Even before the Supreme Court banned Monday’s bandh the state revenue authorities had passed an important order on September 30 — that the state-run retail liquor shops would remain open on October 1.
Since the day after the bandh happened to be Gandhi Jayanti, and hence a dry day, the authorities did not want to lose two consecutive days of liquor revenue. So while liquor shops remained untouched by the bandh call, more essential services like restaurants and even teashops remained closed on Monday.
“It is really strange when a government does not mind its citizens going hungry but makes sure they got their daily alcohol fix,” quipped Pradeep, who works in a mobile company and stays in a lodge at Triplicane. His main task was to go looking for breakfast, though Triplicane has more than two dozen eateries — all of which had downed their shutters since the DMK’s fasting venue was just a kilometre away.
Every time the ruling party declares a bandh 0the previous one was on March 31 — the state goes on a holiday mode.
This time since the bandh day was sandwiched between a weekend and Gandhi Jayanti, it turned out to be an extended holiday. Train and long distance passengers were worst hit by the bandh call.
“Tamil Nadu is getting to resemble Kerala and West Bengal when it comes to bandhs. Why should the public suffer just because the politicians here want to make a point. If Karunanidhi wants to go on a hunger strike, he is most welcome. But why prevent buses and autorickshaws from plying?” asked Parvathi, a schoolteacher from Kerala looking for transport to her daughter’s residence.