Indians have many great privileges bestowed on them. We have our countless freedom fighters to thank for it. Like Sardar Vallabhai Patel for being the first Iron Man before Tony Stark came along and stole the idea, or Gandhiji for getting us the salt that is responsible all the water weight around my waist. There are countless men whose names can’t be mentioned here, because History was my weakest subject, but I’m going to blame it on the lack of space instead.
Aam Aadmi ka Band(h) Baja!
But of all the privileges that we have received so gratefully, none of them is as over-used as the power of ‘Bandh’. In fact I bet that India has more people participating in bandhs everyday than people who actually eat salt.
Bandh is a very simple concept. We just shutdown work for an undefined amount of time and wait till the government comes crawling, begging us to stop this madness and get back to work, at which point we give them our demands and the government has to comply or the bandh continues. Coincidentally this is also how my mother gets me to clean my room.
I have never quite grasped the need of such an extreme solution. I don’t know what goes on in their heads… maybe something like “The government doesn’t listen to me. So I’m going to torture myself, the government and the other innocent people who have nothing to do with me or my life problems.”
But that being said, I also know that Indian government is no piece of cake. I realize that here we have more tax per person than humans have bones, and the weight of the former breaks the form of the latter. So if we are already stuck under bone crushing weight of all these taxes, adding another one to it is like saying, “You are already carrying 1642 kilos in your hands, what is another 100 kilos to you?”
I completely understand both the sides, but between this fight of Gods and Devils—Sorry Devil, for comparing you to the govt…no offense…it’s just a metaphor.
And stuck between these battles is that ‘thing’ we call the common man. The man who doesn’t have anything to do with this battle but is still dragged into it. It feels like we are stuck in a fight where our parents are getting a divorce. We can’t pick either side and neither of the parents care how we are feeling. All they care about is what they want!
Currently in my locality the shopkeepers have completely shutdown, it’s like every day is an India Pakistan world cup final match. The normally double parked roads are as empty as my professor’s head. Nothing is working for the past seven days, no food shops, no general stores, no malls, nothing. Thankfully my mother being a fan of the Scouts motto—‘always be prepared’, we had already geared up for this impending disaster by shopping earlier. My house is so packed that I could withstand a nuclear winter for a thousand years.
But then I thought of the people who were not so privileged. The people who have to work each day to get money and then go to shop for food. I wonder how they manage, how they survive and how come no one has started a “HIT LIKE, IF YOU WANT TO HELP THE HUNGRY CHILDREN IN THIS BANDH” on Facebook yet. Neither the government, nor the people of the bandh seem to care about the predicament of these people.
Probably in the near future, this might be a topic for an Oprah Winfrey kinda show or worst, it could be the story of another RGV movie. But right now all I see is people who are suffering, people who have nothing to do with this raise in the tax. People who have called these bandhs show no remorse as such and continue their rebellion. And these are the times that I feel bad that our freedom fighters gave us such a tool…a tool that can be easily misused, I feel bad that the Govt. is so heartless that they don’t care about these poor people, or in political terms “vote banks”. And I feel most bad that there are no hot chicks in questionable clothing roaming around the streets shopping for the past seven days.
There has to be faster way to come to a solution. A way that doesn’t involve the innocent having to suffer too. Why doesn’t the Govt. understand that they are hurting the very people they are governing, are they just waiting for a revolution to happen? Let’s just fold our hands and pray to lord that something like this doesn’t happen…Because, quite frankly I don’t have the patience to remember another chapter in History!