Thiruvananthapuram: An internationally acclaimed magician in Kerala on Tuesday drove his Jeep blindfolded -- terming it 'a symbolic protest to open Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's eyes' towards the plight and suffering of the stage artistes and performers.
Samraj, 65, was joined by several of his followers who also rode motorcycles blindfolded, behind his vehicle.
The drive started from the Martyrs Column in the heart of Thiruvananthapuram to the State Secretariat -- the seat of power, covering a distance of about 800 metres.
Samraj, an engineer by profession, became a full-time magician after quitting his job in the Middle East a few decades ago. He is the winner of the prestigious 'Merlin Award', popularly known as the 'Oscar of Magic'.
Talking about his unconventional and unique way of protesting, Samraj said: "We decided to drive blindfolded to highlight the sufferings of about 10,000 people who make a living by performing on the stage."
"It has been now more than 20 months... The artistes and performers are yet to get assistance to resume their work. The film industry has started and practically every sector has opened up but stage artistes still have not gotten back to work. These are some untold miseries. Therefore, we decided to organise such a protest," said Samraj.
Samraj, who lives in Mavelikera, about 100 km from the state capital, was in the news recently when he performed a solo magic performance to draw the attention of the authorities.
He wants authorities to allow them (stage artistes) to get back to their work, and for that, permission should be granted for the resumption of shows -- in halls and stages, and especially in the places of worship.