Bengaluru, September 24, 2023: In a bold move, farmers’ organizations, Pro-Kannada groups, and opposition parties have jointly called for a complete ‘Bengaluru Bandh’ on September 26 to protest the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. While the Karnataka government has yet to respond to the bandh call, organizers have emphasized that it will be an all-encompassing strike, raising questions among Bengalureans about what will remain open and what will be closed during this day of protest.
What Will Be Open?
During the Bengaluru Bandh on Tuesday, essential services and select government functions will remain operational. The following services will be open:
- Hospitals, Nursing Homes, and Medical Shops
- Emergency Services
- Government Offices
- Namma Metro Services
What Will Be Closed?
The organizers have declared a comprehensive shutdown of various establishments and services, including:
- All Shops and Commercial Establishments
- App-Based Taxi and Bike Services
- Street Vendors
- Hotels and Restaurants
- Theatres, Malls, and Multiplexes
- Goods Vehicles
Schools’ Status Uncertain
The Associated Management of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka (KAMS) has expressed moral support for the bandh and will make a decision on whether to declare a holiday for schools on Monday. The Karnataka State Travel Operators Association has also expressed solidarity with the Bandh call.
The decision to observe the bandh was collectively made by pro-farmer leaders, Pro-Kannada organizations, and various political parties, led by Karnataka Jala Samrakshana Samiti’s (KJSS), during a meeting at Freedom Park. In addition to this, Pro-Kannada organizations led by Vatal Nagaraj will convene on Monday, September 25, to decide on a ‘Karnataka Bandh’.
Kuruburu Shanthkumar, President of the Sugarcane Growers Federation, who initiated the Bandh call, has called for support from different sectors, industry bodies, and organizations. Over 100 organizations have expressed their solidarity with the protesting groups.
Shanthkumar emphasized, “This is not our bandh. It is a complete shutdown called by the citizens of Bengaluru as their share of potable water is also being released to Tamil Nadu. We seek cooperation from the IT sector, banking sector, commercial and business establishments, industries, school-colleges, transport organizations to make this bandh a success and send a strong message to both the state and central governments.”
Various opposition parties, including the BJP, AAP, and JDS, have pledged their support for the Bandh, further increasing the momentum of this city-wide protest.
As Bengaluru braces itself for this significant shutdown, the implications and impact on daily life are being closely watched. Citizens are preparing for a day of protest that could send a strong message to the authorities regarding the sensitive issue of Cauvery water sharing.