Bandhs galore

Unfortunately, one thing that has not changed at all in the country is the recurrent Nepal bandhs and strikes often called by various political and non-political bodies. Bandhs have virtually crippled the national economy and brought to a grinding halt the daily lives of the ordinary men and women even in the capital city, not to talk of the remote parts of the country where the actual effects of the so-called bandhs are widely felt. Since the highways remain closed most of the time due to bandhs, food and other goods are permanently in short supply in the far-flung areas.

The Tarai is currently the hardest hit by the bandhs that have been called just too often in the past few months. In the Valley, it seems any group is all for organising bandhs and strikes to get their voices heard. Be it the YCL or the ethnic groups or the others, all resort to bandhs as the only pressure tactic. Ironically, many a time, people cannot even determine who or which group has called for a bandh. On June 12, for instance, although many schools, private offices and shops in Kathmandu Valley remained closed, most people had little idea as to who was the organiser. Even the press was not informed about the closure. The rumour, however, was that the Nepal Basobas Basti Samrakshan Samaj was behind it. In reality, bandhs and strikes alone will hardly serve any purpose. It is high time the agitating groups understood the futility of organising such bandhs and found other constructive ways to voice their grievances.