So what does a strike achieve?

Published: August 16, 2011
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You will know you’re in the middle of the riot if you can see burning tyres lining the roadside and charred remains of buses and vans. PHOTO: RASHID AJMERI

I’m one of those employed people who get one day off a week. Naturally, plans are made beforehand and the day off is reserved a week in advance. So when suddenly, a political party gets off its ‘lazyboy’ couch and calls a shutter-down strike on that day, it messes up my hormones.

Directing me to stay indoors to effectively put off scheduled doctor appointments to the next week is a pain, literally, let alone an inconvenience. But who is to explain to an old person — in excruciating pain — to hold it in for another day at least.

Ok, so I can get a million arguments in response. But can one truly even try and justify telling a labourer, on daily wages, to sit at home and let his family await an angel to provide them food to open their fast? Can a sudden heart attack be told to wait before the timing is appropriate because there is a good chance that an ambulance may be told to back off or even burnt down in anger by protesters out to enforce the strike?

And what is this anger about anyway? Because of some ‘Local Government Ordinance’? Half the people in the city don’t care and wouldn’t even know about it. Their concern is to feed their families because that’s what their only work during the day is meant for.

The financial loss, running into hundreds of millions rupees, goes unaccounted for when political parties, in their bid to get the government’s attention, call a strike. I mean what is the point of burning down public transport because that takes away from the one mode of transport that ordinary people can still afford? Add to this, the closure of petrol and CNG stations follows and no prize for guessing who is most affected by such strikes: ordinary people.

So not only do they have a life filled with load shedding, terrorism, floods, road accidents, drone strikes and what not, and now they have to deal with this. All this comes after countless promises by the government to restore peace in the mega city. People don’t care who is in power anymore. It’s the same story each time with the only difference being the technique and execution of lawlessness.

bilal.memon

Bilal Memon

The author is the business editor of The Express Tribune.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.