The bandh culture that seems to be all pervading in the present times is only making a mockery
of all the values and norms that the same political leaders and parties seem to profess. The said culture has gone to such an extent that reason does not
prevail even for the most so-called leaders who call for a bandh the moment they think they can get some mileage. The bandh on Monday by the UCPN (Maoist) was one in the list of their regular mission to disturb the life of the people through violence and vandalism. The bandhs have no other motive than to terrify the ordinary people and bring to a halt all the activities that are acknowledged to be in the interest of the nation. The Maoists, when they were in the previous government, had talked and even committed not to follow the culture of bandhs, but as soon as they are out of power they are indulging in the most violent of bandhs that the nation has witnessed.
The focus of the strikes is mostly the Kathmandu valley and in the Terai region, and these are quite
violent without any respect to the life, property and security of the people. No one is spared by the bandh callers. Be it the press, medical services, industry and commerce, every sector has to bear the high-handed violent attacks from those who fuel the bandh to this extent of anarchy and indifference to the normal
lives of the otherwise peace-loving people. This is very difficult to understand in the light of the fact that the country had well embarked on a peaceful path with the Maoists renouncing armed struggle. But, the present bandhs called by them bear the stamp of brutality gone berserk. If only the government
had stepped in to curb the spate of violence on such disconcerting bandh days—there are too many to count—some semblance of law and order could have been maintained besides foiling attempts to vandalise public and private property and physical attacks on the general people. It is a game that the so-called people-oriented parties together with criminal groups are playing to hold the country and its people to ransom just for the sake of getting some of their unwise, illogical and out of context demands fulfilled.
The helplessness or the lackluster attitude
of the government is evident in that it has not done anything to help those affected by the spate of bandhs that have become almost regular features. It has gone to such an extent that the Maoist cadres seem to man every crossroad where all movement of the people is halted. A word of defiance can only mean the person having to be rushed to the nearest hospital if his/her luck prevails. The government could have mobilised the security forces to clear up the roads to ease the pain of the people. Moreover, the sight of tourists lugging their luggage all the way from the airport to the city centre makes a very bad picture. This only tarnishes the country’s image as a prime tourist destination. One can only imagine the negative publicity in the tourist generating countries, with thoughts on what fate will befall the Nepal Tourism Year 2011. The government can only revamp its image by coming down heavily on the bandh
perpetrators and devising strategies that can bring succour to the people.