153. Why a Bandh is such a 19th century concept!
An India that lives with the bandh-mentality cannot rule the world. Bandh means closed in Hindi and has been a favorite pastime of opposition parties and in the last decade of ruling parties. A bandh only makes the poorest of poor suffer and most often is called for to protect their interests – which is ironical.
A bandh affects daily wage workers the most because they live on a hand to mouth existence and one day away from work means chances of starvation are high. The entire concept of closing down shops, schools and offices to protest a government policy or an event is primitive in the time of increased competition to become a super power.
A bandh achieves nothing more than some street violence, some empty stomachs and some cheap thrills for goons hired by the organization calling for a bandh. India prospers and thrives despite these bandhs because the hard working middle class makes up for the lots time by overworking the day before or day after. The only positive aspect of a bandh is the feeling of being in 19th century without going there – a day that sees streets empty and therefore the absence of noise and air pollution.