Forcefully closing shop and beating people is the way to show they support to farmers in Uttar Pradesh? This is the first time that I have seen Bandh declared by the state government at the cost of people. And this Bandh was successful, as Mumbai had come to a halt. Now this Government should compensate all the poor Shop owners and vendors for losing the wages for the day for their political stunt.
People are somehow trying to come out of their financial stress. They have just started recovering from COVID and are indulging in businesses and other financial activities, why the government should enforce such mindless Bandhs on them?
Just when the festival season started, just when people started coming out of homes, just when people started spending a bit on their priorities, just when people started winning their bread. The government called for a Bandh that deprived most of the people of going to work or do business. Mumbai shops were closed, no government or private offices were asked to keep closed but commuting was a big challenge for commoners.
Meanwhile, how can Bandhs be successful without isolated streets, hooligans and vandals forcing down shutters, hapless police looking on and a helpless common man getting torn between his responsibility towards his work and his safety considerations. Over the years, we have been witness to numerous bandhs’ on a variety of issues affecting some sections of society. This sticky issue has led to complete polarization of opinion in recent times.
Hindi word ‘Bandh’ literally means ‘to close’ and it is signified by the shutting of all businesses and normal life for spreading awareness and cornering the government on certain issues. The issue here may be small or big but the impact of a bandh on everyday life is definitely not minor.
Bandh being successful will almost entirely boil down to the impact on the daily life of the common man and the full scale of its employment. Desolate streets, downed shutters, empty buses and trains, empty offices all lend credence to a bandh and put additional pressure on the governments to play ball with the striking party.
But this time it was a rare occurrence. The state government used Bandhs to corner the central government. The seductive power of bringing the entire state to a standstill, wild media coverage, social media posts, and above all the question of the government’s credibility. This shut down has really not gone well with the people of Maharashtra especially Mumbai.
Maha Vikas Aghadi government should understand that a day’s loss of output from its industries not only affects it monetarily but also brings a big loss of credibility. The loss of output means lower revenues, greater liabilities, loss of orders and more importantly a loss of perceived authority. That is why the mere mention of Bandh can strike fear into people who will try to avoid it at all costs. But when government machinery and party workers force the Bandh by using muscle powers common man becomes voiceless.
The workers of Shiv Sena, NCP, and Congress were forcing citizens with an appeal to participate in the bandh wholeheartedly and express their solidarity with Uttar Pradesh farmers ignoring the killings and brutalities in their own state. Over 2,000 traders dealing in fruits, vegetables, flowers, grains, onions, and potatoes were forced to support the bandh. Transport was hit, rickshaws were not allowed to ply their vehicles during the duration of the shutdown.
Well, if this solidarity is going to bring some change or force central authorities to speak on incidence then it is worth but nothing of that sort is going to happen. As we all know PM always goes on mute mode during severe crises in the country.
Eight people, including four farmers, died in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3. The farmers died after being knocked down by vehicles reportedly carrying BJP workers, after which an angry mob allegedly lynched some people in these vehicles. On Saturday night, the police in Lakhimpur Kheri in connection with the October 3 violence arrested Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra. He is getting interrogated, the family of deceased farmers got compensation too. In spite of all this why the Bandh was called no one knows.