
Minister for social welfare M.K. Muneer and historian M.G.S. Narayanan joined a group of newspaper readers who gathered at a bus station here on Tuesday morning to protest against the ongoing strike by newspaper agents in several parts of Kerala.
The Minister, a leader of the Indian Union Muslim League, and other protesters said they wanted to express their resentment over the strike since it had denied ordinary people their right to read the newspapers of their choice.
The Minister and Dr. Narayanan distributed copies of certain newspapers at the spot.
While it was the legitimate right of every group to launch agitations over grievances, methods of protest that deprive people of their right to information were unfair and indefensible in a democracy, Dr. Muneer said. The strike was unfair since it deprived common people of their daily morning fare of news and information they offered, he said.
Dr. Narayanan, a former chairman of the Indian Council for Historical Research, said that without the morning newspaper ordinary Malayalees like him just felt lost. Several other social workers including a former vice-chairman of the Kerala Sahithya Akademi, U.K. Kumaran, and novelist K.P. Sudheera took part in the demonstration. Kumaran said the striking newspaper agents had a “hidden political agenda.”