Wednesday, July 6, 2011



Today was one of those days, I was reminded of my student days in Hyderabad.  The frustrations that I had faced as a student, as a resident of my state, as a citizen of India.  There was this one year during my graduation when almost 60% of the academic year had been lost to bandhs.  I had hardly gone to college that year. It reminded me of that. The final exams had to be postponed. We students were totally confused on when to be in class and when not. It reminded me of that.

The last 48 hours had been declared a bandh, among the many that were, by some joint action committee of nincompoops, to whom the progress of the state didn’t matter.  The pain of a common citizen when every store, every business, is forced to close down didn’t matter.  The time and knowledge a student would loose out, didn’t matter. The crisis that the sick, the old, the travellers would face didn’t matter.

The picture in the newspaper was of a war zone like atmosphere, of the Osmania University campus.  There was scenes of fire, smoke, students pelting stones with faces covered with some scarfs.

Its totally beyond my comprehension, for what mission these maniacs are fighting for or why. Why isn’t the progress of the state holding any value to these selfish and self important politicians. They could learn from states who have already gone through such disturbances and are struggling to bring their economies to any decent level.

But, that isn’t their goal, is it?! Spreading unrest, wrecking the futures of millions of students who are admitted into colleges around the state, unsure of what their next step should be, demotivating the younger generation with non relevant issues rather than motivating them to invent and discover has become the new motto of these politicians.

It has been rightly said that religion and regionalism is a mass business. It is clear, they are cashing in on this  They have enough funds to help divert all the dime-a-dozen-all-muscle-no-reason-no-drive type of people to move in the direction of their choice. 

How outrageously they went ahead demolishing the most picturesque place in Hyderabad.  As we drove around the Tankbund had hurt us to witness all that non-sensical destruction that these waylaid youth had done. Not a thought had been given to the fact that what they where destroying actually belonged to them!!!!

Now, even a humble investor is wondering if they should consider investing in a region whose future is so uncertain.  I’m sure there’s going to be an exodus of the student community who care for their future, from the universities here.  I recently read in the local newspaper that the admissions in Osmania University had fallen down considerably.

Property values could plummet while there are state like Gujarat and Tamil Nadu and Karnataka who are treading a path of progress with foreign investments getting diverted to such places because of a much stable environment for growth.

Yesterday’s had been a 48 hour bandh.  The hired chamchas forced everything to close down.   The gundas went around on bikes forcing all the people to pull their shutters down and the people complied lest their properties are destroyed. The police watched all this like dummies. The smaller businesses are the hardest hit on these days, unable to bear even a tiny lose.

Some of the bigger establishments who would suffer crazy loses if closed, resort to paying these activists heavy dough so they could be allowed to continue with their business.  As I read in the newspaper that many politicians have reaped from such situations didn’t come as a shock to me.

In case of the common man, they have no access to everyday needs for the home. An average home in India, mostly shops everyday and doesn’t buy stuff to store for such situations.  As simple as bottled water, bread and milk gets difficult to have in a home with kids on such days.  The supermarkets have to pull down their shutters and let the food rot inside.

So frustrated was I today, on the second day of the bandh. Hoping to find any store which would let me sneak inside,  and buy bread and milk for my kid who were refusing to eat anything else, I set out. 

How could you explain the concept of a bandh to a 4 year old who believes that we can get all that from the store outside. How could a parent explain to the kid, why the milk tastes so weird the next day of the bandh? That it had not been refrigerated well!

How could you explain all these to bigger kids too?! Didn’t we elect all these people to rule us?!  Why would the government let all this happen? They would question us back, already demotivating them from the political system.

Trying to find an answer to all these questions rising in my mind, I kept driving to different supermarkets, until I finally found one that was stealthily letting in customers. I was successful in getting the stuff my kids were in need of.  I did notice the butter, the yogurt in the refrigerators warmer than it should be.

As I drove back..I saw so many kids playing outside today. They were outside, playing cricket in landfill areas and bylanes around the homes. They were oblivious to the effects of all the disturbances around them. They were enjoying their day off ….or should I say…..days, off from school.

1 comment:

Rachna said...

And, that is the biggest problem in India. No one cares how a common man suffers, not able to reach doctors, not able to buy things, not able to go to schools or colleges, not able to earn his living. All the politicians care is to show their muscle power and for the goondas to take over sometimes vandalizing property under the guise of bandhs. It is the same all across India. But, Telangana is definitely worrisome if some action is not taken in the near future. They are especially destroying all that the region stood for.