While their counterparts in neighbouring Tamil Nadu are thanking their Chief Minister for relaxing lockdown conditions in the State so that they could increase production and employ a greater number of workers, entrepreneurs in Kerala are issuing SOS messages and suicide notes to the general public expressing helplessness in carrying out their business due to victimisation by political masters.
Kerala has already seen eight entrepreneurs committing suicides in the last two years because of harassment by various political parties that seek funds and anti-business stance pursued by the State Government.
A release issued on Monday by Sabu Jacob, chairman, Kitex Ltd. a group with turn over of `800 crore and employing 11,000 workers in their units at Kizhakkambalam in Ernakulam district is a note written out of desperation, dejection and disappointment.
“Kerala’s curse is some individuals whose only mission is to make money by hook or by crook. These people are an anathema that has fallen on this State,” Sabu Jacob writes in the release. He is careful in using the words for fear of more victimisation by leaders of the CPI(M), Congress and the CPI.
Since the new Government led by Pinarayi Vijayan assumed power in the State last month, officials from various departments including Police raided the enterprises owned by Jacob ten times. Jacob, the scion of a famous Orthodox Christian family in Kerala told The Pioneer that the officials were very rude with him.
“When you are treated like a terrorist in front of your own employees, what would be in their minds? Though they raided the factory premises ten times, till date they have not issued any reasons or documents to me,” he said.
Jacob had given conventional political parties in the State a run for their money in the April 2021 Assembly election. Twenty 20, the political outfit launched by Jacob had swept the Panchayat election in Ernakulam district by winning eight local self government bodies purely based on its track record of 2015 to 2020.
Officials from the departments of health, environment, public health, power, water supply and labour welfare barge into the factory premises of Kitex under the guise of inspection. “This kind of inspection is unheard of in Kerala and these are all acts of vendetta,” said Stanly Sebastian, a close friend of Jacob.
Jacob in his release on Monday has pointed out that all reputed enterprises like MRF, V-Guard and Synthite (the spices people) have left Kerala for good because of this act of victimisation. “The politicians in the State are bend upon locking down our factories so that they could see 15,000 additional unemployed persons wandering around,” said Sabu Jacob.
Jacob quotes Government data to drive home the point that four million graduates and post graduates remain unemployed in the State. “There are 6.1 million Keralites working outside the State as well as the country since there are no opportunities here. As on Monday more than 3.5 million people in the 40-60 age group remain unemployed in Kerala. The leaders of main stream political parties have made Kerala an industrial graveyard. They want the remaining units too to be locked so that the State would end up as an industries-free Kerala,” Jacob concludes his heart-rending release.
According to Hari Kartha , economist-turned-political commentator, no major industrial groups have set up shops in Kerala during the last 15 years. “Entrepreneurs and investors fear the State because of militant trade unionism and political high handedness,” said Kartha. He also said that the Kerala Budget 2021-2022 does not envisage any programme for industrialization.
Sebastian says that there was more than what is visible to ordinary eyes. “These are all part of a large conspiracy to drive out members of a particular community from the State. A cursory glance will tell you that those who have left the State are all from the Christian community,” said Stanley Sebastian.
Political commentators on condition of anonymity told The Pioneer that there was something more in this attack, which is not visible to naked eyes.
Originally Appeared Here