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[hahr-tahl] /hɑrˈtɑl/
(in India) a closing of shops and stopping of work, especially as a form of passive resistance.
1915-20; < Hindi harṭal, variant of haṭṭāl, equivalent to hat shop (Sanskrit haṭṭa) + tāl locking (Sanskrit tālāka lock, bolt) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hartal
  • After a lull of about six months, hartal s and demonstrations were once again resumed.
British Dictionary definitions for hartal


(in India) the act of closing shops or suspending work, esp in political protest
Word Origin
C20: from Hindi hartāl, from hāt shop (from Sanskrit hatta) + tālā bolt for a door (from Sanskrit: latch)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Encyclopedia Article for hartal

in Ceylon, general strike, organized in 1953 by Marxist parties to express public dissatisfaction over the rise in the cost of living, especially the cost of rice. (Generically, the word hartal means "strike" in most North Indian languages.) Because of a chronic shortage of rice, the Ceylonese government since World War II had rationed rice and instituted government rice subsidies to keep the price of rice stable in the face of a fluctuating world market. By 1952 the subsidies accounted for 20 percent of government expenditure. In July 1953, Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake of the United National Party drastically reduced the subsidies, causing the price of rice to triple.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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