A veteran journalist who enjoys looking at the quirky side of life

R K Nair

Salute Sandhya!

| Updated on December 15, 2013


Sometimes the most unlikely people become heroes. A feisty housewife who stood up to a band of militant Left-wing workers in Thiruvananthapuram a couple of days back has become one overnight. The setting was just outside Cliff House, the official residence of the Chief Minister, where the Left cadres were staging a symbolic blockade seeking his resignation over the solar panel scam.

Sandhya, a resident of the area returning on a two-wheeler after leaving her children at school, found that the road to her home was fully blocked by the agitators and police barricades.

She asked the police personnel to remove the barricade and let her pass. A local leader rudely told her to back off and take another route. This provoked the woman, who launched into a tirade, which was captured on TV cameras.

"Who gave you the right to block my way?" she thundered.

The embarrassed Left leaders asked the police to remove the barricade and let her go.

TV channels aired the tongue-lashing with glee and local newspapers gave saturation coverage to the confrontation. The spontaneous outburst touched a chord with the people fed up with the unending spree of agitations in the State.

Support for Sandhya poured in from all parts of the State while some Left leaders accused her of being a Congress sympathiser.

"I'm apolitical. You can check my background," she averred.

Kochouseph Chittilappilly, founder of V Guard, praised her courage and announced a cash reward of Rs 5 lakh at the TiECon Kerala meet in Kochi on Friday.

"I dare not venture out when an agitation is on. The courage of this ordinary housewife has to be appreciated," he said. He later told a TV channel that he had checked the background of Sandhya and announced the cash reward as she was found to be apolitical.

"I always vote for the person, not for political parties," she told mediapersons who visited her home.

Her spirited defiance of political bullying had a tremendous impact. The Left leaders have announced that the road will not be blocked and the residents of the area will be allowed to move about freely.

'Big Salute Sandhya', a Facebook page launched in her honour, has received thousands of 'Likes' within hours, with accolades pouring in from all parts of the country and abroad. "How could the Left go so wrong in assessing the mood of the masses?" was a comment from a Netizen.

Now the masses should turn their attention to the squatters in front of the State Secretariat where at least half a dozen groups of agitators are present on any given day, leading to frequent blockades and traffic disruptions on the arterial MG Road. They should also raise their voice against the tendency of political parties to call for 'hartals' and shutdowns at the drop of a hat.

Published on December 14, 2013

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