Friday, September 21, 2012

BANDHS and PROTESTS

Bharat bandh against price hike and FDI and numerous other problems? Ugh! How does a bandh solve all these problems. You'll tell me it's not meant to solve problems but it is a mark of protest against central government decisions.

Fine, you protest but at least let me do my bit. Your protest means burning tires, breaking window panes of cars and other big vehicles, hitting people on bikes or puncturing them. You think these are rich people and they should suffer for being rich! But what about the poor rickshaw puller and autowallahs? Why do you target them?

Ah! you have no answer. The poor person may have earned a dime or two on this particular day but your bandh leaves them poorer!

Yesterday a bandh was called by the NDA and other opposition parties. As luck would have it, I was out travelling. At places scenes of burning tyres greeted us, crowds looming with 'lathis' in their hands forcing people to go back. Whats interesting is the equation in the crowd: young men and kids apparent that they came from very poor background (the lack of clothes said it all) but wrestling hard on the streets. I live in a state ruled by the NDA and its alliance parties. The government is supporting the bandh -  no police any where on the streets! I wish the same government had ordered the closure of all government institutions which would have made the government employees easily support the bandh by staying at home and would also have been a mark of protest against the action of the central government.

But the government does no such thing. All employees are expected to report for duty, or lose a CL. How does an employee in such conditions get to the work place. Private vehicle good but what about those who do not have private vehicles and do not want to waste their CL unnecessarily?

It's time to 'rethink' Gandhi's non-cooperation. People talk of violent non-cooperation and of Gandhi in the same breath. Time to change, time to think and rethink and work out new strategies........

Who am I?

WHO AM I? This is one of the most important and weirdest question that comes up daily. I have a passport and  a voters' id and numerous documents which list the names of my parents, husband, my address, occupation and other necessary details. But is that what I am?

I have been thinking on these lines since my visit to the Passport Seva Kendra, Patna yesterday. When I was sent to meet an official, I found the entire place excited and no one was at his/her desk. Upon asking I was informed that they had 'caught' a TERRORIST.

Wow, a terrorist! I was pretty excited. Further questioning brought forth the following information: The TERRORIST was a BANGLADESHI. This information was interpreted by the guards and other staff as: ALL BANGLADESHIS are TERRORISTS!

Who will now reason with people who have such a line of thought? When I told that guard that he shouldn't club all BANGLADESHIS as terrorists, he said," Madam, he didn't have any id." My point is why would a  terrorist come to get a passport and that too at the passport sewa kendra. He would already have got one made by underhand means. Secondly, there are so many people on the streets who have no id proof telling us that they are Indian citizens. Should we class them as 'TERRORISTS'?

We love this word so much that we use it unnecessarily and create further chasms in society at large. I hope we seriously understand who's who before LABELLING people!