TODAY -

Ban the Bandhs – for a prosperous Manipur

Leishemba Loushambam *



Have Bandh always been an only way for bringing a solution?.. Does creating a whole chaotic and stagnant situation in the state for a discontentment and dissatisfaction of a particular organisation or a community really fair?. As we all know that Manipur is “land of lups” or organisation as it should be .

Since having a look at the demography of it, the state itself has large contrasting number of community, religious group and custom. The number of contrasting interests in various field increases due to large number of community. It must be and it is indeed hard for the authority to resolve any conflict and retard the high frequency of bandhs/blockades in the state.

But at the same time it is indeed a high time to ban this bandhs,bandhs can be literally defined a mass movement particularly organised by mostly secular interest groups for demanding their own benefits which will lead in creating harm and destruction to properties belongs to local residents. Sometimes, the angry mob grew out of the protestors will even lead to decease of innocent lives .

Bandhs mostly freeze or stagnant the daily activities living in the state which includes the free movement of people, closure of shops and markets ,works, schools , colleges and even creates disturbances in medical works. Bandhs can be pronounce as the most aggressive and ugliest way of bringing up a strike.

In 1997, the ruling bench of Kerala high court stated bandhs as “illegal and unconstitutional” as calling on of bandhs implied to threat to lives and properties. As Bandhs creates disturbance in free movement of civilians which gives a big impact during emergency especially in case of health problems.

Bandhs/Blockades imposed at 2 national highways( viz National Highway no. 2 and National Highway no. 39 ) of the state which is also known as lifeline of state by a particular interest groups which main agenda is not being favoured by the state as a whole creates lots of discontentment inside the state such as price rise of essential commodities and fuel which affect the poor person the most which have nothing to do with the strikes .

The Question is “Who give this people the authority to create such a havoc to the state?”. In another case, Murdering or any complicated cases often formed Joint Action Committee (JAC) and called the state for Total shutdown for many days which will again affect the poor people who are mainly daily bread earners who have nothing to do with the complicated cases.

Despite of creating disturbances to the people of state and hindrances in progress of development, One should try to fight for the justice in the judicial way through court as “Law is all above us” .

Wrong policies of Government also leads in calling on of bandhs by certain groups if the policy acts against the wants of group in order to show their dissatisfaction but the best and probable way is to do debates and discussion which will followed by submission of memorandum to the concerned department regarding their vexation in so and so policy, rather than calling bandhs instantly without having a second thought .

“Students are the pillar of Nation”, the whole nation echoed but these bandhs often cut down the days of schooling days and due to lack of schooling, the students of state could not compete with rest of the nation in terms of competitive exams which will eventually head into an unhappy society in coming years and the number of human resources in the state will be eventually falling down which is bad signs in terms of “Development”.

After all of this disruption, the question arises “Does this bandh ever benefits the groups calling it?” and the answer is mostly minimum to solid zero. So,the main idea of whole this ‘bandh’ stucks into creating lots of discontentment from a single discontentment.

On the other hand, Frequent bandhs and tensions gives and creates ugly image of the state to people residing outside the state which will lessens the number of tourist travelling to Manipur which is disadvantages for us as state in all viable perspectives. It will eventually demean the status of tourism industry of the state which is the only industry accepted as the viable industry in the state which will boost the economy and developement of the state.

Not only the Ecological tourism (Eco-Tourism)but the Inter-Eco tourism will be reduce (Inter-Eco tourism : Tourism where people of residing in particular place inside the state tours to other places of state which often strengthens the unity of the people). People needs to understand and should be aware of the Pros and Cons of calling bandhs and that the so cons are dominant.

Not only Government and the executive forces can reduce the frequency of bandhs and tensions, each and every people residing in the state plays an important role in hiking up the prosperity of the state.

To sum up whatever I’ve stated so far, the Constitution of India allows Freedom of speech and expression under Article 19 but it cannot be in form of bandhs as it disrupts and interfere with other fundamental rights such as freedom to live and education .

So, if the so called bandhs are very necessary then people should perform sit-in protest constitutionally with banners following the rules of Gandhiji’s Satyagraha which cause no cons of Bandhs harming and retarding the prosperity of the state .


* Leishemba Loushambam wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be reached at leishembaloushambam6(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on October 02 2023.



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