a note on yesterday’s Bharat Bandh

for the first time since late 80s, the Opposition Left and Right in India united against Congress I party’s misrule and gave a call for complete ‘bandh’ (total shutdown) of the country. a lot has been and is being said in favor or against this. while the opposition parties say it was a resounding success, the ruling Congress I says it was anti-people. and this cockiness of the riling party is what i didn’t like.

whether a success or not, it was important for the Opposition to get united and forcefully tell the Government, that price rise is an issue that gravely affects the people and cannot be brushed under the carpet anymore. yes, any kind of bandh affects the day to day life of people involved, yes, it extracts a cost, but sometimes, disruption becomes important to draw the attention of the ruling Government towards the plight of common people.

if a peaceful, democratic, bandh is so anti-people, as the Congress I today claims, then the Satyagraha and the Civil Disobedience movements of Gandhi ji and the original Congress party against the British raj were equally anti-people, ‘cos they also disrupted so-called normal life, financial transactions and functions of the Government of the day.

the fact is, whether a bandh or no bandh, everything, including the most essential commodities have seen run-away inflation in the present misrule of UPA-II (of which Congress I is the head). and the most affected by this are the very segments of society whose beneficiary Congress promises to be. it is very easy for some media houses, commenting from their air-conditioned spaces, to write this bandh off only as a disruptive attempt by the opposition parties, to write that this bandh was anti-people, to say that India ‘lost’ 13 thousand crores in a single day… it’ll be very difficult for them to highlight the agony of the same ‘common-man’ on rest of the non-bandh 364 days of the year!

India’s voting public possesses a notoriously short-term memory, and Congress I has highly skilled media managers, and that is why i hope that the Opposition keeps this issue on the ‘front page’ for as long as possible. we need not go back much to understand this, look where the Bhopal tragedy is in the news these days! Bharat Bandh’s and Opposition’s next trial will be in the monsoon session of the parliament, let’s hope it doesn’t become another Bhopal story by then!

i’ll close with Bhagat Singh’s words, “If the deaf are to hear, the sound has to be very loud.” and this present Government has not only been deaf, but dumb and blind too. lets hope for salvation.


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