Bandh Successful! But Did We Gain Anything?

Bandh Successful! But Did We Gain Anything?

Today’s DK/Mangaluru Bandh called for by Netravathi Rakshana Samyukta Samithi in protest against the Yettinahole Project was very much successful. Even though the Samithi had called for a voluntary bandh, but most of the businesses closed down fearing of untoward incidents by miscreants. But the bottom line is even though this Bandh was successful, did we gain anything. Just because of this Bandh, Do you think the government will budge and respond with a positive answer to this Yettinahole issue that has been prolonged for years.

Mangaluru: Even though the members of Netravathi Rakshana Samyukta Samithi may cheer up and term today’s bandh as ‘Successful Bandh’ , but in the meantime it has created a fear psychosis among the residents of the peaceful district. It has resulted in a large-scale economic loss. Plenty of Vegetables and fish got wasted. Businesses lost their daily revenue. Families stayed home fearing of attacks if they went out. As per Supreme Court order no one is supposed to call for a bandh, and if they did the organizers have to pay for the loss incurred during the bandh- but no one cares about SCs orders. Our CM has remained numb instead of taking quick action-he should implement the SC order in this regard, and recover all the loss from the groups who called for this bandh and take stern action against the guilty.

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Yes, the bandh was successful not because people supported it, but because people were scared to go out and business owners feared about any untoward incidents from miscreants that could damage their properties. We always tend to evaluate the success by the immediate material gain, and that is not our fault but our minds are shaped in that direction. Was anything accomplished by this bandh, other than economic loss? This ‘ Bandh’ was sheer useless. The first person to suffer due to this ‘ Bandh’ was the daily wage worker, he/she lost one-day wages, and some workers were kept hungry for a day. Even travelers who wanted to reach their respective destinations were stranded in railway stations/ bus-stands and other places, and cursing the people behind this bandh. This was democracy at its worst, where people were stranded like anything without normalcy in the district. While the citizens were taken for a ride, I don’t know what our government/other law enforcement authorities are doing allowing parties to issue bandh calls which is disrupting everything.

image001bandh-20160519-001 image003bandh-20160519-003 image005bandh-20160519-005 image006bandh-20160519-006 image007bandh-20160519-007 image008bandh-20160519-008 Looking around the city, it wore a deserted look with shops closed, most of the vehicles off the road except for a few private vehicles plying here and there; banks and other offices were closed; with the main and other fish markets closed, street fish vendors were seen making a brisk business; it was day for many to get outdoors and use open fields to play cricket, volleyball, football etc; except for some minor untoward incidents like burning of tyres, stone pelting at buses at remote areas, the bandh was peaceful. Members of VHP and Bajrang Dal who blocked the road near Nanthoor junction were whisked away by the cops, as per DCs orders that anyone who tries to create trouble during the bandh, action will be taken against them.

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With orders from higher authorities that a few miscreants involved in a few untoward incidents were still going around, Police at various locations, especially at Jyothi (Dr Ambedkar ) circle, were checking vehicles and noting down their license plate numbers and other information. Leader of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Jagadish Sheneva speaking to Mangalorean.com said, “We the members of VHP and Bajrang Dal have offered our full support for the Yettinahole cause. This Yettinahole issue has raised the hackles of coastal district people, who fear the project would irreversibly impact the environment and eat into their water shore. We will not allow this Yettinahole project to continue”.

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Travelers at railway and bus stations were put into lots of inconveniences – some who want to reach their destinations were charged enormously by taxi drivers – but others opted to stay back at the railway or bus stations and spend the day there. The travelers even had a hectic time getting proper food and water- but did the organizers think of all this before they called for a bandh. Our leaders/activists and members of various saffron organizations should know/think that Regular bandhs, protests, unrest among people, moral policing etc are making visitors to this educational hub to stop coming to this would-be “Smart City”. With quite a few violence taken place recently, investors are reluctant to start businesses here – and also due to constant moral policing even students who are eager to study in this education hub are seeking college admissions elsewhere. Due to regular bandhs, violence etc visitors to this city are facing a lot of inconveniences/hassles, and many get frustrated about this and decide not to come back here again.

