Monday, July 05, 2010

5th July - Holiday or Bandh or just fun ?

It's a holiday in US today due to their Independence Day yesterday. In US, the holidays falling on a Saturday/ Sunday are moved to a Monday. So the Dollar market (which forms major part of our forex) is closed today.

In some suburban areas of Mumbai, markets are closed on Mondays instead of Sundays. Mira Road is always closed on Mondays, except for 'Monday Markets' selling low cost wares on the road during evenings.

So, today's bandh by opposition doesn't affect some people. To me it looks like we're celebrating American Independence with USA! But this is with a difference. The celebration or fun is being had by the Opposition. Whereas the people are being inconvenienced. Here, we're pelting stones at the public, stopping trains where people are travelling and causing inconveniece to the 'junta', whereas this Bandh is supposed to be aimed at the Government !

To me, the entire bandh/ strike concept (which has almost become neglible in Mumbai in the recent past) looks like a big picnic for the party workers who're involved in it. Just like before a picnic or some major event, volunteers gather early morning with food supplies. Then they go out and have fun... puncturing tyres, pelting stones, troubling people. The fun of some is troublesome for many. Who doesn't like to bully others? It's often the target who suffers! Many people who stay away from home (like my youngest brother at Pune!) and depend on outside food are sitting sans a breakfast now. Lunch is again another big question !!! People wanting to go out for emergency work, will be stranded. Sick people will suffer. India will suffer financial losses in crores! Maybe this will further add to prices! So, who will benefit anyways?

Most people are at home due to fear. Some just want a holiday and are glad this is some excuse to stay home. June-July have no Bank Holidays anyways! Over a period of time, I've noticed that strikes and bandhs are called during months when there are no holidays! Interesting, ain't it ?

At such times, people in the service industry are in the most odd situations! Banks, Hotels (not restaurants) and other service providers, on whom public depend cannot just close the shutters and vanish! We just do not know what is to be done. All such organisations make their own action plan. That also differs from department to department, depending on what needs they are catering to! Due to one such decision of giving ladies the benefit of not coming, I am at home! :-) Some organisations have called their staff at 6 / 7 am so that they can work while the commotion, if any, goes on outside. And most such agitations get over by 5 / 6 pm, which is by when offices also shut. And service providers work till much later! Maybe, customers/ clients might not come and might have to eventually go back home. But you cannot predict such things in advance. Clearing/ RTGS / CMS sections of banks depends on RBI to take a call in such cases. If RBI itself is closed due to low attendence, then banks can relax....

Just got a call from my office too. My team and others from South Mumbai (no incidents reported from that side as yet!) who'd braved their way to office are now going back home on boss's instructions...... No customers, forex closed, more untoward incidents in suburbs........ now its more an ego war between parties, all of whom are trying to prove who has more power and say!

For me, it's an extended weekend ! Hmm....

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