Anatomy of a bandh

So what exactly is a ‘bandh’? Before that, what exactly is a ‘call for bandh’? And even before that, let me warn the red and gold army upfront that this rant has nothing to do with Belgaum issue.

When you issue a ‘call for bandh’, shouldn’t it be my ‘call’ on whether to participate or not? What and where is a ‘bandh’ when 100 bikers roam around central business district to enforce it? It is pure ‘goondagiri‘, sorry, but I don’t have any other words to describe it.

Even though we live in a free country, political hooligans who use fear as the weapon are easily capable of curbing our freedom of expression and choice. The October 4th ‘bandh’ was just another reminder, as simple as that. It happens so often around the nation (remember Fanaa?) and we are forced to play mute witnesses everywhere everytime.

Now, coming to the particular version that we witnessed today – what the hell is a ‘state sponsored bandh’? Why should the state itself encourage a ‘bandh’, or in other words, enforce a general strike? Are there no better ways left to express ‘solidarity’ with Belgaum?

I could argue that this is just a way to divert attention from the burning and pinching issues of degenerating infrastructure and allegations of corruption. Who will dare to go against the rhetoric of Kannada pride and all!? Smart politics indeed.

With so much work to do, who gives state government the right to take a full day holiday like that? Trivial matter, but will someone see to it that these MLAs don’t get paid for Oct 4th because they voluntarily took a leave of absence for the day?

I am just sick of these ‘enforced bandhs’ and more so the ‘state sponsored’ variety. Please, I want choice, I want ‘real’ protests, I want my freedom of expression – not this display of muscles.

For the red and gold army again – I am not expressing any opinions on Belgaum, Belgaon or Belagavi here.

9 Comments so far

  1. sf_mark (unregistered) on October 4th, 2006 @ 11:21 pm

    Thanks for mentioning the “bandh,” about which I was curious. But your entry raises more questions — what are “Belgaum, Belgaon or Belagavi” and what do they have to do with the bandh?

  2. silkboard (unregistered) on October 5th, 2006 @ 12:52 am

    Mark, it is a rather short story. Two states of India, Karnataka and Maharashtra, both claim this border town called Belgaum. The basis is language. For some reason, after independence, our country decided to linguistically soft-divide itself. Not many say that was a bad thing, but few disputes like these still linger.

  3. mehak (unregistered) on October 5th, 2006 @ 11:12 am

    Instead of developing our nation, we all are busy dividing the nation :(

  4. SloganMurugan (unregistered) on October 5th, 2006 @ 11:36 am

    Nice political drama. On both side of the border. Should peak in time for election. Until then, let’s suffer across Samyukta Maharashtra or Karnataka.

    Loved seeing Vatal Nagraj’s Kotti Kunita. Wonder what he is up to next…

  5. NParry (unregistered) on October 5th, 2006 @ 9:18 pm

    I can’t believe that the Government gave in to a bunch of thugs led by Vatal! This is a spineless, opportunistic set of “ninnies” who neither can speak or write Kannada properly, nor can run a state government. If citizens get the courage to keep doing what they usually do on bandh days, over time, this pack of goondas will fade away, but first, we must learn to stand up en-masse…the “svalpa adjust maadi” mentality is generally in the way of Bangalore’s citizens asserting themselves.

  6. Sajith M (unregistered) on October 6th, 2006 @ 12:17 am

    Very true. I don’t understand the logic of a bandh, and how does a bandh help in settling the issue. I wonder how shutting down bangalore for a day is in any way related to belgaum being part of karnataka.

    As for the spantaneouty of the bandh, I think it was more because people were afraid that we might see a repeat of the incidents that followed Rajkumar’s death and not because they were a wee bit interested in Belgaum.

  7. Apun Ka Desh (unregistered) on October 6th, 2006 @ 5:45 pm

    It wouldn’t be wrong to say that a few people have hijacked the law and order situation of the country.

    And what are the estimated losses? Upwards of Rs 500 crores, not counting the losses made by the daily wage earners.

    And what to people do: They shut down business, work, stay at home – to avoid trouble. This is the fear-stricken mentality that is made use of by folks everywhere in country.

  8. Nan (unregistered) on October 8th, 2006 @ 5:32 pm

    Its dreadful when there is a bundh, one cannot even moan the dead. The sad demise of my 80 year old mother a day before the bandh made it mandatory to cremate her the same day, though the family would have wanted the cremation on 4th Oct so that there is enough time to inform friends and family far and near.
    Unfortunately fear tactics used makes one wonder what has happened to basic human feelings. I dread to think of what would have happened if the poor old lady had died on the day of bundh! ?

  9. silkboard (unregistered) on October 8th, 2006 @ 6:38 pm

    Mehak – Ours is an amazing country – bright past, bright future, but present always seems murky!

    Slogan – Yes. all this is preparation for elections. Wonder if Mangalore riots too fit in there.

    Nparry – Easy to say a thing like “if citizens get the courage”, but things are tough on the ground. Some acts of vandalism have to be made ‘examples’ to show that “mobs can’t get away”. Till then, one party’s bandh will be everyone’s nightmare.

    Sujith / Apun Ka Desh – Yes, it is ‘fear’ that makes these bandhs ‘successful’. As they say in Hindi – “Jiskee laathi uski bhains“.

    Nan – Really sorry to hear about your mom.

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