Say No To Bandhs
Say No To Bandhs
THE Nepalese people are fed up with the politics of violence, bandh and blockade, and they hope they would end following the much awaited Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed by the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) and the Maoists on Tuesday and other treaties held between them earlier. This has yet to happen in the case of the people of Eastern Terai. Thousands of passengers heading for different destinations from the eastern hilly districts remained stranded in different points due to a two-day bandh called by the Terai Janatantrik Mukti Morcha (TJMM), a break away group of CPN (Maoists) in Siraha and Saptari districts on Wednesday and Thursday. Over 1,100 passengers were stranded in Udaypur district alone. Now it is the paddy harvest season and many of the passengers would be farmers coming down to Terai from the hills to harvest their paddy in Terai or sell their farm products like oranges and ginger. Maybe, a large portion of the farm products were also got damaged, and they would never be compensated for the damage. Also many of the passengers could have been job seekers in the foreign countries and had air tickets to fly overseas from Kathmandu.
Who would pay them in case they missed their flights? Moreover, there might have been patients or even women in labour who need immediate medical treatment in hospitals. Indeed, bandhs are really painful to many. Even in Kathmandu and the adjoining districts bandhs, especially transportation strikes, have lately been more than common these days. Whenever a dispute occurs between a driver and passengers, or between a driver and a traffic policeman, or whenever a plying vehicle accidentally hits a passer-by, the locals and the relatives of the victims resort to bandhs troubling thousands of other innocent passengers. The regular disturbance in the traffic movement in Kathmandu in the recent days resulted due to unofficial bandhs called by one or another group. In fact, everybody is aware that the frequent bandhs and blockades called by the Maoists and other political parties ate up the nation’s economy in the last decade. The farmers were worst hit by such bandhs and blockades. Tourism, which was once at its peak of development, was completely damaged. The people, haunted by the past experiences, were very hopeful with recent political developments which succeeded in ending the decade long violence by bringing the Maoists to the mainstream politics. But the growing cases of strikes have greatly disappointed them. As such, the SPA and the Maoists should come up with such a plan which discourages all political and professional groups from calling strikes. Indeed, it is high time all say ‘No to Bandhs’.
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