Quote:

“We ain’t asking for shit. We takin’ it!”

-Dr. Dre

Once upon a time, somewhere in the peaceful hills of Ilam, in its scenic roads, there was a blockade. All of the cars, buses, trucks and motorcycles were suddenly rendered immobile by the forceful magic of a barricade of tree logs. When the drivers asked why they should stop their vehicles, they were told that a nice young man, a student in a local college, was brutally assaulted by a savage policemen. Then his enraged friends thirsty for justice, organized a blockade, a bandh in a place called Tinghare. Or at least that is what I was told.

“What happened? Well, a barbaric policeman inconsiderately stopped a public bus. Then all of a sudden with a drunken demeanor he raised his hand on a student in the bus. You know that its the twenty first century and you can’t raise your fist against the students of Ilam. Thus we are forced to carry out this andalon. Justice will be done and the savagery of the police will be exposed. This andalon will show the police who we are.”

That is what a female student showing her support for the bandh told me. I felt the need to ask the following question.

“Are you sure that the fellow didn’t insult the mother or wife of that policeman?”

“Nonsense! That student of our college was brutally beaten up ruthlessly and without any cause. Really pisses me off you know, the way that the dirty bastards can do whatever they want. Nobody has the right to raise their fist against anybody anywhere. We will continue our andolan against police brutality and stand up for our rights.”

I found it hard to stomach what she said. Nothing happens without a cause, you can’t light a fire without a spark.

Meanwhile, in the balcony of a restaurant in Tinghare there was a meeting between the police and the students. According to what I heard, the students were demanding to talk to the police who allegedly hit the student. This is going to be a long day, I thought. Why would the police want to deploy a sacrificial lamb to the students? No homeward bound for me.

Who’s to blame, the police or the students. Or is it God or Lady Luck behind this madness?

As an innocent outsider, it’s hard for me to say. I can only say that neither the student nor the police should have acted up. Everybody should have minded their own business. When this collision of two total strangers from the opposite ends of the universe took place, innocent passerby have to halt their vehicles and put a comma to their travels.

And a bandh seems to be good for business, all of the Robinson Crusoes, me included, in Tinghare had tea and biscuits at the local shops. The college students who came to show their support got an extra holiday.

While waiting for Man Friday, I took pictures.

A Bandh in Tinghare, Ilam

A Man Sleeping in a Bus During the Bandh

Old Men Waiting for the Bandh to Come to its End

The Meeeting

People Peering into the Meeting Between the Students and the Police in a Sekuwa Corner

People Discussing about the Bandh and Having Chatpatte

The Line

Casualities

More Casualities

Man Friday never came, the APF came instead. Armed Police Force came to the rescue with batons.

“Everybody back to their cars!  All of you students who wanna talk come here right now!

Nobody moved a finger. The APF removed the barricade in an instant by kicking away those logs. Traffic resumed. Another short bandh in a galaxy of bandha’s. Too bad, so sad for the students. Just wish I took pictures of the APF annihilating the bandh, I was already on my way to travel through Ilam.