7 October 2006


A couple of days ago Tiruvannamalai was affected by a Statewide bandh taking place in the neighbouring State of Karnataka. All Government and private vehicles, including Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation buses, were stopped at Hosur and not allowed to continue onwards.

The bandh which was called by parties sympathetic to the ongoing State boundary issue between Maharashtra and Karnataka, affected all interstate traffic between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

The most affected were labourers from Tiruvannamalai, Cuddalore and Villupuram. More than 50,000 people from these areas on returning to Bangalore for their work, were left stranded at Hosur because of the bandh. The bandh also affected more than 20,000 Hosur-based employees, working in night shifts at various industries in Bangalore.

Thankfully the above bandh although inconvenient to many, did go off peacefully; but sometimes bandhs can become nasty and violent. In affect a bandh is a General Strike and in an important one, even small shop-keepers will not dare break open their shops for fear of reprisals from strike organisers.

It is not unheard of when a Chief Minister or important movie star dies, that a bandh will be called. Some mourning bandhs have involved extreme and tragic displays of grief even, in some cases, leading to self-immolation.

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