Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Uneasy calm in Delhi

Following the SC verdict yesterday, the Delhi traders are out on the street again. The verdict came late in the evening yesterday. Monday being the off day for most markets, there was not much hue and cry last evening.

Schools are closed today. We also had decided to have a watch and decide policy. Nothing unusual reported till about 10 am. So we had started late for office and avoided the problematic Vikas Marg. Buses were plying till then. The protests normally peak during noon time. Yet it appears that it is under control till now. Or, it is just the uneasy calm before a violent expression of protest. The same uneasy calm prevailed on the first two days of that bandh. It finally exploded on the final day.

It was the involvement of political leaders and inaction of police, again at the behest of administration, that lead to violence last time. Had they tackled it tough, it could have been kept under control. This time SC has talked tough and has asked administration to get additional forces if required. With additional companies of paramilitary forces, it appeared that the protest is heading for bloodshed this time. But there is difference between making bloated comments like ‘Hum Jaan Deneko Taiyaar Hai’ and actually face the bullet. While the local Delhi Police might not shoot at the rioters, but the paramilitary forces would.

The resistance from trader community is quite apparent and widespread, covering almost all corners of Delhi. Honestly speaking this is a real test for administration. If they can pass it, then I am sure that anything can be done by the administration, like weeding out corruption or taking action against errant politicians, provided they has a will. Till now they did not have the will. So, SC had to keep intervening.

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