Kerala vendor shaves head to protest demonetisation; vows to grow hair when Modi is no longer PM

Yahiya, a tea vendor from Kollam, Kerala, has shaved off half his head as a protest against Pm Narendra Modi's demonetisation move.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 28, 2016 6:17 pm
demonetisation, demonetisation effects, demoentisation atms banks, atms banks queues, nearby atms banks, demonetisation kerala tea vendor, kerala tea vendor protest against pm modi This man’s unusual protest against the PM is rooted in lack of awareness and confusion. (Source: Ashraf Kadakkal/Facebook)

India is historically and mythologically known for protest by hair. Chanakya is said to have left his Brahmin’s braid open to protest an insult made to him; in Mahabharata, Draupadi kept her tresses untied and unwashed vowing to do so only after washing it with Dusshasana’s blood to avenge the insult meted out to her; in Ramayana, Kekayi is said to have left her hair open to protest Ram being declared heir apparent of Ayodhya, instead of Bharat.

Following on somewhat similar footsteps – with a tad bit of variation – is a tea vendor from Kerala, whose story has gone viral on social media after it was shared as a Facebook post.

Yahiya, a small hotel and tea shop owner in Kerala’s Kollam district, has shaved off half his head to protest PM Narendra Modi’s demonetisation move – which has been lauded by many for its intention, but slammed for its ill execution and its negative impact on the lower rungs of society. But Yahiya’s drastic step seems to have been a result more of confusion and lack of awareness.

An assistant professor in Kerala University shared the 70-year-old’s story on Facebook recently. Ashraf Kadakkal, in his Malayalam post titled “Mann Ki Baat to a former tea vendor from a small hotel owner”, writes about Yahiya, who lives with his wife and two daughters, along with a picture of the vendor and his half-shaved head, wearing his wife’s nightie, which he finds comfortable.

This is Kadakkal’s Facebook post.

After marrying his daughters off using whatever little he had and a loan from a cooperative bank, Yahiya started a small shop to earn a living. On the fateful day when PM Modi announced the demonetisation of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, he had Rs 23,000 in the same denominations. He tried to exchange the notes, but to no avail. On the second day in a queue, he even collapsed due to low blood sugar levels and had to be taken to a hospital.

ALSO READ | When an Army jawan gave a ‘Modi bhakt’ a stinging lesson on what soldiers do for country

Yahiya, who only has a loan account with a cooperative bank, thought that all cooperative bank transactions were frozen and he had nowhere to deposit the money. In a fit of helplessness, after returning from the hospital, he burnt the entire Rs 23,000 he had, and shaved half his head off, vowing to grow back his hair only when Modi ceased being the PM.

Though, Yahiya’s step was arguably a bit hasty since he could have deposited the amount in a bank even if exchanging the sum wasn’t an option, since exchange and acceptance of the demonetised notes in cooperative banks was not allowed.

indianexpress.com has written to Kadakkal for a comment on whether the vendor was aware of this option.

Moreover, Yahiya’s not the only one suffering from confusion around money exchange around the various rules and regulations on exchanging and use of the demonetised notes that has plagued many since November 9.

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  1. A
    arjun
    Nov 28, 2016 at 1:22 pm
    Totally misplaced... no shaving hair when you had to suffer due to the countless number of bandhs called by political parties in kerala..why this kolavari da...
    Reply
    1. D
      DropGreed
      Nov 28, 2016 at 11:47 pm
      . .LoL . .haha. .get me the edit0r please . .quick .. .Is this news?
      Reply
      1. R
        romi
        Nov 28, 2016 at 3:16 pm
        shaves little hairs and make headlines lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;as modi is more important to india then people like you lt;br/gt;so lets hope yr no longer around when modi leaves PM post
        Reply
        1. R
          romi
          Nov 28, 2016 at 3:16 pm
          shaves little hairs and make headlines lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;as modi is more important to india then people like you lt;br/gt;so lets hope yr no longer around when modi leaves PM post
          Reply
          1. R
            Rohith
            Nov 28, 2016 at 8:06 pm
            @RAJIBABA Great, you can predict the future. So how long you think you will live?
            Reply
            1. N
              NArayan
              Nov 28, 2016 at 1:32 pm
              most literate state....duh...
              Reply
              1. L
                LS
                Nov 28, 2016 at 10:06 pm
                Good will save him from expenses of Comb, Oil, Shampoo, Soap.. Why can't he use the debit card his bank issued (If he has bank account - You had an year to open the account when it was announced last year) if not they you were not paying taxes on your income. either way good for removing few remaining hair as an you were already going bald.
                Reply
                1. S
                  Sivakumar N
                  Nov 28, 2016 at 1:59 pm
                  we shouldn't be responding to rubbish , do we have time for all these !!!!!!
                  Reply
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