Lauding the stand of DESAM PIL against bandhs

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The stand of the Democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur (DESAM) needs to be lauded. Yet at the same time it is also worrying to note that a student organisation has deemed it fit to announce that they will soon be filing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against bandhs. There is however a caveat here for the student body said that the PIL will be against bandhs called merely in personal interest. A damning reflection of the reality that sundry organisations have sprung up all over the place and are more than ready to impose a bandh or two to highlight their own personal cause. This is unacceptable and hence the need to applaud the stand adopted by DESAM. Equally worrying too is the overwhelming fear psychosis, that a bandh called by anyone is today more than enough to keep people indoors and July 24 was an apt example. The All Manipur Written Test Successful Candidates of Manipur Police (Male), 2013 may have genuine grievances against the Government but their decision to impose a State wide bandh on July 24 would not have gone down well with the people at all. As stated numerous times in this column, the shut down affected the daily wage earners the most and not those who sit in the corridors of power. Why can’t this bare fact register in the minds of those who are forever willing to impose a bandh or two at the drop of the hat ?
Difficult to calculate the losses incurred by the State every year due to bandhs, but significantly a young man has already worked out the losses incurred due to bandhs and blockades but it is obvious that the findings have had little impact on the minds of quite a large number of people. Again difficult to say when such a culture began to take firm roots in the State, but it has been like this for years and one reason why Manipur continues to lag behind in the race to development is obviously due to the frequent bandhs and blockades. In imposing a bandh, those behind it are also toying with the future of the young students. This is unacceptable in an age when everything is about competition and only the best march forward in life. The bandh culture also reflects the very selfish mindset of certain groups of people. Do anything to highlight their own personal agenda and do not give a thought to the plight of others. It is this mindset which is sickening. DESAM has taken the lead in openly coming out against the culture of frequent bandhs and here is hoping that the other student organisations too extend their support. Bandhs benefit no one, except the hoarders and unscrupulous traders who are ready to make a killing out of a shut down.

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