The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013


There were, at least, four in 2012.

February 20 and 21 are days of mountainous discomfort for the Indians it can be said. All the central trade unions have called the ‘Bandh’ or ‘general strike’ across the country to protest the anti-people policies of the government.

On a countrywide scale, it can be easily assumed that the services will be hit hardly as these trade unions have good inroads in the public sector undertakings and behemoths like the Indian Railways, in banking and insurance sector, in semi-organized sectors like transportation and in unorganized sectors. To make matters worse, the auto-unions in Delhi and Mumbai have also called two-day strike on February 20 and 21.

‘Bandhs’ are not new in India. In fact, I can still recollect appeals by the ‘Bandh’ calling parties and the counter-appeals and Doordarshan advertisements by the government before and after the August 30, 1989 ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by opposition political parties at the height of the Bofors scam or appeals made by the government before a proposed 24-hour Indian Railways ‘Chakka Jaam’ (stop the wheel) in 1990’s.

Political parties and trade-unions keep on calling ‘Bandhs’, mainly to score political goals; sometimes, legitimately. It is argued that a ‘Bandh’ is a form of civil disobedience protest, necessary to awaken the ruling class.

General strikes are good as long as they involve voluntary participation of the public. When that is the case, then the opportunity cost of the economic loss is justified, as the protest call is to make the system more accountable and transparent.

That doesn’t happen always, not in the recent times. Increasingly, the elements of violence have overtaken the ‘civil’ nature of the ‘Bandhs’.

To bolster the claims, the pro-‘Bandh’ parties take anti-civil measures to force others to follow the ‘Bandh’. Arson, loot and forced shutdown have become common features of any ‘Bandh’ these days.

The common man who is an employee in government or a private firm, or who he is a small time businessman or a grocer or daily wage earner, finds himself ground harshly between the pro- and anti- parties.

The claimed figures of loss (10,000-12,500 crore for September 2012 ‘Bandh’, 3000-13,000 crore for July 2012 ‘Bandh’ or projected 15,000-20,000 crore for February 2013 ‘Bandh’) affect him more and not the parties who make the claims and the counterclaims.

The government, to prove its point, pressurizes the employees to report at work. The ‘Bandh’ parties, on the other hand, do all, to deter them from stepping out.

The coming two days are going to be troublesome days if one intends to follow the routine of normal working weekdays.

The government is not going to give its employees off. Same cannot be expected from the private firm owners or managements of the corporate entities. Small time businessmen, if not participating, will be forced to take a hit. Daily wage earners would be the hardest hit.

Like the ‘Bandhs’ called by the political parties, the trade union strikes, too, have had a history of violence in the recent past.

Let’s see what happens tomorrow and the day after. 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -