Friday, December 15, 2006

Kerala the Hartal's Own Country

Kerala the Hartal's Own Country

Today December 14th morning 11.30 in the clock, This writer is sitting before his laptop. He has nothing else to do because this day is a “Hartal” declared by the ruling communist party. Dear reader if you don’t understand what this “hartal” is there is another word “bandh” which was the original one.

When the court banned the bandh as unconstitutional, the term was changed process remaining the same! The reader who is not familiar with the conditions remaining in this country naturally doesn’t understand the word bandh either. It is difficult to find an English word that is equivalent to bandh. Hence a brief description of what is hartal or bandh is given in the following paragraph.

Generally a bandh is declared by a political party in protest of something, a government policy or an event that is objectionable to it. The percentage of paralysis the bandh has inflicted to the nation is considered directly proportional to the success of the bandh! Political parties invariably do a lot of home work to make the strike a success.

Their henchmen are engaged in laying traps all through the roads to take “revenge” on anybody engaged in traveling. Death of two wheeler riders in the early morning of a bandh day is common news. The culprits go scot-free as they are doing a great service to the government by making the strike a success!

When a day is declared as a bandh or hartal, no one except party workers are allowed to go out of their home. Traveling in vehicles is strictly prohibited! Why this sort of cruelty done to general public as they already have sufficient problem? Such a question doesn’t arise as political parties exist on muscle power and it is easy to flex muscles on weaker sections- that is general public.

It is estimated that the loss to Kerala’s economy due to today’s strike seven thousand million rupees. It is also interesting to note that the government employees who absent on such days get their pay as usual. Their absence can be adjusted as eligible leave. The real losers are the laborers who earn daily wages, without any “eligible leaves” who will compensate them? Their families starve to keep the strikes going!

Think of the poor people who are in urgent need of travel in a country where traveling is considered a crime. This “crime” during a bandh day can attract even death penalty; there are a lot of unfortunates who suffer, who are bed ridden for rest of their life as they were engaged in this serious crime of traveling. Who on earth will compensate them? The perpetrators of these crimes continue their jobs as usual.

Production loss to the nation is not counted by the ruling government as “there is no bird fly over political power” and national priority comes not even secondary. The writer of this article had a stroll outside to see how the bandh works! There were a lot pitiable scenes, the foreign tourists who were lured to this country, boasting it as “god’s own one” were wandering without food or even water as no shops were permitted to keep open. The poor people accustomed to cold climates were walking in hot sun with heavy luggage as no vehicles were permitted to ply. Wonderful form of hospitality! The government can really proud of the good things it does to promote the good “celebration” that is the bandh. Good show! Keep it up!

The article could be completed on the next day as the response of the media also had to be included, some of the papers ignored as they had other fish to fry, some of them praised it as a great and unprecedented success.

Only sane voice that could be read was in Malayala Manorama the largest selling news paper. It exhibited a scene from a Chennai street, which was beautiful and as crowded as in any other day (remember Tamilnadu is Kerala’s neighboring state). It’s heading as strike only in three states, sporadic violence in Kerala. Its editorial says “the bandh makes people of Kerala “idiots” once more and bandh violates basic human rights”. This writer thanks Mr. Mammen Varghese (printer and publisher) for his patriotism and courage.

Yes dear Mr. Mammen Kerala is a deep well and the people living here are mere tad poles ruled by grown up frogs. Mere frogs, those are ignorant what is going on outside. Who is the biggest of them all? We (the twice idiots) can only guess!

The “Business Line” highlighted the paralysis, the bandh inflicted to the economy and billions of rupees held up as the strike affected the banking operations. The claim of union leaders -as usual after every strike- “protest a success” was also given by the side. Who gain from paralyzing the economy of one’s own nation is another matter!

The left front claimed the bandh as “great success” and warned the ruling Indian Government of harsher steps if the liberalization policies are not rolled back!

If the steps of protests are to be made harsher, only way remains is to storm in the houses of ordinary people and vandalize it because all other atrocities are liberally practiced in the name of bandh!

Throwing stones at passengers, destroying vehicles and properties, setting traps on the road to kill poor two wheeler riders who travel for a living etc are passe. The “responsible” government can do one more thing. It can create a department under a secretary with some officials and scientists under some IPS officials. The department can be asked to do some serious research on the subject “how to inflict maximum damage to the public on a bandh day”. That department can be named as 'bandh department'!!!

The menace of bandh or hartal can be treated only with such radical steps, as “Ushnam ushnena shanthi” theory in Sanskrit only works. Ushnam = Heat. Ushnena = By heat

Shanthi = vanishes or get amicable. Meaning extreme steps alone settles extreme conditions! Thank You.


Pradeep Nair said...

The days of bandhs and strikes are over. They just don't achieve anything.

Ashish Agarwal said...

It was indeed very surprising and strange to hear about the bandh being called by the left unions, actually affecting the image of their own CM's. Imagine what impact this has on the credibility of WB chief Buddha who has assured investors that bandhs will not impact them.

yetanother.softwarejunk said...

Cool article!! nicely written!!

And thanks for you comment too.


Anonymous said...

Hey man, don't give them any ideas. You said "bandh department" and they might start one! oh noooooo :)