Mangalore: Recent Bharath Bundh - 'Succesful' or 'Forceful'?

Mangalore was not its hectic best this past Thursday. 'Deserted' perhaps, is the right expression to caption the city's scenario on the day. The reason – the Nationwide Bandh protesting against the withdrawal of the decision to hand over forest land to Amarnath Shrine Trust by the Jammu and Kashmir Government.  
On the face of it, it may give one the impression that the entire city extended its support to the Bandh. But in reality that perhaps is not the case, which was made evident in a couple of cases by some of the activists of the organizers of the Bundh themselves who were blocking vehicles and pelting stones on open shops. Incidents of forcefully maintaining emptiness and violence during the bundh have been reported in Mumbai and several other parts of the country as well. By forcing things, one cannot really claim the 'success' of bundhs.

We often see headlines such as 'Bundh Successful' in papers. It sometimes does feel like a sarcastic statement printed in big and bold fonts. Sarcastic, because majority of the people living in the city and who read these headlines, never really wanted to extend their support to the bundh. The truth is that most of them could not carry out their work just as any other day because the transport facilities were absolutely nil. Bundhs in Mangalore never happen for reasons that can mark a positive change in the society. Never was a bundh called for when farmers went on a suicide spree. Neither was a bundh organized agitating the rise in commodity prices. Somehow, it is the only the so called 'religious sentiment' factor that a few extreme forces fight for, that has actually been associated with bundhs in the city in the recent past. The reason why these bundhs have a telling effect on the city is that these extreme forces have the bus owners and the auto rickshaw drivers in their pockets. When these don't function, technically, the city doesn't function. 
Before actually talking about the 'success' of bundhs, one must know the features of a bundh and the definition of a bundh. A bundh is not a mandatory order. A citizen can either support it or not depending on his feeling and can carry out his day to day business, unlike say, a curfew, where every citizen is 'ordered' not to come out of the house and pursue his work. Therefore, in bundhs, a citizen cannot be forced to support the bundh or viceversa. But as mentioned earlier, we see activists forcing people to support bundhs and threatening to hurt them if they don't. This is precisely the reason why we hear of violence during bundhs.

Most of the populace in the city is the middle and lower middle class, both depending highly on their day to day business affairs to earn bread. A fair chunk of populace is below the poverty line and quite a few depend on their daily wages for survivial. Surely, these people might never want to miss a single day of their work for if they do, they may have to starve that night. Clearly, such a majority of people would not want to see a bundh, that can cost them their bread. But since transport, that is the lifeline of any city, comes to a standstill, people are left with no option but to stay at home.  
Besides, bundhs, when organized by fanatic and extreme forces, always have a 'fear factor' among the people. "Such bundhs may turn violent. Although I don't know what percentage of people voluntarily supported the bundh, fair percentage of people did not go about their day to day activities in order to avoid trouble. But it certainly hurts general public. Nowadays, when inflation is going up and prices rising, it really has a great effect on the working community" says Arun Kumar, Project Manager, CNA, Mangalore.
Re-inforcement of the 'fear factor' comes from Shekhar, an auto rickshaw driver. "I earn, therefore I live. I wouldn't want to miss my daily income. But who wants to risk damage to vehicle and other damages if I go out on a bundh day? So we're forced to sit at home with fear. Something has happened somewhere far away, and we face the music here" discloses Shekhar.
Quite clearly, the Mangalorean attitude has changed over the years. We would hardly have bundhs in Mangalore in the past. There has definitely been a paradigm shift in the approach of the Mangaloreans. The city is letting a limited few dictate terms every now and then. Mangalore seriously needs to ask itself, whether it is just being 'too careful' or whether it is drifting towards…cowardice.


<i>by Abrar Khan, Mangalore<BR> July 6, 2008</i>
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Comment on this article

  • Shaziya, Bajpe/ Sharjah

    Sun, Jul 13 2008

    Congrats Abrar,good job.keep writing we have to speak against evil.once again all the best.

  • rohan, mangalore

    Fri, Jul 11 2008

    First of all all the best for the young journalist.It is a serious issue that how some fundamentalist groups can take law in to their hands.It just vote bank politics.

  • Mohammed Zoheb Faraz, Bangalore

    Thu, Jul 10 2008

    Great work Mr. Khan! Its important for us (civilians) to understand that the line between Democracy and Dictatorship, isn't as thin as politician make it seem to be. We as citizens should raise our voices against acts which cause discomfort and loss to the community in general.

  • Mehnaz, Mangalore

    Wed, Jul 09 2008

    Good work Abrar! Keep up d amazing work u r doing! Yu are the voice of Mangalore! Cheerz to you!

