India: Beating the Bandh

Beating the Bandh

In major cities throughout much of India last week, millions failed to report to work, shops were shuttered, and business came to a halt as opponents of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi joined in their first nationally organized protest. The bandh, or strike, was led by eight opposition parties, whose demands included Gandhi's resignation and the calling of national elections well in advance of the mandatory deadline of December 1989. In Bombay, India's main commercial center, most state and municipal employees stayed away from work; in Calcutta, where the Marxist-led Left Front is in control, store owners who dared to open their...

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