The so called Democratic protest in Assam.. “The Bandh Culture”
Assam is a beautiful state locates in the north eastern part of India. The Red river, Blue hill and the Green valley reflect Assam natural beauty and its resources. Moreover the diverse culture adds glam to Assam’s beauty, with all such factors there’s prospect in the all round development of this state. But in reality Assam is a relatively poor and socio- economically backward state as compared to the other states of India. The reason behind this is the so called democratic protest which frequently happens in Assam.
The so called democratic protest in the form of bandh and blockades has drastically led to the downfall of the all round development of the state. Bandh and blockades have become common for the people of Assam, especially for the people of Bodoland territorial areas districts, autonomous hill districts of karbi anglong and north Cachar, Tinsukia, Dibrugarh and Sibsagar district of upper Assam
Even for a small reason the organizations and groups of Assam, irrespective of being political and non political used to call for bandh and blockades as protest resulting in unwanted interruption to normal life. Bandh disrupts all round day to day routine activities, be it education of students, livelihood of wages earners, functioning of offices, industrial, operation ,market, economy ,movement of public vehicles, other socio- economic activities, etc creating hurdles for the people and the government of Assam, moreover bandh has become a threat to the life and property of the people . Many people got injured and some even loss their life and property due to bandh
Forget about punishing the bandh organizer, government has fail to provide safeguard to the right and liberties of the people. The Supreme Court in 1998 and the Guwahati high court in 2010 declared all bandh involving destruction of public life and properties as illegal and unconstitutional. The proposed anti -bandh legalization the Assam prevention of unconditional bandh act 2013 too states the same and also prescribes punishment for organizing bandh and blockades and strikes, even then many organization frequently used to call for bandh without any fear for punishment or government intervention. Nothing has been able to curb these organizations from organizing bandh.
The most irony part is that after depriving all sections of people of their right and liberties this organization used to term bandh and blockades as democratic protest. I wonder if these organization know the meaning of democracy !or do I need to consider bandh as democratic from their viewpoint as it will serve their vested interests not the cause of the people!
Now bandh in Assam seems to be just negative manifestation of ‘right to protest’. Bandh can’t yield any solution rather it accentuates other issues. A bandh for a day not only hinders the growth for a day and development process of Assam but also the other north eastern states as all economically depends on Assam.
Bandh has only created agony, anxiety and destroyed peace of the people. It’s time for the public as well as the government to stand against the bandh culture of Assam. Public need not observe bandh call and instead carry on their routine works during bandh. The government must ensure the safety of public life and property and take strict action against organization organizing bandh . It’s only then when bandh culture will come to end. An end to bandh culture will pave way for the all round development of Assam . However an end to bandh culture shouldn’t bring an end to protest against injustice, we should raise our voice and protest against any injustice without hampering the interest of others.
by- Luit [email protected]