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Leave it to the Bharatiya Janta!

July 5, 2010

My mum’s camping out in front of the TV watching the BJP ‘court arrest’ in protest against the price rise. The party leaders/workers are acting like ‘our brave freedom fighters’. I suppose they really believe that they’re going to rid our country of the scourge of the Congress Party. That people will see how boldly and bravely they’re fighting injustice. And vote for them.

Honestly, HOW stupid do they think people are?
They’ve declared a Bandh. And I don’t think I’m the only one fuming.

1) It’s raining in Delhi. The weather’s cool, and in the morning I was wondering if I’d woken up in Bombay or Kerala or something! It’s the kind of weather you’ve love to enjoy, with say, a long drive or a chance to go shopping. I’d love to go to work in this weather, the auto ride wouldn’t make me feel like roast-human.
But no! Not today! Today’s the day for burning down auto’s and buses, threatening violence and oh, burning tires in the middle of the road! What FUN!

2) I’d really, really respect the Big-Joke-P if they tried a non-violent bandh. I would, really. No, um… killing or maiming, for example? No breaking the windshields of buses, or disrupting public transport maybe?
And if they want to try something REALLY REALLY unusual, maybe they could try getting people to voluntarily not get out for work.

2.5) It’s public property, we don’t really care, what with all the paan stains on the buses and all, but please. It’s our money going in to fix those broken windshields and repair all the other damage done (apart from the bit that slips into your pockets on the way).

3) Oh and pollution? It might be just a teeny-meeny difference they’re making to the air above India, but could someone ask them, politely (not to hurt their sentiments), to please NOT. Or maybe they’re trying to make up for the empty roads…

4) What if someone needs to go to the hospital? It happened last time, if I remember correctly, and someone died when an ambulance was stopped during a bandh. And trains and planes? I don’t think there’s anything more cruel than that. To have every medical facility available to you, and then have to die because someone decided that it’s okay to block all the roads. For the greater good, you know?

5) All this agitation is against the price rise. But isn’t almost everything subsidised in our country? There has to be an outlet somewhere. I don’t know much about economics and my math sucks, but if the governments been ‘softening the blow’ (so to say) for us all these years, there has to be a time when we’re asked to cover up. Yea, I have to pay 60 bucks instead of 40 to get from point A to point B, but at least I don’t have to pay a 100. I dunno. It’s…. whatever.

Times like these make me feel like there isn’t really any point in even getting angry. What’s the use? It isn’t going to stop any of this. Makes a person feel like saying ‘oh screw you!’ and just turning your back.
I suppose I’m just going to grow into an old armchair cynic.
I’d envy the soul that doesn’t.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. July 5, 2010 4:22 pm

    I think that this bandh has had an impact. It was absolutely needed but for the vandalised public property.

    • July 5, 2010 7:01 pm

      Even if it has led to people being injured or dead? Isn’t there a less violent way of making yourself heard? Why fire and death?

      • July 6, 2010 9:53 am

        There would really had been no Fier and breaking of Glasses, if there would have been co-operation from other segments of the Society.

        In Mumbai Taxi Unions supported the strike and didn’t ply on roads, hence there was not a single taxi burnt or broken.

        It was govt. who pushed, and pushed all its services under gooning Police force.

      • July 6, 2010 3:10 pm

        In Bombay, the Taxi Union supported the strike. For whatever reason, the members made their choice and stuck to it.
        My problem is that people who didn’t support the bandh were forced to comply with it. No one in their right mind would travel when they know that their cars or buses would be burned down.
        In my opinion, it was an unfair use of political power.

  2. July 5, 2010 10:01 pm

    There have been bandhs and hartals galore against price rise. But have prices ever come down?? Never. Isn’t this all a mere show?? Or are we supposed to be so stupid as to believe that burning buses and polluting the air by burning tire will bring the prices down??!! Count me in on turning into a cynic.

    • July 6, 2010 11:53 am

      More Over question arises what have we done to get prices down!!

    • July 6, 2010 3:47 pm

      I’m so glad you feel the same way Shail!
      Bandhs like this one usually have just one reason, and that is to attract attention. To stay in the news. I guess the BJP is a little afraid they haven’t been noticed for a while.
      And about becoming a cynic, :) have faith! try and resist! I have one of my college lecturers telling us that all the time… and isn’t it true?
      Becoming a cynic would be the easy way out. Believing is more difficult.

  3. July 6, 2010 9:46 am

    I have seen many political parties call of strike, but this strike seemed more welcome by public than anyone else.

    Looking at the Bandh and response, i think there was very minimalistic loss of public property
    compared to other bandh’s that Maharashtra alone has witnessed.

    With people particiapting actively in bandh, and staying in houses, which is a silent move by a common man against ever soaring inflation.

    • July 6, 2010 3:04 pm

      I don’t think people had much of a choice but to stay at home. The fear of death or injury, even of fire, is very strong.
      And the fear of power too. And politicians have power.

      You say minimalistic loss of property. Was there need for any loss of property?

      We’re a poor nation, struggling to provide even the basic-est of the basic needs to more than half of the population. And then we set about destroying public property?

      A rather sad situation, I think. And definitely one that made no difference but to bring the BJP into short-lived public memory.

      • July 6, 2010 3:37 pm

        When i see it, politicians have power, no one wants to get stuck, hurt is all fine.
        But when you have government urging you to come to work, with all facilities and police protection well in place. All Lifelines running smoothly, what stopped one from stepping out.

        When i had a walk couple of times on strike dayto take a note of what is happening around, i could see no political parties goond waiting on nook or corner to hit you, but common man standing there, and opting not to board a Local, which was as empty as i would ever dream off. one passanger per coach in a ever crowded Mumbai local at peak hours.

        Isnt it that a person is willing staying out and supporting.

      • July 6, 2010 3:52 pm

        Here in Delhi, it was more of parents and family members saying ‘beta don’t go for work/ to school/ to see the movie/ to go for a drive today. You never know what might happen.’ Schools were closed because no school wanted to be responsible for any ‘incident’ that may take place while the kids were going to or from the school.
        But you’ll believe what you saw and i’ll believe what i saw.

        I only feel that using violence to drive home a point is incorrect.

    • July 6, 2010 5:01 pm

      Sushant Chaudhury, it would only be a support by common citizen, if they willingly stayed in. If they stayed in because they feared being hit by a hurling stone (or some other form of violence) then there was no support. I had to cancel my plans because of the bandh, I know of other people who were equally annoyed.
      And who pays for all the damage to the public property? We do.

      Also now it is against the law to create such inconvenience to the ‘aam aadmi’.

  4. July 6, 2010 3:56 pm

    I did watched videos aired on news channels which shows bashing off private vehicles, which is totally incorrect as someone may really have emergency of life and death to reach to a place .

    Its totally incorrect to make a loss to any property(public/private!

    • July 6, 2010 5:12 pm

      Sushant these bandhs do not help in solving any problems, the politicians use them to get noticed by the voters.

      The last time there was a Chakka Jaam, I think there were two deaths – and that would have ensured there are no more bandhs, if there was any regret felt by those responsible.

      Violence and even an indirect threat discourages common citizens from stepping out of their homes. Also how many common citizens did we see protesting? At the most they were forced spectators – because they were forced out of their buses or trains – I saw the police dousing fire in one place.
      Most protesters seemed to be party workers. I would have appreciated a peaceful protest like what we did for Jessica Lal murder case.

      • July 7, 2010 9:46 am

        IHM, In case of Jessica Lal protest, there were no cops stopping you from walking on roads, and stopping you from aking people to join the mob.

        Here Cops were ordered to enquire for any group more then 5 people together, it they were walking in for support of bandh, and if Yes, arrest them.

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