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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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 ?