India on strike

Hi Everyone

Sure. Sure. I know it has been a long time since I updated this blog. Not sure if I actually have any good excuses. Can I say that I have been on strike? Maybe not, but well, I well, today India is on strike. More about that in a short while.

After my trip to Kerala during the Easter I have mostly been in Mumbai. There have been a few hash-runs and so, but not that much particular have happened. And yes. We have had the IPL. But it is just a stupid cricket tournament where everything is fixed isn’t it? CSK is surely the best team, but they lost the final to SRK. CSK batted first and did a superb, fantastic, brilliant innings. I think they scored actually more than 200, which is a score that should always win a match, well, unless CSK would be batting second also. But then all the controversy started. During SRK’s innings a lot of incidents happened. The umpires did a lot of unprofessional, most probably wrong decisions. The batsmen had a number of illegal hits. Rumors say that they were playing with bats that were too big. The dog that was led into the pitch by the owner of SRK disturbed the bowlers so much that they struggled to find any rhythm. And off course there is a talk about some black money here. Honestly I was in an auto for most of the innings so I didn’t see all of this. But this is the way I think the story is being told. Me. A bad loser? Maybe

But this blog post is not supposed to be about cricket, but actually about strike. Today India is on strike. Or bandh as they call it here. This is actually a Hindi word and it means “closed”. The reason for the bandh is fair enough. It is a protest against the newly hiked prices of petrol. It is true that the prices have increased dramatically recently. And that is done by the government, not by the chains that sell petrol. Most often, at least in Norway, workers go on strike to get a higher salary. But here the bandh is actually issued by left wing political parties. And yes, they are not at power right now. During a bandh they kind of expect people to stay at home and not work. And they also expect public transport like busses and trains not to pick up any passengers at days for a bandh.

So how have this affected the daily life in Mumbai today? It has been remarkably quiet in the streets. A friend of me yesterday said that: “tomorrow is a holiday, so you can just stay home”. And it seems like that is the way most people in Mumbai have taken it. A day where you stay at home with your family. How many who actually works from home and how many who are on strike, I don’t know. As I have been a bit down with fever for the last two days it works very well for me to work from home. And I do expect that most of my colleagues do the same.

According to the news, there has not been much disruption from normal life here in Mumbai. In some places supporters of this bandh have thrown stones at busses that have been on duty. But local busses and trains have mostly been according to schedule. In places like Bangalore there have been incidents where busses have been put on fire. This state is run by BJP, which is one of the parties for the strike.

Rumors say that we can expect some riots during the evening. That may very well be the case. I do assume that some people have used the day of to activities like drinking. So the tension might be higher after dark. Luckily I have a TV with a number of news channels so I can be home and find out.

Will keep you updated in anything particular happens.

Talk to you soon!

Karsten

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