Up, up, and through the roof!
Isn’t it sad that despite all the country-wide protests against the price rise, nothing really went down except the hopes of the junta. In the midst of all this political drama, who are the real losers, both money wise and morale wise - We. There are several pertinent questions to be asked and answered by each one of us. Are these protests a mere political farce? Why are such protests after the fact phenomenon? What about the spiraling food prices? Why aren’t people affected the most, i.e., we all, joining in actively and that too with an agenda in place (raising our voices, at the right time, and in the right way).
Earlier such protests and agitations were led by the common man and yes his voice did make a minimal impact. But now, the same common man has become democratically inactive. Is it because we are so much consumed by the E-culture that we are not able to focus on the main issue of bringing down prices of basic amenities, and not just luxurious items! For some people the 5th July Bharat Bandh was a way of beating the Monday blues, but for most others, it was a day of grueling brainstorming as to how they were going to compensate their loss of business.
More than the prices, bandhs, and government ineptitude, I think it is our complacency in wielding our common strength as a democratic unit that has gone up, up, and through the roof. With such events, all we have gained is more immobilization in terms of loss of daily wages, loss of public property, loss of opportunities, and above all loss of peace of mind. Striking a balance between this immobilization and political hypocrisy is like swallowing a bitter pill.
The irony of bandhs is that they are staged for protecting the interests of the common man, but in reality the common man has to pay a heavy price (for this untoward protection) ->
Loss(Price Hike) + Loss(Economic Loss) = A Double Loss for the Aam Aadmi
One final question - Are bandhs the right way to protest (against anything)? For me, the word ‘bandh’ itself is self-explanatory – total shutdown. Rather the term ‘Bandhutva’ is something which will get us through this chaos and prevent others from paralyzing our lives. The political forces are concerned with only opposition unity, whereas we all need to be concerned with only and only unity.