Monday, July 5, 2010

The Bandh Day

It's a bandh day today.
When I woke up at 7 in the morning today, I grabbed my Blackberry.
Through my half-closed eyelids, I saw a mail from a colleague advising caution - venturing out was supposedly not advisable.
Was it so bad, I thought. I walked down to the window and saw the New Link Road absolutely empty - no cars, taxis, auto or BEST buses, which is very odd. The streets looked as though some cataclysmic event had struck my city. That reminded me of the two days after 26/11.
Now I too was a bit apprehensive about venturing out.
But at the same time, I was happy at the prospect of grabbing a few extra winks, I dozed off again for two hours.
True, the fuel price hike is a major issue. But so is inflation that has persistently dogged our economy for the last 2 years.
If I feel the pinch of my grocery bills doubling in the last 2 years, people below the poverty line must be having a harrowing time.
Which political party has really taken up the cause of food inflation? No one really. The BJP and the Left really did not give it the attention that it deserved and the government got scot free.
But I wonder what purpose does a bandh serve?
I wonder what a taxi driver, who is on the fringes of the poverty line, would gain from a bandh? Will it solve his problem of inflation? No. Instead he is deprived of potential earnings.
I wonder if the sponsors of the bandh ever gave this a thought.
It's absolutely senseless shutting down a megapolis like Bombay. Bringing the economy to a grinding halt for a day would solve all the ills, I wonder?
Sad, but it's true, the propaganda by all our politicians is bullshit. The bandh would just give them a few minutes in the limelight, keeping their hopes alive for the next election.
But there are things for which bandh has no effect. As Neeti's status message said today, "Thank God, the rains are not on strike!!!"

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