- The opposition parties have called for a Bharat Bandh (nationwide strike) on November 28 against the demonetization drive by the government.
- The government has obviously opposed it and appealed for peace from the public.
What is a bandh?
- Bandh stands for closure or shutdown of all day to day activities and demonstration is carried out largely by the political parties.
- As a result of the bandhs and strikes, the daily life of the common people gets disrupted and life is crippled.
What a bandh brings with itself?
- Suspension of economic activities brings an immense revenue loss.
- During the UPA rule, NDA called for a nationwide bandh in 2010 to oppose the hike in fuel prices. It brought a loss of 13000 crores to the country.
- In February 2016, the Jat strikes in Haryana brought a collective loss of 34000 crores to the North Indian states including Haryana, Himachal, UP etc.
- In September 2016, the strikes in Karnataka on Cauvery water issue brought a loss of 25000 crores to the Karnataka government.
- The image that India built around Bengaluru as its ‘Silicon Valley’ was destroyed.
- The losses are beyond economic ones.
- Students, daily wages laborers and the patients are the most affected lot.
- The tourists are also turned off and avoid next time.
- Anti social elements get opportunity and engage in burglary, forced closures, arson attacks, stoning, molestation and clashes between the bandh organizers and the police are common during the period of closure.
- The threat of violence looms large and large section of police force is diverted from normal security operations to mindless crowd control.
What is to be done?
- In 1998, the Honorable Supreme court’s three judge bench, headed by then Chief Justice of India J S Verma, banned illegal political bandhs.
- Still the political parties continue to do so because there is no precise definition of legal or illegal political bandhs.
- However hooligans can be prosecuted in a court of law.
- But the culprits of Jat agitation, Karnataka strikes etc. are yet to be booked for any offence.
- In a democratic setup, Parliament is the platform to express dissent. But one side Parliament is obstructed, precious legislative time and public money is grossly wasted and on the other side public have to close the shops, shut their normal business operations etc, thus they are doubly jeopardized.
- Don’t expect anything here, just wake up, that is the only solution!