Sunday, July 11, 2010
The Next 'Bandh' of the Series
First the auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers called a strike in Mumbai. Their demand was to increase the minimum fair as there was a fuel price hike. I don't know exactly how much more an auto-rickshaw driver spends on fuel now per trip, but I definitely know that I am paying 90 rupees for the fare I used to pay 65 earlier. However, considering the cost of living, the hike in the fare price might be justifiable. But there are many other questions waiting for answers.
Few days after the auto-rickshaw strike, the opposition got an issue and called a "Bandh" all around the country. The issue raised by them was the price hike – surprisingly not pertaining to any particular product but everything in general. People blocked roads, stopped trains, broke buses, closed shops, which resulted in a national loss of (what the newspapers claimed) 13 thousand crore rupees. The opposition calling a strike on the issue of price hike proved that the government is doing a fair job and not giving the opposition any issue to raise (even if there is any, that is not critical enough to be addressed). Maybe because of frustration and fear of losing ground, the strike-callers raised the most common issue with an intention to grab maximum attention.
Taking the chain of 'Bandh's into consideration, it can be said that there are lot more strikes waiting to be called. For example - public employees may go on strike demanding an increase in their travel allowance, being compelled by the fuel price hike. Anyway, private companies are on a total safer side in this case. They have been taking cost cutting measures in the name of 'recession' since last two years. So calling a strike by the employees, who are not sure of their jobs and are grateful to the companies for not kicking them out even during the time of recession, is far from reality.