General shutdown 0r bandha has long been abhorred by general public as it cripples their daily lives. The very form of protest hamstrings them from enjoying access to essential services like marketplaces, hospitals and transportation etc.
For the past one year or so, the common citizens had felt some level of respite from the frequent bandhas called by one or the other group and enforced by their workers through the use of force.
The country is now on verge of drafting a new constitution after the prolonged uncertainty. And many groups have hit the roads decrying the draft of new constitution and demanding their concerns be incorporated into it. Hence, various parts of the country are witnessing agitations with some clamouring for undivided districts, others for undivided zones, and still others for undivided regions.
In the same vein, there are also certain outfits groups batting for ethnicity-based Pradeshes, and the others who resist the idea of a province composed of both the plains and the hills.
Such being the reality, many parts are reeling under Bandhas imposed by a host of groups. In this context, the two-day nationwide bandha was organized on Sunday and Monday, paralysing the lives of common people.
Unfortunately, more nationwide bandhas are set to raise their ugly heads in the days to come. In fact, regional or local-level bandhas are being held every day, in some regions ceaselessly for over a week.
Every organiser of bandha justifies their act by claiming it is meant for their ‘rights’. Nevertheless, they are unashamedly overlooking their duty to the general people and to the country as well while doing so.
Of course, their leaders tend to talk loudly about the norms and values of democracy. But it is really heart wrenching to see them themselves lampooning the main principle of Loktantra by infringing upon the rights of others.
The use of brutal force by the organisers and the exploitation of children by making them participate in protest rallies are two appalling features of the recent bandhas.
This is something that is extremely lethal to the very notion of democracy. In spite of sharp condemnation to such evil practices by various quarters, the perpetrators are going scot-free.
A series of governments has been simply a mute spectator when it comes to dealing firmly with those who grossly violate the rights of others and vandalize public and private property.
The demand of the time is to put them into legal trial for such anarchical activities. Any failure in this regard amounts to leading the country into the abyss of more chaos and lawlessness.