Friday, May 25, 2012
Assam: The Bandh Culture A Way Of Life!
The people of Assam and also of the North East have practically decided that Bandhs (signifies a protest strike that forcibly closes down offices & services, shops & markets and communication--mainly road & rail) are the only solution to their endless problems--standing or long-standing or outstanding or whatever. Duration of Bandhs range from minimum 12 hours to a recorded maximum of 1000 hours!
The Bandh culture got boosted tremendously during the successful Assam Agitation against foreigners (1979-1985) and the culture only spread further since then. Groups, organisations, associations and even the extremists appeal for or impose Bandhs on the common people of the region. Though most major cities remain unaffected largely a few known strife-prone and crucial areas or pockets prevent people coming out of their homes or their cities. Disturbing logistics of consequent economic loss and huge livelihood issues for daily wage earners and retailers never seem to disturb the Bandh mongers.
If you live in this region Bandh is a long established as a way of life. Your routine and schedules are always subject to this. If you visit this region you must have a series of contingency plans ready and in place! The inevitability of this phenomena ought to be an integral part of your tour and travel package!
At the moment we are canceling, debating, restructuring and reorganizing our time-specific precious plans thanks to two back-to-back Bandhs! Besides, there is going to be a Bharat Bandh, covering the whole of India, later against the recent unprecedented petrol price hike!
The Bandh culture adds to the rich diversity of Assam or India's North East, you can very well say!
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