The Name is Bandh. Bharat Bandh.

July 5, 2010

Today will be remembered in the annals of Indian history as All-is-Well day. Thanks to the Bharat Bandh organized by our Opposition parties to protest against rampant price rise.

Prices have been rising ever since the UPA government came to power. For a while we thought UPA stands for Upwards Prices Alliance.

After suffering so many years in silence, finally the cause of the aam aadmi has been taken up by the BJP. Even arch enemy, the Left, has left its reluctance to partner with the most unsecular party in the country, and is doing its part towards shutting us down.

For a while we thought UPA stands for Upwards Prices Always.

As of the time of this writing, the bandh has been a total success#BharatBandh is the top trending topic on Twitter, which says a lot about the Opposition’s hold on new age social media as well as old fashioned gunda-gardi. Even #SachinIsGod never made it to the top of the charts.

Prices are already falling to record levels. I went to the grocery store to get some milk, and the shopkeeper happily offered to sell me a litre of milk for two rupees. Full cream, no less. A second later he added with a mysterious grin that he was out of stock, when i had already started formulating plans for emptying my bank account and going long on milk.

Even the auto driver charged less. “Saab maybe they will take a look at your milk deprived shrunken frame and assume we are going to the hospital.” Ten minutes later he found himself trying to escape an improvised petrol bomb hurled by an even more malnourished (as)sole.

Anyway, i digress.

Fact is, that Bandhs are the only mechanism left to the aam aadmi to protest against the government’s high handedness. When was the last time anybody listened to you? Remember the time when you went to to the bijli daftar doused in sweat to complain about a broken electricity meter, only to come back Rs 10k lighter to another bucketful of sweat over the next two months?

What are we to do if they dont listen?

Aate Daal ka bhaav has already risen to astronomical levels. Have you noticed what’s going on with fruits? You go to get a basket of Kiwis freshly imported from Europe, and it is Rs 150/kg. Apples cost Rs 120/kg. Even Bananas go for Rs 40 a dozen. What are we? Pakistan?

There were times when you could get a Samosa for a rupee. With two types of Chutney - a green one and a red one.  Today, you go to a Barista and a Cafe Mocha is a hundred rupees. I once fed twenty Brahmins with that much money.

There were times when you could get a Samosa for a rupee. With two types of Chutney.

We have no choice anymore but to go on a Bandh. Actually there’s another option - we could all get out on the streets and ask the government to at least reduce the price of Bananas. But it’s too hot this time of the year, and getting so many people would cost way too much money.

Laaton ke bhoots dont listen with words, so we do need to shake up the government from its apathy. A massive chakka jam (aka shutdown) should shake them up.

Its actually quite easy. Buses work best. Stop a few while they are close to major intersections, beat up the driver, turn the bus around to block the way, and, if feeling a bit adventurous, set it afire.

Trains are tricky. You jump on the track, wave a few lathis and flags, and hope that it will stop in time. But if you get one, then be prepared to be on TV for the rest of the day. Just make sure you give a few menacing looks to the camera. Smiles are for newbies; dont ever commit that mistake. Bananas dont get cheaper with smiles. It has to be a ruthless display of power.

Each bus that gets burnt; Each office that shuts down; Each school that tells its children to play WWE Smackdown on their PS3 and not come to school will bring the price of Bananas by a rupee.

Trains are tricky. You jump on the track, wave a few lathis and flags, and hope that it will stop in time.

Bandhs are good. They help shake the government from it’s slumber. Only when the government steps down from its high horse will prices come down. In a sense, the prices are stuck to a minister’s bottom.

Support the Bandh.

A Bandh does wonder for the national Carbon footprint. Al Gore will sleep peacefully tonight. (and China will execute a group of farmers accused of planning a China Bandh tomorrow.)  A Bandh gives our slouchy workforce a day of rest from the mundane routine of office life, besides giving redundant political parties a chance to do something for publicity.

As for price rise, seriously, what do you expect to happen when we lose thousands of crores of productivity due to a day of inactivity?

(Image courtesy: Reuters, NDTV)

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18 Responses to “ The Name is Bandh. Bharat Bandh. ”

  1. B K CHOWLA on July 5, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    We are in a very stupid situation. We have a PM who does not talk to us, we have a PM whose ministers don’t talk to him.
    How long will UPA stand on the crutches of the media?
    But, in my opinion,country came to this situation as the opposition was inactive. If they make their voice heard, things might change.

    • amreekandesi on July 16, 2010 at 11:56 pm

      The opposition just seems reactive - responding to news as it is reported. They need to be more pro-active and not just oppose everything for the sake of it.

      Unfortunately, Indian democracy is probably too immature for that to happen.

  2. Munish Gupta on July 6, 2010 at 6:42 am

    opposition has nothing to do and they only try to come into limelight. They do not discuss these things when they are in parliament as they are mostly busy with walkouts at that time. And then they come up with the ideas of bandh.

    • amreekandesi on July 16, 2010 at 11:57 pm

      hmmm…sounds about right!

  3. […] : Amreekandesi What : The Name is Bandh. Bharat Bandh. Tangy : Today will be remembered in the annals of Indian history as All-is-Well day. Thanks to the […]

  4. Reema on July 6, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    “As for price rise, seriously, what do you expect to happen when we lose thousands of crores of productivity due to a day of inactivity?”

  5. Indian Homemaker on July 7, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Brilliant. Loved your take on the bandh. It was one frustrating day - I had to cancel all plans on a rare, gorgeous rainy day, here in Delhi. Even if nothing happens, one doesn’t like to take a chance seeing the kind of slapping and violence protesters (not aam aadmi, but political workers it seems?) were seen (on the TV) resorting to.

    This morning I had a hearty meal after ages - thanks to the Bandh now we can afford to eat.

    • amreekandesi on July 16, 2010 at 11:58 pm

      thanks IHM!

      “This morning I had a hearty meal after ages – thanks to the Bandh now we can afford to eat.” - See thats why i said, support the damn bandh

  6. vadakkus on July 10, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    LOL Awesome read! :) And it looks like the opposition has decided to emulate Kumbhakarna. They wake up once every 6 months, break loose all hell and then go back to sleep. Better sleep the whole year, sirs! Last time I checked, you goonda giri did not result in prices getting slashed.


  7. rajinder on July 12, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    greed for posts/positions and power..purpose of which is open to all will never end the situation like now happening calling for bandhs but such bandhs will do any justice? ..perhaps not but put hurdles in the life of comman-man ..heard in the recent bandh ,people could not reach hospitals to get medical aid in time ,even medical shops were closed.Political system need to be changed and that should have criteria of work done for the masses welfare/upliftment but not purely based on power to muster votes by any means whether by caste/colour/money/coercion serve their ends and build bank balances/wealth.hope good sense prevails

    • amreekandesi on July 17, 2010 at 12:00 am

      Exactly. These are such useless means of protest leading to productivity loss, property loss, and national inconvenience.

  8. amlistening on July 14, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    I was shocked to hear how MCD workers tried making their voices heard. Not only did they go on strike but the garbage collectors ACTUALLY spilled garbage in the middle of roads and intersections! Awesome who ever came up with that idea. You should be in army man as you know how to make most of resources at hand…even garbage.
    While I felt bad all I could do was keep my hand on my noise while I drove past that road.

    • amreekandesi on July 17, 2010 at 12:00 am

      haha…anything you can get your hands on!

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