  • Joachim Fernandes, US

    Tue, Jul 08 2008

    Indian democracy is a farce. Indians do not know the difference between a liberal democracy and mob rule. Hoodlums intimidate law abiding citizens with impunity. Indians are blind to the crimes of the Indian state. Tens of thousands of Kashmiris, Nagas and Assamese have been mistreated, brutalized and killed by the Indian state.

  • nina, mangalore

    Mon, Jul 07 2008

    Excellent, there must be some judgement or law that bundh cannot be practised whenever they want for any reason. The law should identify the person who forces this bundh and punished them severely with huge capital for destroying people's property and also public property.

  • Rakesh Shetty, Mangalore, Dubai

    Mon, Jul 07 2008

    Excellent article. I appreciate Mr.Abrar, I hope our Daiji readers will get many more these kind of eye opening articles from you in the coming future. Meanwhile those who comment like "In democracy people can show their oppisition by Bundh" should read the article once again with more attaention and also should know that In democracy people can show their opposition by Bundh, but it should not be fourceful, it should be of voluintary as stated by Mr.Abrar and it should not cause any trouble to all the class of people.

  • Naser, Manglore

    Mon, Jul 07 2008

    We should apply some "valuation" criteria for political parties

    Parties call for "bandh" and illegal activities should get black points.

    During election time the result of "valuation" should be published and it should affect the on the votes. This is only way to promote parties for national interests.

  • G.M Hyder, krishnapora/Sharjah

    Mon, Jul 07 2008

    How successful can the 'bundh' be if people are being forced to support a particular group. The BJP government is making a big mistake at the beginning of its rule, by allowing goondas and miscreants to enforce their ideas. Lawlessness will be rife in a once peaceful city. The citizens should take strong exception to this kind of practice and stage a 'bundh' to oppose these tactics.may Allah bless Mr Arar khan

  • Rizwan Salwan, Q8

    Mon, Jul 07 2008

    Very well written article Mr. Khan,Nice aricle we can feel the real fact of is not at all success without forcing the people to close down their business...some people has to understand others problems.

  • Valerian Dalmaida, Mangalore/Abu Dhabi

    Mon, Jul 07 2008

    Is this my native place? Once so peaceful, calm and quiet. Reading this article gives me a feeling, why at all we should visit Mangalore on our vacation? Only because our near and dear ones are there, we have to visit Mangalore to see them, meet them and spend time with them. Otherwise, at the current status, hell with Mangalore


    Mon, Jul 07 2008

    Dear jathin and vikram, Can you please tell us why bundh was not observed in "Gujarat".I did not hear any statement by any local minister that "stern action wil be taken against perpetrators of violence". It is learnt in todays news that the police person who acted sternly in Bajpe was transferred. What BJP is doing now. When they were in opposition they were preaching of misusing of police force by ruling party. What they are doing now? Padmapriya case is a perfect example of misusing police by ruling party. WHO CAN HELP KARNATAKA, PARTICULARLY MANGALORE?

  • Sshantiraaj, Carstreet, Manglore

    Mon, Jul 07 2008

    Dear Vikram,When everybody appreciated Mr.Abrar khan's article about the bundh SUCCESFUL or are the only person blamed this eye opening article.Because of narrow minded poeple like you today our Mangalore has become notorious for bundh and harthal.

    In Bangalore also we the Hindus's are in majority,but bundh was not success.  So dear Vikram please be broadminded and before blaming others respect the neighbours and other religions.If you think Mr. Abrar Khan's opinion is his personel opinin not public opinion (as you mentioned in your comment page) Please go through the comments on this message, below Mr.Abrarkhan's article.the first day it recieved more than 30 comments.  All have appreciated the article. Now plaese tell the public is it Abrar's personal opinion or whole Mangloreans's opinion.sarve jana sukhino bavantho.

  • Krishna, Mangalore/ Miami

    Mon, Jul 07 2008

    Hindu organisations should not resort to violence/killings. However, I am surprised that no mention is made of the suffering of Kashmiri pandits who have been driven out of their homes by fascists.

    To assume that there is no support among the majority community for the cause is fooling oneself. Resentment among the majority community at being sidelined to pander to the whims and fancies of a "crybaby" minority has reached boiling point. This has to stop for peace to truly return to India. Same law for all-minority or majority.