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We may not have achieved anything tangible as such by these type of bandhs or protest now and then, but can we deny the fact that the bandhs are also a form of showing public resentment against the establishment of the day, be it of any party. Democracy has deep roots in India, that’s for sure. Of course, these bandhs create public discomfiture and ultimately the loss incurred have to be borne by the public and the worst part is that these bandhs do cause public damage to property and loss to life which is indeed very reprehensible. But is there a solution, an alternative ? There are alternatives, but no one wants to implement them. Not many bandhs have achieved positive results in the past they only further inflation because of loss of productivity in crores and crores. And today’s bandh will be one more among them. If bandh was a solution to everything, then there wouldn’t be problems in life. So what’s the outcome of a ‘ bandh’ now and then ? Nothing ! Absolutely nothing ! Sheer wastage of national productivity and inconvenience to common people. It only serves the interest of political parties and their workers. Bandh has lost its vitality and relevance long back after Independence.

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What we need to see is have government/systems become people friendly like in other nations. I think ‘Bandhs’ are not the solution to solve issues, instead transparency and reasoning/justification that we should be asking for. We should ask why the government is taking such decisions and help the government with alternative solutions in case the government is unable to look for an appropriate solution. One day ‘Bandh’ will not solve any issues or problems. The bottom line is ‘ Bandhs’ will flame inflation for sure and will increase income disparity-making poor poorer. All I have to say is that “Bandh” is useless, waste of time and energy, huge losses and disruptions to normal life. I bet many of you will agree with me. What do you have to say ?

Also Read the Following Related Article:

‘Bandh’-Will it Serve any Purpose? Guess Not!

7 Comments

  1. Hello Alphie,

    If at all you have carried water pots and struggled for water in the past 1-2 months, you too would have felt that the bundh was justified. If at all the elected representative had listened to the people of Dakshina Kannada and tried to stop the Yettinahole Project, today NRSS didn’t have to get to the streets to protest and call for a bundh. Have you seen any Mangalorean’s carrying potted water or struggling for water in any recent years if not the past 60 yrs as told by elders, at least in the past 10-20 yrs. If you are the person who has gone thro the pain of running for water, you too would have supported the bundh. At least once do visit the site where Yettinahole Project is getting implemented then you will know the seriousness of the effect of the project implementation which will have on our district, the rivers which will get affected and how it will create the ecological imbalance to the nature.

    • I Agree with the author. Bandh is not the solution, we need to move forward and not backward these bandhs were relevant when the British ruled us but not now. Such bandhs will only harm us, our state and the nation. Why do we need leaders who are digging our graves? We need to follow successful countries and their ways of dealing such situations. I think there are many examples of what happens when we go against nature.

  2. In response to AAlva’s comment posted above, I do want to clarify my point- Like I have already mentioned in both my articles that I do support the fight on the Yettinahole issue, but having a bandh would not make any difference and solve the issue. Bandh will create more loses and also put travelers coming to city into lots of inconveniences-with no shops open these travelers will be looking for food and especially water. What do you have to say about this? Let our leaders and members of Samithis come up with a better ideas to fight against this issue, rather than go for a senseless bandh. With one day bandh there is nothing we gained. Waste of time , and waste of revenue. Period.

  3. Alfie has a point. But Alfie has no clue about the insensitive politicians who sell the interests of the district to others for their political survival. Gulle nari Moily will be decimated if he contests from Mangalore. That is why he chose Chikka Ballapura where the devanga community have a large chunk of votes. They tend to vote en bloc for the hand symbol. Cong I is in shambles except for Karnataka. Jagavella malagiralu ivanobba yedda.

