Bangalore, Feb 20: Life might have come to a stand-still for many Indians, as country observed nation-wide 48-hour-long Bharat Bandh on Wednesday, Feb 20. Incidents of violence were also reported from many parts of the country, as protesters indulged in hooliganism.
But, for many, the Bandh turned out to be a boon, as they enjoyed their "holiday" within the comfort of four walls of their houses. Several streets in many parts of the cities across India turned into playground, as children played cricket. Most of the schools and colleges declared holiday for the two-days in anticipation of any untoward incidents.
Many office-goers could not attend their work, as public transport did not operate in full strength.
"I have no complaints. My office has given us a holiday. I am enjoying my day with my wife and kids," said Manoj M, an IT professional in Bangalore.
In Bangalore, several IT companies declared holiday for their employees on Wednesday. However, many worked from their homes.
Bharat Bandh has been called by 11 trade unions bodies.
Opinions surrounding the nation-wide strike are varied. Few believe that wrong economic policies of the government are the reasons behind the Bandh called by trade unions.
Most of the Indian cities, including New Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore have come to an abrupt halt, where daily life has been affected severely.
The Bandh has been called by 11 trade union bodies. Some of the trade unions, who are participating in the strike, are - Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) and many others.
The Bandh has been called against privatisation, outsourcing, violation of labour laws, and price rise.
Earlier government appointed senior leaders of UPA AK Antony, Sharad Pawar and Mallikarjun Kharge to meet the trade union members. But, talks failed. "The government has nothing to offer. We are going ahead with the strike. We expect it to be hugely successful," said CITU president A K Padmanabhan, after talks failed.