Karnataka facing the brunt of the all-India ‘bandh’

As the nation prepares itself for Fridays’ big strike announced by the trade union, concerns are rising among the common people due to the unavailability of public transport. The strike largely affects the office goers who will be unable to report at their workplaces. With the Auto and Cab drivers complying with the strike, people are losing out on alternate transportation options.

Karnataka is joining the states which are supporting the strike called by the union traders. Friday’s strike will mark to fifth such incident in the past couple of months which saw a halt in the public transportation. Earlier, such strikes were a rare phenomenon, but lately, with the growing number if such incidents, Karnataka seems to be following the likes of West Bengal (Bengal) and Kerala in the frequency of trade union strikes. Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka is one of the fastest growing cities in the country in the recent past. With the IT boom, Bangalore has managed to get the country’s GDP growing at a very fast pace but with the recent instances of strikes, Bangalore also seems to be facing a severe beating.

Various firms which need employees to be working during the nationwide strike are now making arrangements for the commute of the essential staff to the workspace. HRs of firms are now drawing lists in order to figure out the indispensable employees which have to report to the office. Many offices have extended the option of working from for the employees, keeping in mind the inconvenience and safety issues.

Bangalore was a booming industrial city in Karnataka because it did not get affected by the various political conflicts and the tiff with the union. With the growing cases of strikes in the state, Karnataka is losing out on capital and industrialists and IT firms might soon retreat from the state just like in the case of the communist dominant states of Kerala and Bengal. Contrarily, The West Bengal Chief Minister has refrained from complying with the Friday strike.

The union members do have a fair right to call a strike to meet their demands and negotiating with the government but the incidents of violence during this period is the biggest cause of concern. In many cities across the nation, cabs and other vehicles on the road have been destructed.  These incidents also expose the lack of adequate policing and that a handful of people are trying to exploit the situation in their favour.

With the shutting down of the country, huge losses will be incurred by the economy. According to industry experts, the city is set to lose hundreds of crores if it comes to a standstill and a day-long strike will zero out on a day’s revenue which otherwise ranges from Rs120-140 crore. Bangalore primarily is a service based industrial city and the bandh will not be of any gain as it is mainly associated with those who are in the manufacturing sector.

Strikes are one of the major reason due to which the country has failed to establish a strong industrial hold and now due to the trade union’s efforts to show power and disrupt hierarchy, the city is suffering a great deal. Brand Bangalore is now at stake due to the blackmailing tactics used by the trade union members and the support of counterproductive measures by the state government for political gains. In this situation, the city is facing adversities and bleeds of its revenues.

Source: TOI  Navbharat Times

Mamata’s 72-hour ultimatum to GJM

“Enough is enough” – TMC chief Mamata Banerjee. PTI

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee issued a 72-hour deadline to the Gorkhaland Janmukti Morcha to call an end to the strike.

Darjeeling and its sub-divisons have been shut for over 9 days now beginning on the 3rd of August. Ever since the UPA government had stepped up in its process to create Telangana, Gorkhaland has erupted with demands of its own. The bandh has crippled the mountainous district with tourism and tea business suffering great losses. Known all over the country for its reputed schools, the students are being sent back home as rations are on a steep decline.

As the bandh reached its 8th day yesterday, the Trinamool Congress supremo said that ‘enough was enough’. “For eight days, we have tolerated the strike. But now I declared the strike unconstitutional as the Calcutta High Court has done.” The CM also indicated that the leaders of GJM should stand down or else her government won’t hesitate to make arrests.

Banerjee also issued a warning to Delhi asking for minimal interference. “For one Lok Sabha seat, no has the right to play a divide and rule game. Let us act together in the matter of Darjeeling.”

The GJM chief Bimal Gurung retaliated to the statement threatening the CM with a Janata curfew. “Once the Janata curfew comes into force, not a soul will step out of their homes. The streets will be deserted if she (Mamata Banerjee) tries to break the bandh with the help of police and by force.”

Read more here.

(With inputs from Nayan Das)

Cable TV shut down in Darjeeling

The bandh entered its 9th day today | Image: rediff.com

In almost a ‘Taliban style’ move, the West Bengal (WB) government blocked all cable operators from serving customers with cable television. The district administration sent forth a letter on Friday to all major cable operators to stop broadcasting, resulting in a blackout.

The WB government held firm on its decision to the ban service as many local channels aired programmes in support of the Gorkhaland Janmukti Morcha’s (GJM) claim for a separate state. GJM chief Bimal Gurung condemned the move and retaliated by asking his fellow-party members ‘to uproot the mobile towers’. “Animals and birds are harmed by radiation and we do not need mobile network”, said Gurung.

Some cable operators claimed that government officials ‘raided’ the offices of two cable companies in Darjeeling on Thursday. The state later issued a statement saying that it was routine drive where several documents were checked. 70 per cent of the town is fed cable TV by two primary distributors, viz. Darjeeling Combined Cable Network (DCCN) and Milkyway Cable Vision.

Meanwhile, police also arrested GJM leader Santosh Tamang and three others in connection with old cases.


{News sourced from Express News Service. Inputs from Nayan Das}

Bandh across Rayalseema as Telangana is created

The bandh crippled most of the state | Image Source: thehindu.com
The bandh crippled most of the state | Image Source: thehindu.com

Normal life came to a halt in Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions after various outfits imposed a bandh protesting against the division of Andhra Pradesh. The supporters of united Andhra took out rallies and planned to organize other forms of protest during the day in the districts.

Educational institutions and commercial establishments remained closed and transport services were suspended in local districts. Rallies were taken out against Congress’ decision to bifurcate Andhra. Supporters in favor of a united state blocked roads and stopped local state-run Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (APRTC) from operating. APRTC has stopped its services as a precautionary measure. However, no major incidence of violence has been reported. State police and central paramilitary forces have been deployed to maintain law and order in the area.

Read more through this link.