Market and shops are shutting down in order to make a statement to the government against sealing in Delhi, to show it is not an unusual site in a democratic country like India. On March 28th of 2018, the nation’s capital is observing what is being dubbed as a ‘Delhi Trade Bandh’. With a mega rally taking place at Ramlila Maidan along with a wide-scale sealing of businesses has found its way into the local news. Before we go into how beneficial or detrimental such a bandh is on the Nation’s Capital, let us see the statement that these protesters so desperately wish to make.
The issue started with the Supreme Court ruling of a segregation of commercial land and residential land stating that there should be no shops in residential areas. This ruling prompted a sealing drive across Delhi. This has struck the wrong cord among traders and commercial property owners. The rally which is jointly organized by All Delhi Traders, Vyapari and Workers Association and Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) is be headed by CAIT secretary general Praveen Khandelwal. Mr Khandelwal spoke on behalf of nearly 3000 trade associations from across Delhi saying that, ”The traders are demanding the Central Government to bring a Bill in current session of the Parliament to stop the sealing or an Ordinance whereas on the other hand, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal should pass a Bill in current Assembly session for moratorium on sealing and forward the same to Central Government for its approval.”
A major advantage of this Bandh would be that Traders get an opportunity to express their opinions in a non-violent appeal to their Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
On the flip side, it is the common man (aam aadmi) is who is most affected by this bandh as it disrupts the base economical means which they rely to lead their day to day lives. This not only include sellers, but buyers as well.
Another major risk is that, despite all non-violent intentions of a strike, it agitates the psyche of the common man when no effect occurs soon enough forcing him to resort to aggression. So peace is not an assured factor for long.
This being the third rally in many months protesting the drive, the agitation of the citizens will definitely not work in favor of the government’s reputation among the common people.
Places affected include prime areas like Sadar Bazar, Lajpat Nagar, Chandni Chowk, Karol Bagh and Chawri Bazar.
The government seeks to push an agenda among its citizens. It is wise to believe that imposing anything against the consensual will of a citizen will be met with resistance in any fair democracy. Either the government should explain and convince the citizens of the advantages of such a sealing-drive or they must give citizens a reasonable time-frame to make other adjustments. For instance, if the government expects citizens to make a change or move from their usual way of life, the government should also be willing to provide the solution and offer compensation.
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Only in a win-win mentality will there be such order and peace in a nation with room for intellectual and fair discussions. Perhaps it is time to set a new tone when it comes to implementing policy on behalf of the citizens of the nation.