Bandh, bandits and duragraha

Sept 13 and 14 – Karnataka wide bus strike. Millions of commuters stranded. Huge impact in small towns where few people have private vehicles. Sept 20 – Bharat bandh in protest of FDI. People who eventually get affected by FDI, got the most affected by the bandh. Oct 1 and 2 – petroleum dealers in the city went on a no-purchase protest. Oct 5 and 6 – Bangalore and Karnataka bandh to protest Cauvery water release to TN. Common man not sure which water they are they talking about. The one which does not reach the chawls, or the one with which they wash their glass villas?

These are the people who, instead of ensuring lesser wastage of water; instead of ensuring that rainwater harvesting equipments are implemented in every house of the city, find it easier to block streets and make it to the newspapers. Does the common man get any respite after such mega protests? It is high time we understand that resorting to bandh is never a common man’s reaction. What’s the point in crippling the life of the common man, who further burns his pocket and spends more to reach office, schools and hospitals? The common man spends extra to get groceries, and finds no milk for his child. Amidst all this, the daily wage worker suffers the most.

Bandh is not actually a protest. In-fact, it is an opportunity for hooligans to have a field day. Bandhs were once a part of sathyagraha during India’s freedom fight. It was necessarily driven by people in the interest of the masses. Today bandhs are duragraha, imposed on masses by political parties and unions. People observe bandh not in support. The common man does not get out on streets just to ensure he is not manhandled. Shopkeepers keep their shops closed not in support, but to ensure they don’t get looted. The bandhs may or may not be for a righteous cause, but if something wrong has been done, can one more wrongdoing ever set it right?

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