International Women's Day is mixed bag in Kerala
Thiruvananthapuram, March 8 : Numerous events marked International Women's Day Friday in Kerala, India's most literate state. There were some not-so-pleasant moments too.
In Kannur, an angry man, upset over the judgment delivered against him in a family court, expressed his ire at the judge, a woman. T.V. Prabhakaran, hearing the judgment against him in an alimony case, wrapped his footwear in a newspaper and asked the clerk to hand it over to the judge as a gift.
Soon, a commotion broke out in the court room. Lawyers expressed their displeasure over the gesture, and policemen arrived to take Prabhakaran away.
In Kochi, the commercial capital of the state, a group of women activists arrived at a hotel run by a man called Kuttetan. They expressed their gratitude to the man for shutting his toddy (local liquor) shop and opening a hotel in its place.
"We came here to appreciate Kuttetan because he closed down the toddy shop. In the past, we have protested in front of the toddy shop. We fully appreciate his new initiative of running a hotel," said Sister Mercy, who led the women activists.
Firebrand Congress Lok Sabha member from Kannur K. Sudhakaran, known for his sharp tongue, told a party meeting in which Chief Minister Oommen Chandy was present that from now on, it would be hard for men. If he so much as looked a woman's way, she could complain and get him in trouble, the Lok Sabha member said.
"In the past, I would some times greet women party activists with a friendly tap on their shoulder. These days, I'm scared to do that. You (women) speak of your safety. We (men) have to be worried about our own," he said, to the amusement of party workers.
The Thiruvananthapuram-headquartered mini-ratna public sector undertaking HLL Lifecare Ltd Friday launched the popular oral contraceptive pill (OCP) "Saheli" across leading e-commerce portals, to enable easier access to the pill for women.
A leading mobile phone company opened a new retail outlet at Aluva near Kochi, with an all-women staff to mark Women's Day.
Across the state, numerous cultural and literary activities were held, many of them for women, by women, and on women.