The flavour of Kolkata

The flavour of Kolkata
The bridge, the river and kids' play. Brilliantly captured by Sujay Kumar Das.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The strike strikes unexpectedly

The first bit of news about today's BJP-sponsored state strike that reached me was that a bus had been torched at Kestopur (the next bus stop to Baguiati, my home stop), buses were hardly visible on VIP Rd and some shops had been damaged by strike supporters. It followed with a news of damaging a private car at Baguiati junction. Apprehensive, it was a little late for me to go out to work.

The busy Baguiati junction (the busiest on VIP Rd) wore an absolutely unusual look- no buses (just saw one overcrowded mini bus of Airport-Jadabpur route in about 30 minutes apart from empty chartered buses refusing to entertain anybody attempting to stop and board them), hundreds of people in the middle of VIP Rd, police personnel and police vehicles. People were making calls to office or business associates updating the situation and giving an estimate of possible delay in reaching the destination. What beat me was the total absence of any govt bus, while today's Ananda Bazar Patrika reported about state govt's announcement to run as many buses as possible for the people who want to make it to work.

The news that shocked me after reaching office was that some strike supporters have wrecked havoc in DLF building (the major office complex of New Town, Rajarhat) and beaten up people including employees of IBM and Vodafone for defying the bandh. What, possibly what, can give BJP and/ or other seven marginal political parties supporting the strike the courage to do so and the other acts of violence, while BJP, the biggest of them doesn't have a single legistator in the state? Did they have patronage from some unexpected and powerful 'friends' in the political circuit?