H C Singh

Bharat Bandh And Implications of Bandh Politics

Because of increase in petroleum prices, there has been, perhaps for the first time a Bharat Bandh of such a magnitude, supported by all the 20 opposition parties led by BJP and left parties. Political parties like BJP and the leftist parties like CPI & CPM which have nothing in common and ideologically opposed to each other from inception joined together for the first time in Bharat Bandh. Even S.P of Mayawati has been hostile to both BJP and leftist parties joined the Bandh. UPA II of Sonia Gandhi, its Chairperson and Manmohan Singh its PM provided them the opportunity, as never before, to join a common national agitation ie, Bharat Bandh.

This Bharat Bandh resulted in complete shut down of India that is Bharat. There were no flight, incoming and outgoing, Trains did not start or were stopped by protestors on the way. Buses did not move out though in Mumbai 80 buses were badly damaged. More than 40,000 trucks did not move from anywhere. No taxis, no auto rikshaws, no hand pulled or cycle rikshaws were seen anywhere. Despite heavy rains in parts of India roads were full of protestors with flags of various opposition parties raising slogans against price rise of essential commodities like rice, wheat and Dal besides declared increase in petroleum prices. There were loud slogans against Congress and UPA. There was some violence here and there but mostly it was a peaceful agitation or Bharat Bandh.

Many opposition leaders were arrested or courted arrest like BJP President Nitin Godhkari, Arun Jaitly and Rajnath Singh, to name a few. However many Shiv Sena workers in Mumbai were arrested, though all were released after the Bandh ended.

But loss to the country of thousands of crores of rupees cannot be ignored. Worse than that is the loss of daily wages to lakhs of poor workers and farm laboures who work and earn a few rupees for their family’s daily food. Due to inflation of food articles, prices are high- price of 1kg of rice is now 35 to 50 rupees while a few years back it was only Rs 15 per Kg. Similarly price of Dal has skyrocketed from Rs 20 Kg to Rs 100 KG or even more: Rise in petroleum prices will further add to inflation of food articles, vegetables and even fruits because transportation cost will increase.

Inflation and Bandh politics hits the 30 to 40 percent poor the most and also further 20 to 30 percent of lower middle class. It is only upper middle class and rich and very rich classes whose food budget is 10 percent or less of their monthly income who are not affected by inflation and Bandhs.

There are no total strikes or shut downs in any other country, not to speak of Europe or USA Australia but any other country of Asia, Africa, or Latin America. Why Bandhs are in India alone? Why can’t India, which is rising in information technology and other spheres, do without Bandh politics? Government of India and all the opposition leaders should ponder over it and find the solution so that there is no Bharat Bandh again and no Bundhs or shut-downs in other states and India continues to rise in all spheres of economy.

July 9, 2010 - Posted by | Corruption, India, Indian Economy, Political Commentary, Politics | , , , ,

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