Bandhs/blockades under garb of public interest. Time to stop the hyprocrisy


It is always the common people who suffer. But no one seems to give a damn. The numerous bandhs and blockades should testify this. And in imposing blockades, economic or otherwise, it is the drivers of trucks and fuel tankers who are most exposed to the risk of the blockade supporters. The economic blockade imposed by the candidates of the botched DPC held in 2013 for recruitment of police Constables has been thankfully suspended, but surely this must have left a bitter taste in the mouth of many. That the candidates have been wronged cannot be contested, but in imposing the economic blockade for days, it was not the high and mighty who suffered but the common people. It was the common people who had to queue up at all the petrol pumps to get their fuel and certainly not the high and mighty who were responsible for reducing the DPC to recruit the police Constable to a fiasco. Again it is the common people who felt the pangs of the steep price rise that one sees whenever the lifelines of the State are cut off. Remember the marathonesque blockades the State has witnessed in the last decade or so. Remember the sufferings of the people during the more than 50 days of economic blockade imposed by the All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur, in 2005 ? Or the more than 100 days economic blockade imposed by the Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee in the early part of the decade ?
True, radical measures are at times needed to jolt the State Government awake, but this should not mean subjecting the people to immense hardship. Apart from the drivers and their helpers who are exposed to all sort of dangers during economic blockades, has any thought been given to the daily wage earners during any of the numerous bandhs witnessed in the State ? Ironic it is but it stands that all bandhs are called in the name of public interest. How does it address public interest, when a bandh means robbing the young students their right to attend classes ? How can it be in public interest when the daily wage earners cannot go out to earn for a day or two ? And there must be numerous daily wage earners in the State. In the September 4 issue of The Sangai Express (English edition) a picture was carried which showed split bamboos being used to protect the windscreens of the goods trucks during an economic blockade. The picture should more than tell the story of how drivers take physical risk to transport goods during blockades. Time for everyone to give some serious thoughts to their course of action and definitely bandhs and economic blockades cannot be in public interest. Time to stop camouflaging such protests under the garb of public interest.


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