All over the country, infact the Indian subcontinent, strikes or bandhs are very common. It is quite strange that like several Indian words, the word ‘BANDH’ has still not made to the English dictionary. The worst hit area in this regard is India’s East and Northeast. Talking about it at different forums, everyone present agreed to the fact that Bandhs are by no way needed and does not achieve any goal whatsoever. While talking at political forums, the individual leaders agreed that Bands are not only useless, but also detrimental to any kind of development. Irrespective of political parties they all agreed that they have to support Bandhs as it is a political decision.
Long back with the one month long blockade at Manipur and the continuous strikes in the Darjeeling Hills and Dooars of North Bengal, I had taken a email feedback on this from the tourism fraternity of Sikkim, West Bengal and Assam and everyone 9In hundreds) opposed to the Bandhs. For the last few months at EHTTOA (Eastern Himalaya Travel and Tour Operators’ Association), a leading travel association for the entire Northeast including North of West Bengal, we have been running small workshops at local levels at the tourism destinations in the Sikkim-Darjeeling Hills-Dooars region (a single popular circuit in Northeast India) and have been able to create a common consensus against any kinds of Bandhs. All this we did to create a political will against Bandhs.
The recent development led by Anna Hazare has shown the way that “people’s decision is the political decision and not that political decisions are people’s decision”. This is an opportunity to put our hands and heads together and oppose to all kinds of Bandhs or Strikes and initiate passing another ‘Lokpal Bill’ saying no to Bandhs.