  • Francis-Mangalore, Mangalore

    Mon, Jul 07 2008

    Very good article by Akbar. But its no use for the paid goondas by politicians to organise bundh. They don't bother to read article and even these people are not very of well aware of amarnath shrine located. Forget about visiting palces like Amarnath shrine. The Politicians should realise that Mangalorean,s are well educated and cannot be taken as fools. I hope the so called great leaders of prsent political party will realise that bundh are not solution but work for progress and development to INDIA and Work for communal harmony.

  • Maria, Mangalore/Newyork

    Mon, Jul 07 2008

    Very true inrespect of bundhs in Mangalore. They are always forceful.Fear of damage keeps the private city buses off the roads which cripples all activities in the city. Youth are indulged in distructive activities by dirty politics rather than constructive work. Who has to blame for this? Relgion? Politicians? or our social set up which is not able to produce responsible citizens.


    Mon, Jul 07 2008

    KEEP IT UP ABRAR! & DAIJIWORLD!! During my school days I respected the present ruling party of Karnataka for their discipline, nationalistic attitude and clean image. It’s sad that they too are resorting to such a callous means to force an issue. What a national waste…& Younger generation succumbing to this ‘democratic’ pleasure is painful indeed. Bundh should be voluntary and should come from heart and brain to oppose ‘something’ unwanted and injurious to the Nation’s growth or issues like heart wrenching ‘Safia Murder’. Recent small news in a website sums it all. Check this out:

  • Ummar G, Riyadh

    Mon, Jul 07 2008

    Nice Article! Hope 'Bundh'less days ahead N pray 4 it.

  • NAYAK, Udupi

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    Well done Mr Abrar. Keep on!! Now a days BUNDH has become common flop show and LOSE making tool used by Senseless politicians. Even though they are feeling SHAME to call themselves as Patriot or Social worker.

    Only uneducated and Jobless, irresponsilble youths get advantage of these events. In the name of OPPOSITION to some govt action,targetting particular community shows backwardness and narrow mindedness of " PARIVAR "

  • Lancelot Norbert Tauro, Manglore - Doha qatar

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    We would like to see more Bharath Bundhs in the name of Hindutva. It's part of Feel Good, Vijayratha and India is shining. Hindutva belongs to only BJP supporters, rest all fools. Is It? dear diginfied nationals?

  • manzoor, dubai /kandlur

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    Very nice article and its a fact I  think heartly no one can support this bundh but some organisation force to a common person

  • Siddik Ul Falah, Dubai UAE

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    Very good article. Mr. Akbar Khan Thank You. Please. continue to write like this article. GOD BLESS YOU !

  • Moosa Kunhi Snamprogetti., Kakkinje/Qurayyah.Saudi Arabia.

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    People are not aware of their rights.Nobody should be forced to stop his work for these unwanted bundhs.The person who forces people to bundh must be imprisoned.

  • khaleel ibrahim, addoor /al jubail

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    Very good article!!!!!

  • Aftab, Ullal/Mangalore,Saudi Arabia

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    Very Good article,People should know what is going to happen for such kind of bundh, Infact totally zero, save our city, save our India.

  • Saoud Shaikh, Jeddah, Yermal - Jeddah - KSA

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    Excellent!.. I 101% agree with you Mr.Abrar and Ms.Jacintha's Comments. Our Mangalore was not like what we see today, our Tuluvan peoples are always soft and polite. May I hope that those golden days will come back again. No one think about the future of this nation, nor about the state or mother land.. just its politics which makes everything hell.. Really Really fedup of these dirty politics.. Jai Hind

  • Desmond, Mangalore

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    It is a pity that the common man has to bear the brunt of the bundhs whenever they are 'ordered' by fanatics mostly for frivolous reasons. The time has come to find a solution to this unpatriotic menace unleashed on our country by unscrupulous politicians disguising as 'patriots' and by hiring hoodlums to carry out their nefarious acts.

  • Ms. Ayesha Hanin, Mangalore

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    Why we are fighting for a land for GOD ? the entire globe is belings to GOD.I really appreciate if all the Hindu relegious leaders and politicians including Adwaniji should have go for hunger strike till the government returns the land.

    Instead they have disturbed one billion population , thousands of crores of rupees of loss to the country. By just sitting in the airconditioned rooms they ordered the nation bundh, their Goondas took the streets... what happened?  We are in 21 Century.. look at the other part of the world...shame ... If such incidents comes to masjid or mandir I will definitely say that the bund is not an answer.

  • Ruchir Agarwal, Mangalore

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    From what I gathered from some of my net freinds in Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi the bundh call evoked a luke warm response.Why is that bundh calls get a rousing welcome in our city?But I also thank the organisers for obesrving it peacefully and giving due notice to the public.

