Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Having covered a wide range of topics over the last few days, it is my responsibility to update you with the latest on each. The transitions have been very, very interesting and here, I go:-

  (a) The Plantation Crisis in Kerala.
        The striking plantation workers, the trade unions, the plantation management and the 
        government have finally reached an agreement at the Plantation Labour Committee 
        meeting held today which encompasses the following:-

              (i) Wages as against the demand for Rs.500/-                              
                   * Coffee plantation workers                                      Rs. 301/- (Rs.232/-)
                   * Cardamom workers                                                Rs. 330/- (Rs.267/-)
                   * Rubber plantation workers                                     Rs. 381/- (Rs.317/-)
                   * Note. The figures given in brackets are the existing rates.

             (ii) 25 kgs of tea/coffe leaves will be plucked daily against the existing 21 kgs.
            (iii) Free medical aid.
            (iv) Family residential areas will be set up.
             (v) Primary schools will be set up for the workers' children close to the plantation centres.
            (vi) Special schools for differently abled children.

            * It's a big victory for the Oommen Chandy government on the eve of the Panchayat elections.
              The LDF, was meanwhile, clamouring for a special session of the state Assembly to thrash
              out the issue!

    (b) The Declassification of the Netaji Files.

          At a meeting between the Prime Minister and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's kin, the former
          has announced that while the initial process is on, the Netaji files in the custody of the union
          government will be declassified from 23 Jan '16, the birth anniversary of the great man.

    (c) The Prime Minister's Condemnation.

         The Prime Minister has condemned the following incidents after what seemed to be a long
             (i) The Dadri incident.
            (ii) The cancellation of the Ghulam Ali concert.
           (iii) The blackening of Mr. Sudheendra Kulkarni's face at Kasuri's book launch.


Meanwhile, the following snatched the headlines today:-

 (a) Over 800,000 chemists shut shops across the country in protest against the online sale of drugs.
 (b) Many more writers have returned their Sahitya Academy awards in protest against the so-called
       growing intolerance in the country.


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