  4. I fully agree with the entire article.
    I have been greatly inconvenienced by these forceful bandhs as against “voluntary” involvement in a strike.
    The Munims (administrators of the Zamindari system) who issue ultimatums , sitting behind their protected closets, were not even seen or heard, while the common working –class- law- abiding citizenry did not even have public transport or access to shops to buy their food items(that includes drinking water for those who did not even have the luxury of getting 2 pots of potable water!).
    The irresponsible government, administration and police are to blame for the agony and losses incurred by hard working law abiding citizens during the bandhs. How will these citizens be reimbursed?
    In what way was this bandh peaceful ?????????; when a bus was stoned and car was burnt(as per news reports) while we had the paper tiger administrators and contingents of police service (“tigers” and “police-force” for ordinary un-influential people but “paper tigers” and “police service”, for influential people) benignly and charitably looking on at protestors sitting on the road blocking the traffic??! What right do they have to block the traffic if they are peacefully protesting???!
    As you have correctly mentioned a “fear psychosis” exists among the ordinary people. Because they know that the administration stands with its hands firmly clasped behind it’s back waiting to pass the buck onto someone else(usually the common man). As you have correctly mentioned a “fear psychosis” exists among people when certain specific rowdy groups/political parties call for a bandh. People know that the police and administration will just look the other way and not protect them.
    Had a group of ordinary citizens called for a strike to protect their liberty and freedoms and had they made the folly of requesting shopkeepers and public transport to shut down for the day, then they would have been unceremoniously rounded up and imprisoned, no questions asked, by the very same administrators and magistrates.
    But when a group of ruffians and goons call for a bandh, with the blessings of their political god-fathers , then the paper tigers are not seen implementing their own “Firmans” .And, the all permeating fear psychosis, created by these goons, causes people to shut down their shops and establishments and the ordinary citizen loses a day of his wages and worse of all sick patients are left to die.
    What happened during the Prashant Poojary “peaceful and voluntary” bandh called for by a mob of violence prone people? Shop-window glasses were broken, bus front windscreen glasses were broken, even KSRTC buses plying toward Dharmastala were not spared and KSRTC drivers skipped going through Moodbidri in fear for their lives! Did the government reimburse the shopkeepers and the bus owners? The people who milked the situation were the “card and flag carrying” Sanghas of rickshaw owners and private vehicles owing their allegiance to the “Mob” and this went on for 3 days! The Mob ran the town for 3 days while the paper tiger administrators did nothing to protect ordinary helpless citizens who had to shell out 10 times the cost for travel due to unavailability of public transport! Later the same mob of gangsters, who had held the entire town to ransom, issued a press statement that the bandh was “entirely voluntary” and that they had no hand in forcing the bandh down unwilling peoples’ throats!
    The entire charade of the “Yet –Another –Hole” project related bandh was organized and sponsored by immoral, corrupt and unethical politicians, in- power and out- of -power, who play the game of “Russian roulette” using ordinary citizens as guinea pigs while they fatten their pockets and multiply their assets ,sharing the spoils among themselves, leaving the “unsmartened” citizens of the “smart” cities with no ground under their feet to stand on.
    The Munims(administrators ) of the Zamindars(elected representatives who only end up representing their self-interests), who in normal course roar at ordinary citizens treating them with disdain, contempt and disrespect, do not dare to even utter a whimper at the thugs who owe allegiance to the Zamindars.
    Yes, we live in a Banana Republic and the citizens who vote for the Ammas, Annas, Appas, Bhagyas, Didis, Bhaiyyas, Bhais and Behens deserve the lack of good governance, transparency ,accountability, safety and security in lieu for some mere crumbs thrown at them from the left-overs of these politicians(the bad and rotten ones).
    If anybody thought that this bandh will increase the ground water levels for them to get their daily 2 pots of water then they are day- dreaming and need to get a reality check done. They need to search for and read the UN reports on impending water shortages in the world, then they need to search for and find the solutions to this impending shortage and then they will realize how the corrupt politicians are simply wasting our time by misleading us as to where the real problem lies while they(the corrupt politicians) are creating corporations to rake in the moolah- out of the manufacture and supply of potable water to the thirsting “still unsmartened citi –zens”!

  5. Even though I oppose the idea of ‘Bandh’, i fully understand why it has become popular in a society where we have failed to hold our govt officials and elected leaders accountable. Most of the blame should go to media who are supposed to educate and inform public. Instead, they are busy with selective outrage and hiding stories that are not convenient to certain groups.

    Take the example of Netraavati controversy – How many journalists have confronted our political leaders (especially Veerappa Moily and Sadaanada Gowda) and asked for a clear explanation and plan? How many journalists have visited the Yettinahole and reported on the work that is going on? How many reports have you seen detailing how this project will impact agriculture and fishing in area stretching from Uppinangady to Farangipete ? Who is interviewing Dakshina kannada leaders (especially from mangalooru-puttooru-bantwaala area) to find out what their plan is to address the water crisis if and when yettinahole project is implemented? Media needs to do a better job of reporting facts and educating public on the issue.

    Again, to be clear – I fully reject the idea of ‘Bandh’ as it is a direct violation of our rights. Bandh should be illegal and those who call for Bandh should face lawsuit and huge penalty in crores!! However, it won’t happen as long as Govt and media fail to see and acknowledge reality.

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