write2kill.in | Select writings of Subir Ghosh
 
 
  • Sharebar

The Northeast and its Bandhs

Another bandh: All India Students Association (AISA) activists burning effigies in Nagaon during the 12-hour bandh called in Assam over the Parag Das murder case court verdict. Photo: Diganta Talukdar

We have seen two, virtually spontaneous, bandhs in the Northeast in the days just gone by. One was a relatively-short 12-hour Assam bandh called in protest against the letting off of the accused in the botched-up Parag Das murder case. The other was a much more gruelling 48-hour bandh called in Manipur over the cold-blooded, fake encounter of a former militant.

Bandhs have been so rampant in the Northeast in the last 20 or so years that people have become inured to them. And bandhs, more often than not, are a success without the advocates of the bandhs having to drum up much support for them.

Yet, in recent times the bandh culture, as it has come to be known, has found its detractors. Public interest litigations have been filed against bandhs and those especially with an financial bend of mind, have been trenchantly vociferous against bandhs. Yet, yes yet, when these two bandhs were called and observed, there was not a murmur of a protest from the anti-bandh advocates. For the public outrage over the incidents which had led to the bandhs was obvious. It was palpable. It was widespread.

The point here is not to gloat over the successful bandhs, but to raise important issues.

Why is it that people have to think only of extreme forms of protest such as bandhs to make themselves heard? Why is it that it takes 13 good years for a murder case to fall flat? Why is it that a state government can’t act immediately after photos of the cold-blooded killing of a young man are splashed everywhere? Why is it that only the lives of politicians are of value and those of others are zilch?

I, myself, am tired of buying the argument that “oh, the Northeast has always been neglected” and “oh, the Northeast doesn’t matter to Delhi”, et cetera. It is time we were given new statements to contend with.

And of course, the bandhs did not make any difference to those in Delhi who can make a difference to the issues at hand. The bandhs made some news out there, but not big news. The nation has other things to worry and talk about, no? Rakhi Sawant’s exhibitionist swayamvar, for instance.

 
 
 
Daily Newsletter
Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner
Random Pick: Health
October 4, 2010 | 'Father of test tube baby' wins Nobel Prize for Medicine: British scientist Robert Edwards, who helped revolutionise the treatment of human infertility, has won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, the Nobel Assembly at Sweden's Karolinska... Continue reading 'Father of test tube baby' wins Nobel Prize for Medicine
Random Pick: Environment
September 10, 2012 | Does government care a damn about ecology?: An appraisal panel of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has virtually thrown the Madhav Gadgil Committee report on the Western Ghats out of the window. The Expert Appraisal Committee... Continue reading Does government care a damn about ecology?
Random Pick: People
August 14, 2010 | The dam report on tribal peoples that was damned by the media: When skewed concepts of development are the watchwords of the day, it is more than likely that voices against this twisted sense of development don't see the light of day. So when a group that fights... Continue reading The dam report on tribal peoples that was damned by the media
Random Pick: Society
September 16, 2010 | Modern Muslims use dreams to make major life decisions: The traditional practice of using night dreams to make major life decisions is in widespread use among modern Muslims, reveals a new study. Night dreams are being used to make choices on issues such... Continue reading Modern Muslims use dreams to make major life decisions
Random Pick: Women
January 11, 2011 | Women subjected to rampant sexual violence in Haiti quake camps: A year after the earthquake that killed over 230,000 people, women and girls living in Haiti’s makeshift camps are facing an increasing risk of rape and sexual violence. The January 2010... Continue reading Women subjected to rampant sexual violence in Haiti quake camps
Random Pick: Conflict
September 19, 2010 | Islamist militants seize two radio stations in Somalia: Two radio stations in Mogadishu were taken off air on Sunday and their equipment confiscated by rebels. HornAfrik Radio and Global Broadcasting Corporation were separately raided by fighters from the... Continue reading Islamist militants seize two radio stations in Somalia
Random Pick: Wildlife
November 6, 2010 | Female boa constrictors can make babies without mating: Study: This is bad news for males. Female boa constrictors can produce babies without mating. Scientists have found that the babies produced from this asexual reproduction have attributes previously... Continue reading Female boa constrictors can make babies without mating: Study
Random Pick: Cinema
October 22, 2010 | Martin Freeman to play Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit: The first names in the cast of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit have been announced. Martin Freeman will play Bilbo Baggins, the hobbit whose adventures and discovery of the One Ring led to... Continue reading Martin Freeman to play Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit