Ban Morchas

A few weeks ago, I was taking a 1:45 pm flight to Bangalore. I left office at 12:15 pm – on a normal day, the airport (about 12 kms) is a 30-minute drive at that time of the day. Little did I know that the Shiv Sena was out in full force on a weekday afternoon protesting against MHADA at Bandra. The result was that all the approach roads from South Mumbai were absolutely packed with traffic with huge backups. A police inpsector suggested that it wasn’t going to clear up for a couple hours.

I got out from the car, took a taxi in the reverse direction to the Matunga train station, caught a train to Vile Parle, and then incentivsed one of the auto drivers to get me quickly to the airport (after three of his ilk declined to do the journey). I reached the airport counter at 1:20 pm, a few minutes before they would have closed it – the flight was on time.

I met someone else on the flight who also just about made it in time — it took him two hours to do the 18 km journey from South Mumbai.

I really think if we are going to move along as a nation we need to get paste these morchas and bandhs — they are a complete nuisance and waste of time, and cause great inconvenience. Everyone has a right to protest, but not at the cost of causing grief to many others.  Or, we can stay resigned to the “This is India” syndrome.

8 thoughts on “Ban Morchas

  1. Absolutely. The other things that fall in such category are religious processions, blaring loudspeakers and strikes.

    One of the things I liked about protests in Delhi is that they have a separate area marked near Jantar Mantar where peaceful and non-disruptive protests can be held. Usually, I have not experience disruption due to bandh/morchas in the last 8 years even though people have called for such quite regularly thanks to the controlled way in which its handled here.


  2. I should say as Tarun said.. we must have seperate place for voicing our protests! In Coimbatore too we have a place (NEAR REDCROSS) so that others wont get affected!

    Osai Chella
    ” Your Daily cup of BlogChai”

  3. Morchas
    Religious processions
    Political Processions

    We need figure out ways to accommodate all this without disrupting the normal life.

  4. A friend of mine from Dalit Sangharsha Samithi [DSS], who frequently takes parts in Dharna’s gave a view on this.

    He says Innumerable applications, Plea’s and other papers would not wake up Officers.

    But one Dharna/Morcha will do the Officers to wake up take notice.
    Also, a Dharna means lot of Applications would have flown before the first leg hits the Street.
    He sympathizes with the suffering masses on the Traffic lanes and by lanes, but says he needs to trade-off. Trade-Off between Disruption and

    Per him, If One Day/Few hours of blocking roads would get the issue [Like wanting Investigations, Recruitments, …….] resolved/working, It is a better trade-off.

    Though I don’t agree with his view, he was offering an explaination of the Dharna Crowd.

    Before we call for Ban on Dharna & etc., We need to have a Dialogue with them.

    Of course, Dialog would be with People willing to talk, not with the Leaders just shouting Naara.

  5. Yeah! When our travel is blocked we cry.. when the poor people’s rights are blocked by irresponsible officers they have no other way to get the attention.. sometimes!

  6. But the real question is “who will bell the cat” and tell the politicians.

    The problem is that post Independence we have not invented any new forms of agitation, so we are stuck with the old ones. Even the slogans of Inquilab Jindabad, Tanashahi nahi chalegi etc have not changed. Till that happens, public agitation will keep being public nuisance.

    Sanjay Uvach

  7. In a democracy, groups of people should be able to express their grievances freely with no harm to the interests of others. There should be a system of permits for demonstrations, which should be carried out in designated secluded public areas. There should be virtual events to express frustrations. There should be an agreement between government, business, politicians, leaders, and media to cover virtual events. There should be judicial arbitrators to mediate expressions of injustice and neglect. Then the need for pestering demonstrations is likely to be addressed and eliminated.

  8. Yes, morchas are a problem but banning morchas is not the real solution.

    What we need is an effective judicial system that would give provide a timely justice to all. If that happens there won’t be a need for morchas.