Nainamvalappu: Defying Kerala's hartal madness for 50 years

The rush before a hotel in Nainamvalappu in Kozhikode on Friday when a 12-hour hartal was observed in Kerala.

As incidents of stone pelting and violence were reported from various places in Kerala on Friday during a 12-hour hartal organised by the Popular Front of India, a coastal locality in Kozhikode district remained defiant.


The region of Nainamvalappu went about minding its daily business during hartal like it has been doing for nearly 50 years.


On Friday, Nainamvalappu was bustling with activities; shops, including hotels, were busier than usual and movement on its streets was unobstructed during the hartal hours even as hundreds of vehicles, including 70 KSRTC buses, were damaged in stone pelting elsewhere in Kerala.


For locals, it is part of a local tradition that evolved out of a teashop run by a man called Ruhani Aboobacker half a century ago.


According to the story often retold, Ruhani Aboobacker opened his teashop during a bandh. Soon came a group of agitators led by Pallikkandi Bichammad. After a local politician, NP Imbichammad came to Ruhani's rescue there was a quarrel.

Nainamvalappu is more famous for its passion for football that comes alive during world cups. File photo: Manorama


Joining the commotion was Hamsakoya, brother of the leader of the agitators. It is said he put an end to the issue with a tight slap across the face of his younger sibling.


There, at the teashop of Ruhani Aboobacker, the locals swore to never let any form of bandh/hartal enter the boundaries of Nainamvalappu.


Locals claim that over the years they have maintained that vow regardless of which party was hosting the hartal. When hartal supporters moved in, locals teamed up to make themselves heard and their resistance has been impressive thus far.


It is said that even agitators quench their thirst from Nainamvalappu. The Nainamvalappu Football Fans Association is a popular cultural organisation in the region that is renowned for its passionate support for the beautiful game, especially during world cups.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.