A bandh organized by the Garo National Council in Goalpara, 2013
A bandh in Nepal, organized protest against a rise in fuel prices

Bandh (Devanagari: बंद) (literally: shutting down) is a form of protest used by political activists in South Asian countries such as India and Nepal. It is similar to a general strike. During a bandh, a political party or a community declare a general strike.[1] For example, a Bharat bandh is a call for a bandh across India, and a bandh can also be called for an individual state or municipality.

The community or political party declaring a bandh expects the general public to stay at home and not report for work. Shopkeepers are expected to keep their shops closed, and public transport operators are expected to stay off the road. There have been instances when large cities have been brought to a standstill.[2] A bandh is a form of civil disobedience.[3]


The Supreme Court of India banned bandhs in 1998,[4] but political parties still organize them. In 2004, the Supreme Court of India fined two political parties, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena, for organizing a bandh in Mumbai as a protest against bomb blasts in the city.[4] Supreme Court permits only voluntary closure of establishments during bandhs.[5]

Notable bandhs

Bandhs are often by opposition parties.[6] The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and 13 parties not belonging to the United Progressive Alliance parties called for a nationwide bandh on 5 July 2010, to protest a fuel price hike. The bandh prevented Indians from carrying out day-to-day tasks, especially in states that were ruled by the NDA and the Left.[7] In Nepal, calls for bandhs have increased due to political instability.

On 20 September 2012, the BJP and other parties called for a nationwide bandh in response to economic reforms undertaken by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his finance minister Palaniappan Chidambaram. Chief among their grievances were the cut in subsidies for diesel and cooking gas and the decision to allow foreign investors to own majority stakes in the retail sector, including supermarkets and department stores.[8]

On 3 January 2018, Prakash Ambedkar called for a bandh in response to an attack on Buddhists, as well as some Hindu dalit and Sikh people by supporters of the Hindutva ideology at Koregaon Bhima in Pune district, Maharashtra, and the lack of police action against the culprits. More than 50 percent of Maharashtra's population supported or participated in the bandh.[9][10][11][12][13][14][15]

See also


  1. ^ "Will Bharat Bandh shut Mumbai down on Thursday?". NDTV. 28 May 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  2. ^ "Bengaluru to shut on Bharat Bandh". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  3. ^ "Bharat Bandh on May 31 against UPA's petrol bomb". Yahoo News. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  4. ^ a b Pay damages first, court tells parties; The Hindu, Saturday, 17 September 2005
  5. ^ "Sc Upholds Kerala Hc Order Banning Bandhs". Business Standard India. 13 November 1997 – via Business Standard.
  6. ^ Congress advances 12-hour Bengal bandh call to August 18. The Indian Express (11 August 2015). Retrieved on 2017-06-19.
  7. ^ Bharat bandh affects normal life across the country. Indian Express (5 July 2010). Retrieved on 2017-06-19.
  8. ^ Mallet, Victor (20 September 2012). "Indians Voice Anger at Reform Plans". Financial Times. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
  9. ^ "प्रकाश अंबेडकर ने महाराष्ट्र बंद वापस लेने का किया ऐलान, लोकल ट्रेन की सेवाएं फिर से बहाल". NDTVIndia.
  10. ^ "मुंबई में दिखा दलित समुदाय के बंद का असर, कई बसें तोड़ीं, रेल सेवा की बाधित". NDTVIndia.
  11. ^ "कोरेगांव हिंसा: दलित संगठनों का आज महाराष्ट्र बंद". BBC News हिंदी.
  12. ^ "महाराष्ट्र बंद: मुंबई में बसों पर हमला, नागपुर और पुणे में स्थिति तनावपूर्ण". thewirehindi.com. 3 January 2018.
  13. ^ Tripathi, Avinash (27 March 2018). "महाराष्ट्र: प्रकाश अंबेडकर ने दिया बीजेपी को अल्टीमेटम- भीमा-कोरेगांव हिंसा के मुख्य आरोपी संभाजी भिड़े को आठ दिन में करें गिरफ्तार". India TV Hindi.
  14. ^ "Telugu States Latest News, Breaking News, News Headlines, Live Updates, Today Top News".
  15. ^ "आंबेडकरी संघटनांचा महाराष्ट्र बंद मागे; प्रकाश आंबेडकरांची घोषणा". 3 January 2018.

Further reading