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Sunday, June 16, 2024

CITU Goons abuse working women while CPM leaders build ‘women walls’

Goons belonging to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), the trade union wing of the Communist Party of India Marxist (CPM), are reigning unopposed in Kerala with the support of the state government and state police. The union low-lives routinely go on hartal (strike) and threaten working women to achieve their goals. Meanwhile, the ruling CPM party led by CM Pinarayi Vijayan talks about gender equality and protests against alleged gender discrimination. 

Locally known as Nokku kooli, CITU-backed unions extort money from industrialists, builders and even from the poorest common man. Loading and unloading, even if it is being done by machines or by the house owner himself, invites unwanted union guests. Like vultures, they swoop down and extort money without actually doing anything. They even do this when people shift houses. Any complaints to the police will assure the complainer gets a thrashing, from the union leaders and tongue lashing from the police.

For many months now, CITU workers have been sitting on protest outside Muthoot Finance branches across Kerala in support of revised salary structure and other benefits demanded by a section of Muthoot employees. 

Recently, a lady branch manager of Muthoot Finance in Kattappana, Kerala had a torrid experience. Anita Gopalan had come to open her branch. The union leaders were already there and started screaming at Anita that they would not allow her to open the branch. When she disagreed, they threw a basin of filthy water (used to clean fish) on her. She complained to the police and in the meantime another basin was poured on the poor lady. She waited in her office wearing the same clothes with the stench lingering around her, afraid to go out.

Anita Gopalan, Muthoot Finance branch manager was reduced to tears by the harassment of CITU goons

Another incident happened at another Muthoot branch, in the heart of Kottayam City. Police remained mute spectators while trying to pacify rampaging union leaders. Reports had come in a day earlier that Muthoot staff who had come out of their office were thrashed by the CITU goons waiting outside. Local journalists had come to report the matter following complaints by Muthoot staff. Now it was their turn to get thrashed and have their cameras snatched, despite a large posse of policemen present there. The union leaders were heard threatening the journalists with dire consequences if these videos were telecast. None of the media elites sitting in Delhi cared to ask Sitaram Yechury about this gross violation of media freedom. 

In September 2019, CITU goons entered another branch and dragged out a lady staff by her hair. They then proceeded to push her out of her branch. In August of the same year, another lady was seen being pushed around in front of her branch by CITU leaders. She was being physically stopped from opening her branch. The cowards then proceeded to verbally abuse her when she resisted their moves.

Another lady employee was seen telling a CITU leader that she makes a decent salary working and that the pay was better than other competitors. She said her pay was not coming courtesy of the CITU. 

The striking union leaders are not Muthoot staff. They are CITU committee members; goons trying to stop workers trying to earn a decent living from entering their own offices. Such is the state of affairs in Kerala that even the right to work with basic human dignity is being denied.

The complete lack of law enforcement with which these communist goons operate can be seen in the barbaric way the Muthoot Finance MD, George Alexander Muthoot, was attacked while he was on his way to the head quarters of the company in Kochi, leaving him admitted in hospital with a severe head injury. Muthoot Finance has said the attack was carried out by CITU.

What is fascinating is the fact that all this is happening in spite of clear guidelines from the Kerala High Court, restricting protesting employees from coming within 15 metres of any Muthoot branch. The court order clearly prohibits protestors from stopping any employees coming to work at any branch.

But misogynistic behaviour from CPM goons aka CITU members should not surprise us, when the attitude of their leader Pinarayi Vijayan towards women can be gauged from the rude way he responded to an elderly lady trying to make a point during a public program. 

Double standards of CPM government

Ironically, the same CPM Government is busy organising ‘Women Walls‘ using MGNREGA workers, college students and Muslim women, to demand right for women of all ages to enter the Sabarimala shrine. This publicity stunt was thought of after the Kerala government’s brutal crackdown on Ayyappa devotees protesting the Supreme Court verdict on the Sabarimala case, failed to quell the protests.

Students in Maharaja’s College, Kochi line up ahead of the Women’s Wall campaign in Kerala on January 1, 2019. (Photo | Women’s Wall/ Facebook)

Hindus believe that menstruating age girls & women between the ages of 10 and 50 should not enter the holy shrine as the presiding deity Sri Ayyappa is in the Brahmacharya stage. Interestingly, this restriction is applicable only to the Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala – there are hundreds of other Ayyappa temples in Kerala and Bharat where women of all ages worship Ayyappa. But as is the wont in ‘secular’ Bharat, this issue has become a raging national priority and even the Supreme Court dismissed Hindu beliefs and ruled in favour of the activists (many of whom have extremely dubious histories). Hindu devotees have challenged the verdict and a larger SC bench will soon start hearings on the matter. For the record, last year the Supreme Court dismissed a plea seeking Muslim women’s entry into mosques. 

The common man in Kerala today feels that communists are encouraging anarchy. The courts seem helpless. Opposition is stifled. Police force under Pinarayi (he is the home minister too) is a caged parrot – they sway to the music of Pinarayi and his dreaded party. And the ‘national’ left-liberal intelligentsia & media sitting in Delhi turns a blind eye to happenings in Kerala, busy as they are with peddling their anti-Modi agenda.

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