In India, we frequently have ‘General Strikes’, ‘Total Bandhs’, ‘Strikes by Bank employees’, ‘Strikes by various types of employees’. We hear about ‘Lorry Strike’ and ‘Tanker Lorrys’ Strike’.
Some bandhs are called by even the ruling parties. What are the causes and effects of such bandhs and strikes? The success of a strike or a bandh is measured by the success in making the roads, bus-stands, railway stations and offices empty and by “the routine activities of the people parallysed”. The real effect of the strike or bandh usually is left unnoticed. Calling for strikes and bandhs had been illegal sometime back, due to the rulings of some High courts and even the Supreme Court of India.
Lately, the Supreme Court of India has declared that Bandhs and Strikes are Legitimate in India, India being a Democracy, wherein everyone has the right to express their feelings.
So, now it is clear that Strikes and Bandhs are legal and part of democracy.
However, we have to reconsider ,“Do the strikes and bandhs provide real effects anticipated by the people calling for such strikes and bandhs?” is a question to be answered with a keen observation on the causes and the effects of strikes and bandhs called for.
Some people think that the trend of strikes and bandhs in India are based on Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘Ahimsa and Satyagraha’ used by him to eradicate the British rule from out of India. The same policies of Ahimsa and Satyagraha are copied by the present Indians, perhaps wrongly. The strikes and the bandhs must be voluntary; however we know how bandhs are handled by the convenors and the people. If and when the Government itself sponsors the bandhs, it becomes a declared Holiday; many times the weekly Holidays are made working days and the loss due to the bandh gets compensated.
Instead of calling for a strike or a bandh, wearing batches, keeping silence and working to rule will give the same or even better effect for the cause for calling for a strike or a bandh. Mahatma Gandhiji fought against the British rulers; whom do we fight by our strikes and bandhs? Will we give thought to it?