Will we ever see a New York Bandh? Or a London Bandh?

Somehow a Bandh seems to be a very Indian problem.  Even as a young teenager in the 60s I remember Bandhs.  And I always wondered what sense it makes.  Last night I was at a neighbour’s flat and I could see their children who were between ten and twelve years old, were so confused about why there was no school tomorrow.  None of the adults around them could explain to the children the logic of burning buses, or harming people.

Rebellion is one thing. But damaging public property and posing a threat to the people in general is quite another.  When all this is being done by a political party, it makes it even worse.

Political parties have a responsibility to society and to the country.  Closing down a city even for a day disrupts people’s lives. It creates a loss of revenue for business and affects the overall commerce of the city.  A 12-hour Bharat Bandh to protest against inflation in 2010 cost the exchequer INR 130 billion.

India needs strong laws which can prevent large groups from disrupting the normal lives of people.  Political parties need to be banned permanently if they participate in damaging public property and disrupting public life. It can’t be a method for negotiation.

Can you imagine the Democrats taking to the streets of New York and destroying New York or the Labour Party announcing a bandh in London?

Its time for India to behave like a mature developed nation.  And not a country that is fighting for its independence seventy years after attaining it.

India can’t be held to ransom by an agitation!

We need to grow up.

Prabhakar Mundkur has spent 40 years in advertising and worked in India, Africa and Asia. He is currently Chief Mentor with HGS Interactive a part of HGS in the Hinduja Group. He is on the advisory board of Sol 's Arc (solsarc.org ) an NGO dedicated to special education for intellectually challenged children. He is also a member of Whiteboard ( whiteboardindia.org ) which supports senior management of NGOs in financial management, PR, Communication and HR through pro bono expertise.

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