Kerala community shuns gold to protest price rise


Palakkad (Kerala) : Soaring gold price has prompted a community in Kerala to shun the glittering metal, though it is a season of marriages now in the state.

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“We have decided not to buy gold till March 31 in view of the sharp rise in the price,” a leader of the Ezhuttachan community, spread over Palakkad and Thrissur districts, said.

The Ezhuttachan community with a population of around 350,000 belongs to the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) category. A majority of them is engaged in agriculture.

“Now, it is a season of marriages here. Since people give gold in dowry, it is a huge burden on them,” Janardanan R., secretary of Edakkampadam-Vithanassery branch of Ezhuttachan Samajam (Society), told IANS.

The decision to ‘boycott’ gold was taken by all the 81 members of the Edakkampadam-Vithanassery branch of the Samajam at a Jan 7 meeting at Vithanassery village in Nenmara, about 30 km from here.

“The rise in the gold price has not yet become an issue of debate in our society, though it has many social implications. We want to initiate a debate on the issue,” Janardanan said.

The Samajam’s move is eliciting some response from the public as local panchayat (council) authorities have contacted it to know about its plans.

“People have started enquiring about our move. People from media have also started contacting us,” Janardanan said.

“We know very well that this move would not have any great consequence. But our aim is to make people take note of the issue. If our action helps people ponder over the consequences of the rise in gold price and respond to it someway, we are successful,” he said.