LETTERS: Senseless bandh

Protest in Nepal is very much common. Nepal Bandh is like a national holiday. Different political parties call Bandhs quite often.

The trend of bandhs for social and political cause is widespread. People during the bandhs are deprived of their right to movement and work and are forced to confine themselves in their home.

Nepal has always remained a country in a prolonged transitional phase.

Bandh violates the basic rights of the people and transport entrepreneurs are forced to keep their public vehicles off the roads, not because they support the bandh enforcers but because of safety reasons.

The bandh enforcers say they will allow the ambulances, vehicles of diplomatic missions, tankers of drinking water, vehicles carrying vegetables, milk, medicine and medical stores and press to ply.

But they do not spare them if they have any chance to attack on them. Vandalism occurs as the government does not take stern action against those involved in damaging private and public property during the bandhs.

Nor does the government provides compensations to those whose property is destroyed by the unruly groups. We can see human right defenders raising the issues of caste and gender discrimination but they hardly raise any voice against such bandhs that also affects them in one or the other way.

The constitution has guaranteed the right to peaceful demonstration and assembly. But the political parties have defined that the even the bandh or general strike that cost dearly the national economy as peaceful which often ends violently.

The definition of human right violation does not confine to gender and caste issues; it should also include the free movement of people even at the time of political agitation.

FNCCI has said that a one-day bandh causes the loss of Rs. two billion to the national economy and millions of people are deprived of getting to work and development projects cannot meet the deadline of construction.

The government should also prioritize the safety of the citizens by managing a proper safeguarding mechanism.

Ankit Khadgi, Via e-mail

Food security

Crop monoculture, or in other words, the common practice of mass production of genetically similar crops/plants over large agronomic areas repeatedly for years have significant negative impacts on the agricultural biodiversity around the globe.

Modern industrial agriculture practices the extensive use of synthetic agro-chemicals like synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, artificial plant hormones and other associated chemicals; and over application of irrigation water and made to order seeds have cumulative impacts in the erosion of local, regional and global agricultural biodiversity.

Due to such industrial practices, a large number of locally adapted cultivars, germplasms, seedlings and crop varieties have been lost in an epic proportion and has now developed into a global challenge with respect to our future food security.

Saikat Kumar Basu, Canada