KL This Week: Students of K R Narayanan Institute Continue Strike, Nurses Protest Against Low Wages and Poor Working Conditions
AIKS National Conference in Kerala.
The 35th national conference of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) concluded in Thrissur on December 16 with a call to march to Parliament on April 5 against the anti-farmer, pro-corporate policies of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre.
The nurses of the private hospitals across the state wore black badges in protest against the low wages and contract recruitments. The nurses’ associations have demanded intervention from the state government to ensure minimum wages and job guarantee.
The students of K R Narayanan Institute of Visual Science and Arts (KRNIVSA) in Kottayam are on an indefinite strike for the last 11 days against caste discrimination in the institute. The protest reached the venue of the International Film Festival Kerala when known filmmakers extended support to the students.
After the state Assembly passed the bill replacing the governor as the chancellor of the universities, the governor, Arif Mohammed Khan, stated that the bills passed in the Assembly cannot be against any laws. NewsClick brings a round-up of the happenings in Kerala this week.
MARCH TO PARLIAMENT ON APRIL 5
A massive rally of the farmers and a public meeting held in Kodiyeri Balakrishnan Nagar (Thekkincadu Ground, Thrissur) brought down the curtains for the 35th national conference of the AIKS. The conference resolved to take out a march to Parliament on April 5 to expose the failure of the Narendra Modi-led BJP government.
Besides the demands regarding minimum support price and farm loan waiver, the conference demanded a farmer-centric insurance scheme and land reforms to save the peasantry from the existing crisis.
More than 750 delegates from the state units, including representatives from Manipur, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Jammu & Kashmir participated. New leadership with Dr Ashok Dhawala as the president, Dr Vijoo Krishnan as the general secretary and P Krishnaprasad as the finance secretary was elected by the conference.
The nurses of private hospitals across the state sported black badges against low wages and sought better working conditions. The protest held on December 15 was organised by the United Nurses’ Association (UNA).
The association has called for a strike on January 5 in Thrissur to insist on their demands for minimum wage, regulated working time, and permanent jobs. The UNA has accused the Labour Department of not intervening effectively for several years.
STUDENTS' STRIKE CONTINUES
The strike of the students in the KRNIVSA continues against the alleged discriminatory practices of the director of the institute. The students have accused the director, Shankar Mohan, of vindictive action against students from Dalit communities. Several allegations of the director preventing students from completing the course have been raised.
A section of the students held a protest at the venue of the 27th IFFK in Thiruvananthapuram to press for their demands. The students also rejected the claims of Adoor Gopalakrishnan, the chairman of the institute, and his clean chit to the director.
GOVERNOR AGAINST BILL AGAIN
The Kerala Assembly passed the University Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2022 on December 13 after being discussed in the select committee. The government aims to appoint experts and academicians as the Chancellor in place of the Governor.
The opposition block in the house, the United Democratic Front (UDF) walked out of the house against the non-inclusion of the suggestions put forth by them.
The governor, Arif Mohammed Khan, said that he will check if the Bill is against the law and will abide by the Constitution. The fate of the bill remains with the governor.
SABARIMALA RUSH: HIGH COURT INTERVENES
After reports of injuries to devotees and policemen due to a rush at the hill shrine, the Kerala High Court held a special sitting on December 11 and sought a report from the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) and District Collector of Pathanamthitta.
The chief minister also held a meeting the next day to sort out the issues of crowd management.
The TDB limited the number of devotees to 80,000 per day and extended the darshan by one hour. A separate queue has been arranged for elderly women and children now.
Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.