Kerala and San Francisco

Last month, members of DYFI and the Merchants association ransacked a Reliance retail shop in Paravur.The police did not bother to prevent this and no one was arrested. In
Kerala, the politicians and business groups have decided that a
consumer should buy only from shops run by them and not from
supermarkets run by Reliance or Spencers.

Over
the last one month I have been talking to people and visiting places to
find the reasons behind the agitation against retail shops.
Interestingly the retail shops targeted are all based in India
(Reliance, Spencers etc.). There are two main reasons behind this
agitation

1. The majority of big retail
business is controlled by certain groups. They are the main people who
are funding this. In Kerala if you pay money you can hire a lot of
anti-social elements. It is estimated that there are 4 million
unemployed youth here!

2. In many places,
politicians have a stake in the local retail shops or supermarkets.
They know that there substandard supermarkets cannot compete with the
efficient shops run by Reliance or Spencers. [Reliance retail shop ransacked by criminals at paravur]

Thus when a Malayali goes on his mandatory exile, a place he can settle
down comfortably and get the ambiance of the home state would be San
Francisco. This is a place where supervisors are working on legislation
to ban all chain stores

The city’s restrictions on new
chain stores have become increasingly tough over the past few years. In
2003, the Board of Supervisors approved a law requiring proposed
coffeehouses and pharmacies to provide notice of their intent to open.
That made it easier for opponents to request Planning Commission
hearings and to argue against the stores.

In
recent months, however, chain store owners with applications before the
Planning Commission have encountered renewed hostility and skepticism.
Some commissioners have stated flatly that they don’t like chain stores
under any circumstances. [S.F. grows ever more hostile to chain stores ]

2 Comments

  1. Coincidently, San Francisco is also one of the most expensive cities in the United States. Chain stores, whatever their faults, offer lower prices than locally-owned mom and pop stores. The question to ask is: why do rich liberals hate the poor?

  2. Niraj, In Kerala, the Communist Party became Communist Party Inc, but fighting for the poor. They preferred middlemen and their organizations and gave a damn about the poor. In SFO it is more of a fashion statement – hey we are the rebel city thing.

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