Bengal shuts down for a long weekend

June 5th, 2008 - 1:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, June 5 (IANS) It’s shutdown time in West Bengal again. And this time it’s a very long weekend - with shutdowns called Thursday and Friday, the first by the state’s ruling Left Front and the next by the main opposition Trinamool Congress - both to protest the central government’s decision to hike fuel prices. Film director Gautam Ghose finds it funny.

“I personally find shutdowns on two days funny. If the two political parties are protesting the same issue why can’t they call for a joint shutdown? The fact is politicians want their respective share of political mileage through these shutdowns,” he told IANS.

Author Sunil Gangopadhyaya says the shutdowns are ways to harass people.

“These shutdowns are nothing but political means of harassing people. In the name of fighting for common man over the petroleum products price hike, politicians will actually make life difficult for people. There had been such shutdowns in the past, there will be more in future, but no solutions will be reached through these,” he said.

Film and television actor Rajatava Dutta said: “If stopping cars and other vehicles for 12 hours Thursday and Friday stops raising the prices of petroleum products, let there be similar shutdowns for seven days at a stretch so that the prices will actually come down to, say, petrol at Rs.2 a litre!

“But the truth is that these shutdowns will not help the common man in any way except to give him a four-day holiday at a stretch.”

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