Bundh Culture!

Niraj Aryal

A day of Bundh, economists’ initial estimate suggests IRS 10,000-13,000 Crore of quantifiable loss to one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

The opposition parties in India, surprisingly, the so-called Hindu Fundamentalist ‘Bharatiya Janata Party’ and the atheist Communists joined hands to call it a day off, July 5, 2010.

The nation-wide strike was called to protest against rising prices but as it is the case elsewhere the most adversely affected by the Bundh were the aaam aadmi.

“The bundh is historical in the sense that it is for the first time Communists and Hindu Fundamentalists were seen together in the streets. This is something quite positive coming out of Indian Politics”, cutting joke said a ruling Congress-I leader talking to one of the Indian news channels.

It’s politics anything can happen. If Communists can join hands with Monarchists then what is the harm in the BJP-Communist Alliance if they have their common enemy, observers believe here in Nepal.

And, who knows better than how bad politics brings a thriving nation to a collapse than we the Nepalis?

Anyway, blood line of the Indian economy, Indian Railways came to a grinding halt, newly constructed highways gave the impression to the observers that they have all of a sudden landed in North Korea where there are several-lane highways but no vehicles.

The newly constructed Terminal at New Delhi International Airport inaugurated just the other day by Madam Sonia Gandhi and PM Man Mohan Singh, which has 48 boarding gates, 78 aerobridges, 168 check-in counters, 95 immigration counters and with the capacity to handle 34 million passengers per annum also gave a deserted look.

In all, on July 5, 2010 apart from major cities, Indian States with BJP and Communist rule, life of the commoners were badly affected.

One thing very interesting about writing the Bharat Bundh event is that there is no difference in reporting the frequent Bundhs taking place in Nepal.

Burning of Tiers, baton charging, vandalized vehicles, people getting hurt, chanting slogans are some of the words which are used frequently while reporting bundh events that are no different in India either.

Except that we do not have newly constructed several-lane highways, a modern airport terminal that gets badly affected during Bundhs all other things are quite similar.

The major difference with India is also that a donor driven economy that we are, do not have to compete with China to become world’s largest economy and that a day bundh will push Nepali economy further behind that of China.

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