Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bandhs - An Useless expression of protest

Its another day. The 20th of October.Another incident. Another Bandh.. Another abuse of civil liberties. Another useless expression!

Have Bandhs served any purpose ever? Has anybody ever benefitted from a bandh? What is this thing called bandh really? Is it a democratic protest? Or is it a feudal injection into a democratic state? Is it sanity or insanity? Is it a silent protest or is it a surrender of innocents to the might of a handful ? How are bandhs allowed by an elected government? Or are they a governments' clandestine helplessness? Is the government machinery so weak to allow such abuse ? What does the common man have to do with a bandh? How will it serve the purpose for which it was called for?

The questions are many. The answers few or none. To my mind a bandh is the most useless yet violent and forceful protest by a handful of individuals who want to project an image of their might. How can a protest be made in a way that the common man suffers?

The people who proclaim these bandhs have never been arrested and charged. The question is why? How are they different from thieves and robbers and murderers? Which section of the constitution dont they trample upon? Which person can claim that they never suffered from a bandh? Yet a bandh and the people who call for a bandh go unpunished. Every time.

This is a blatant violation of the constitution right under the governments nose and the government does nothing about it.

The latest reason for a bandh in Goa on the 20th of October 2008, is due to the desecration of religious places. While the desecration needs to be condemned strongly, the citizens instead of asking for bandhs should form vigilant committees to keep a strong vigil all over Goa at odd hours at religious places. This would finally fructify in catching those culprits who are still at bay. Some time back the desecration was done to catholic crosses and now it is being done to Hindu temples. Certainly there seems to be an agenda of instilling hatred between communities by some very organized elements who are doing this quite methodically and need to be apprehended and served the punishment due.

However calling for a bandh is playing straight into the hands of these rogues whose only aim is to destabilize the country. How do they get affected with a bandh? Bandhs only destabilize the state and its resources putting the common man to hardship.

Those who get affected are the common people who miss out on their daily work, sick people who fail to get medical attention, people whose functions and occasions get disrupted, students whose schedules get disturbed, people whose appointments are cancelled, persons who had to leave abroad but fail due to the bandh… the list of the aggrieved is endless.

All these affected people will only voice their curses against the bandh callers. That is their reward.It is high time the common man adds the “bandh” into his list of protests just as the protests against the mega projects, garbage woes , regional plan, corruption etc.

Goa does not need a bandh to stage a protest. What it needs is a good vigilant system of lay common men
Love you Goa!

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