Calcutta, Oct. 31: Mamata Banerjee’s bandh and a post-monsoon burst crippled Calcutta and most of Bengal today.
Satarupa Chaudhuri’s open letter to Mamata, published in The Telegraph today, also opened the floodgates — but of defiance. All through the day, the paper received feedback from readers, both from Bengal and abroad, over phone and through email.
Asked about the “success” of the bandh, chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee shrugged his shoulders and said: “What do I know'”
But the readers had a lot to say. Some of the voices:
I don’t support bandhs. As a silent protest, I joined my office in Dalhousie at 10.30am just as I do on normal days
I faced roadblocks on Rashbehari Avenue and at Shovabazar, but I still made it to office. Come, let’s all defy the bandhs.
I want to ask Ms Chaudhuri to tell us whatever support she needs to start a movement against bandhs. I had to walk all the way to my bank on Sarat Bose Road
I think bandhs are a form of terrorism and we are completely against it. We have had very good response from customers today. We have even had ambulances stopping to fill up at the station today
Owner of a women-run petrol pump at Alipore
I am tired after the day’s hectic work, but also quite satisfied that I did not allow Mamata Banerjee (or for that matter any other political leader or party) to disrupt my daily life forcefully
IT professional (Information technology was exempt from the bandh but many employees could not reach their offices today)
A few shopping malls and housing projects do not mean development. Look at the region a few kilometres away from Calcutta and we see that the villages and towns have not changed in the last thirty years! What development' I feel helpless. Today I came to office to protest against this mindless anti-development bandh culture
What is the Supreme Court doing' They should severely punish each and every party that calls bandh
Bandhs are detrimental to the state and do nothing either for the well-being of the people or for the growth of the state
Retired central government official
The people are fed up and the poor suffer the most in a bandh… bandhs will not change the government
Is bandh, another form of terrorism, the right answer to ‘state-sponsored terrorism’' One cannot fight terrorism with terrorism. We stay at home because we are afraid of the goondas on the road
People outside Calcutta work hard and earn their self-respect. But in Calcutta, people go on strike at the drop of a hat and this has created a serious image problem for Calcutta. Many non-Bengali friends feel no matter how much image makeover or begging for business is done, the conception of Calcutta will not change
Calcutta and Bengal are being subject to unproductive, meaningless bandhs called by one political party after another. In a democracy, we have the right to protest but not at the cost of democracy itself
I appeal to all Calcuttans to stage a candlelight protest when any party calls a bandh. It should be in the same spirit as at St Xavier’s for Rizwanur Rahman. Unless we come forward, these scoundrels will continue their bandh calls and hold us to ransom. It is time to beard the cowards in their dens