  • Ronald Prabhu, Mangalore

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    How successful can the 'bundh' be if people are being forced to support a particular group. The BJP government is making a big mistake at the beginning of its rule, by allowing goondas and miscreants to enforce their ideas. Lawlessness will be rife in a once peaceful city. The citizens should take strong exception to this kind of practice and stage a 'bundh' to oppose these tactics.

  • Naveen , Mangalore / Saudi Arabia

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    Yes I do agree with you that Mangalore was a peacefull place and slowly turning to a vilent place. Also Bundh should not be forced on anyone because it is affecting to common man and daily bread earners. Secondly I do not belong to any party nor I support any organization. here I want to raise another issue.

    Every time a bandh called by certain party or organisation people always calls as fanatics or extremist. there are so many other organizations and party's in India and they call Bundh not even one dare to say anything.

    In Ksahmir Pandiths are beaten and killed by many terrorists and so called secular parties/Govt are not protecting them.In Kashmir people are against alloting some land to Amarnath temple and state Govt is scared and revoked the order because they will loose the govt due to PDP taking back its support.

    Where are we heading as a country???. Our country is dominated by politicians and political parties so everyone will play their trump card when the time comes and play with peoples sentiments for their advantgae. This is what's happening in the entire country. lets pray for the peace among people.

  • Edwin, Udupi

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    First of all I don't understand the concept of Bandh. In 21st century this kind of activities are not healthy for the world as well as for the fast growing country country like India. Let me express important points here. Specially Banndh called by communal political parties & their agenda is only fooling general public & as well as for those people they don't have any constructive hard & they live, lead their life by doing such things & they are financed & influenced by politicians.

    Now as a 2nd generation we don't need this type of actvities. Our country should grow & we need to create a condusive atmosphere for our future. State govts & central govts comes & goes, but we as a general public to make sure that who ever comes to power they have make good jobs, new projects that will lead the country to a great success and not by doing bandh & opposing nuclear deals like left. Whereever left is govt. is ruling those states are very backward (eg. WB, Tripura & Kerala) About 90% people have migrated to other states. So think of this my dear countrymen & think positively.

  • Rasheed, Mangalore, KUWAIT

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    Very good article, As the article said its really a waste of a day. In these days of inflation we cant tend to loose one day with out earning just for the sake of Bundh. No its really a waste. People just imagine how many people are dependent on daily wages.

  • Karen, Mangalore

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    I do agree wholeheartedly with the author when he states that one's support to a bundh should be optional and never forced. We in Mangalore are seeing a disturbing trend in recent times whereby the larger peace-loving populace are being intimidated into supporting a bandh even though they do not wish to show solidarity with the cause for the bandh.

    It is scary to be open for business when you see motorcycle-borne gangs of youth going in large groups and using their so-called toughness on hapless indviduals. I think such things happened on Thursday in the heart of the city (at Kunil Complex, Bendorewell junction around noon). The policeman at the nearby Karavali Circle looked the other way when a gang of youth were intimidating somebody going about his work.

    So, regardless of one's affiliations, one is forced to be indoors and inadvertantly support the bundh. We long for the good old peaceful times in Mangalore when everyone, including a decent politician and his party men behaved like gentlemen and never inconvenienced the common man in the pursuit of his glory and ambition.

    I suppose the riots we witnessed in October 2006 effectively closed the chapter on that long and peaceful innings that Mangalore and Mangaloreans enjoyed.

  • Eric Coelho, Mangalore

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    In Just One Word "Fear" that is forcing people to close Down their Business. When we have a corrupted Political and Police System what can the common man do in such a situation. "Be Safe and Protective". It is not Cowardice.

  • Khanjar, Mangalore/KSA

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    I completely agree with Ms. Jacintha. !BRAVO! Mr. Khan, Please do continue your good work.

  • Dominic Pereira, Managlore / Birmingham

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    Splendid article! It clearly defines what a "bundh" and a "curfew" is? I pity my fellow Mangloreans, perhaps they have'nt seen what Mangalore was in its hay days.Abrar is right the city is now drifting towards…cowardice as a limited few have been dictating terms, In these kind of Bundhs's people who depend upon daily wages are hit the hardest and ironically these are the people who support these divisive forces.Then there are exceptions of course.

    Abrar has touched a very interesting topic Why were'nt there any bundhs's when these farmers went on a Suicide spree or when an innocent farmer fighting for his rights was shot dead by police in north Karnataka last month?Why are'nt there any bundhs when inflation is heading northwards?

