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Protests: Delhi vs Kathmandu

Kathmandu Protests

They have bandas in India too, but they don’t trash the city to make their point

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle Street Journal
This article first appeared in today’s Kathmandu Post. Here’s the PDF version of the page.

The state government of Delhi recently hiked public bus fares in an astonishing manner. The Delhi Metro rail, a major medium of public transportation in the Indian capital, quickly followed suit. Prices of consumer goods are also going up, and the general sentiment is resentment against the establishment for its inability to curb rising prices. The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) called a Delhi banda on Friday. Guess what happened on the banda day. Dozens of cars smashed, pro-banda activists pelting stones at shop owners who refused to close their businesses, breaking railings on the streets? Nothing like that happened. Coming from Nepal where such things are an inseparable part of any banda and bandas themselves a part of life, I was mildly surprised to see such a peaceful banda and way of protest in Delhi. The BJP, not an ideal political party in itself, but that’s a separate issue, only requested business owners and people to mark the banda, there was no force used. And, stunningly for me, the party said beforehand that there would be no inconvenience for the general public during the banda. Continue reading