Bharat Bandh: Is it the right way to put your demands?

Image: The Indian Express

It’s something that has become so common in all the communities of India, whenever you are not satisfied with any decision of the government or of the courts, you call for a bandh either state-wide or nation-wide. But the result of these bandhs always comes out to be violence.

The idea of bandhs in itself is very contradictory, most of the times people of one community called for a bandh for their personal demands requesting other communities to support them in the bandh by not doing their work for a day. It’s natural that other communities won’t accept this request as it would lead to one-day loss of income. This is where the violence erupts. Most often the protesters try to forcefully close the businesses and after facing resistance from the owners, they destroy and burn their shops and vehicles. Some shop and vehicle owners react on this ‘Dadagiri’ in a violent way and this leads to some deaths as well. Later, the leaders who called for the bandh are found claiming that the bandh was non-violent, but some non-social people (Asamajik Tatva) who don’t belong to our community joined the protestors and are responsible for the violence.

The above paragraph depicts the plot of every bandh that has happened in India in the past few years, whether it was the Maharashtra Bandh on Bhima-Koregaon battle or the bandh by Patels in Gujarat or the bandh by Jats in Haryana over Reservation issue. Yesterdays, Bharat Bandh on SC/ST Act was no different. It led to death of 9 people and many injured. Also, the public property was destroyed and burnt all around the country leading to a huge loss to the economy.

The bandh was called against the decision of the Supreme Court to make changes in the SC/ST Act so that it couldn’t be misused. Earlier, the act stated that when any SC/ST citizen claims that he has been harassed by a citizen of any other community, the person will be arrested first and then the inquiry will take place. But on March 20, the Supreme Court banned the automatic arrests and said that the person will be arrested only after the inquiry has proved him guilty. This decision was taken by the Supreme Court as some people from the SC/ST community were found to be misusing the act by registering false cases on the people belonging to other communities. The decision faced a lot of criticism and outcry from the Dalit Community and several Dalit outfits called for the Bharat Bandh that took place yesterday and caused widespread violence.

The Voice Raiser appeals government to formulate some law that would stop these unlawful way of protesting called bandhs as it always leads to a tension among different communities. People of India also need to follow the non-violent way of protest as the government will have to agree to your demands if they are legitimate and practical.

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