  • Ansaf, Jeddah-KSA,Mangalore

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    Well done Abrar. Fantastic article. I think each and every Mangalorean should read & understand this. From past few years people in Mangalore and surroundings are very much worried about Bundhs,riotss, etc., coz of some bakwas organizations.

    Only people those who don't have proper education,knowledge & work do all these stuff. So I would like to request every Mangalorean not to support any culprit organization hence to keep peaceful & happy life for our future generation.

  • Silvia C, Mangalore

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    Well said and well written article. The Mangaloreans need to be enlightened on this. We are indirectly supporting the unimportant issues.

  • Felix D'Souza, Mangalore/Doha

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    I am proud of you Abrar for writing this article. At least someone had the guts to write the truth.

  • Padmanabha Shenoy, Udupi /Dammam Saudi Arabia

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    Dear Mr. Abrar Khan, Nice article. But any bandh will have positive and negative impacts. Religion is playing a main role in our life since the independence and politicians and people use this as their tool. There will be crime in the city when city grows and population increases. Let us all educate our children and make them understand that all of us (all religions) should love each other and live with harmony.

  • vikram, Qatar

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    Mr.Abrar khan you should first learn how to respect other religion then you should write article. Because your all opinion is your personal opinion. Not peoples opinion. so before writing anything you should respect others feelings.

  • Abdul Hameed, Mangalore/Dammam

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    An excellent article.The organizers of bundh should get prior permission from the DC and should give guarantee that they will be responsible for any life and property loss takes place during the bund.. Govt should pass a law to that effect to avoid criminals taking advantage of so called bund.

    If the people take law in to their own hands they should be punished according to the law of the land.Frequent bunds with naroow objectives are the distructive factor for any decent society.Hope Mangaloreans will unite against the bad influence of unjustified bunds to save mangalore from the culprits.

  • MA Sheikh, Manglore/Dammam

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    Very well written article Mr. Khan. We want persistant peace to prevail in our destricts and need to thrash out so called religious hooligans in order to make common man's life peaceful.

  • ubai, UAE

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    Nice aricle we can feel the real fact of is not at all success without forcing the people to close down their business...this Sang parivar has to understand the problems.

  • Jatin, Mangalore

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    Jacintha,Mangalore was known to be peaceful? Have you ever passed through the streets of Kudroli or towards the Kudroli Abbatoir.Its been scary since decades. The so called innocent daily wage earners like Auto drivers & Bus drivers, one day bundh makes them loose their daily wage, what about the Auto bundh , a week back organised by none other then our favourite Ivan Dsouza.

    What happend to the daily wage on that day? Even if a auto driver or a bus driver had a personal fight, they go for flash bundhs without even informing the public leading to inconvenience to the public. The school kids cannot go back home since these guys go on flash bundhs.

    What happened to the Bundh called every year to celebrate Black day on December 6th. The July 3rd Bharat Bundh was just to show the Government ,The majority community is just waiting to teach a perfect lesson to the party which betrayed India for decades.

    Its always been said, if any person talks about the majority commminity ,he has been treated as communal, if thats so I wouldnt being communal or fanatic just because I raised my opinion today. Jai Hind

  • Ashpak, UAE/Kundapur

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    Well done Abrar Khan, Recent Bharath Bundh is absolutely forcefull, if it is successful no need to force the public to close their shops and blocking vehicles and pelting stones. Oh my dear brothers wake up, stop these kind of bunds join together and force together to develop the country economics that time only we will become successfull.

  • Arshad Kadli, Bhatkal / Al Khobar

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    Bandhs regardless of it is called by Congress, Communists or Saffron Parties tends to be forceful most of the times. Everytime there is a Bandh, it takes the nation backwards by a day. There may be an argument in favour of Bandh terming it as it as freedom of expression but If we have to attract investments we should do away with at least forceful bandhs.

  • Hameed, Kasargod / Riyadh

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    Article is very good forceful bandh is common, this bandh would have continued for at least Seven days or more than that, then  only the world would have known  the status of  our Place - that is the Mangaloreans will be known for being how good in making Bunds......

  • Jacintha, mangalore/ireland

    Sun, Jul 06 2008

    Execellent article.Mangalore was known as peaceful city.I am proud to be a Manglorean.but the trend has changed recently. I am terified about the future.People should realize this atleast reading such article,

  • Suresh.Hegde, Dubai

    Mon, Jul 07 2008

    When you hurt someones sentiments, In democracy people can show their oppisition by Bundh.You are not focusing on key issue, when you write any article you should be sincere...

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Title: Mangalore: Recent Bharath Bundh - 'Succesful' or 'Forceful'?

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