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Strike calls have region-specific resonance

    Govind D. Belgaumkar
    Rishikesh Bahadur Desai
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Issues in the immediate neighbourhood clearly have a bigger impact: leaders

TOUCHING A CHORD:Observers point out that issues evoke emotional response owing to factors such as language and business interests.— FILE PHOTO
TOUCHING A CHORD:Observers point out that issues evoke emotional response owing to factors such as language and business interests.— FILE PHOTO

The response to the call for a strike or bandh is diverse and depends upon a variety of local factors and issues.

For example, while the Mandya and Mysore belt might close down entirely in response to a call for a bandh over the Cauvery water-sharing issue, it would hardly be observed in Gulbarga or Mangalore. Members of a cross-section of organisations from the districts of Karnataka say that issues in the immediate neighbourhood — in contrast to those that are broad-based or disconnected with the region — create a larger impact.

“Many times, a small incident in the neighbourhood attracts more public anger than a policy that needs to be changed by people sitting in Delhi or Bangalore,” says Vithaldas Pyage, leader, Chalavadi Maha Sabha in Bidar.A different outlook

In coastal districts of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada, observers point out that issues that commonly affect the rest of the State may not evoke an emotional response owing to a variety of factors specific to the coastal region.

“Mangaloreans’ priorities are different,” says M.P. Umeshchandra, associate professor in Mangalore University Mass Communication and Journalism and Special Officer of University SC/ST Cell.

“Our cultural undercurrents are different,” says Ivan D’Silva, associate professor in Smt. L.V. Government Polytechnic, Hassan. “The region has enjoyed strong bonds with Kerala and Goa, and it was never a part of ‘core’ Karnataka,” he adds.

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