Guwahati: Shock and despair spread among youth and old alike after a city based ‘Assam Bandh Researcher’ at Guwahati University published the statistics regarding Assam bandhs which highlighted that in the last three months there has been not a single Assam Bandh.
Assam Bandhs are a part and parcel of life in Assam and children love such unofficial holidays. We have witnessed years in which occurrences of Bandhs outnumbered the number of weeks in a year.
The bandh culture was so rampant that organizations used to call bandh on random occasions like- Organization President’s daughter’s marriage (a bandh will ease the traffic), CM’s mild jokes, Anniversaries of founding of the organization etc etc. Much to the curiosity of people is the question that how suddenly there have been no bandhs?
The shopkeepers and businessmen who complained of loss of revenue during bandhs have come forward to apologize and request organizations to declare some bandhs. Children with placards were seen on the streets saying ‘We want bandh, School is boring’ and ‘Unofficial holidays: Our right’. The working class were also discussing the benefits of such free holidays as they argue casual leaves get over very quickly and they can’t regularly visit office after CLs get over.
Meanwhile, Silence from the organizations’ side is intimidating and government is asked to look into the matter if bandhs can be legalized, Some people are arguing to get a ‘right to bandh’ so as to call for bandhs themselves. Many feel it is a way of preserving our culture of Bandhs as we don’t want to progress like other states but linger on with the little development we have.
A college student argued, “It is our wish to grow fast or slow, to allow MNCs here or not, to earn more profits or suffer loss due to bandhs. After all we are independent citizens of banana republic and it must be our right to go for Strikes and bandhs whenever we like. We are not like the Japanese to continuously progress as we believe in pulling others down!”
The state government has called for a high level meeting with all the heads of organizations and directed them to call for a strike at least once a month to satisfy the needs of people. The matter is also referred to the central government to consider for a special package for Assam to compensate the loss suffered in Bandhs.