Going by even its own standards of a stuttering work culture, West Bengal has gained another dubious distinction. This year, for the first time, Saraswati puja was observed over two days ~ January 29 and 30 ~ in what appears to be a bow in the direction of the devout. The reasoning is facile, to say the least. Calendars in West Bengal mark the first date for worshipping the Goddess of Learning.
There was no call to conveniently glance at the calendar of certain other states and announce an additional holiday. To that has been added the twoday bank strike on the 31st and 1st, duly followed by Sunday on the 2nd. And thus was another holiday roster created. In the net, the functioning of schools, colleges and offices has been rendered out of joint since midweek and for five days at a stretch ~ from Wednesday to Sunday.
The closure has been enforced, with even OPDs in government hospitals reportedly functioning with skeletal staff. One is expected to be thankful for certain mercies. Save for the movement of transport, it would be no exaggeration to aver that it was very nearly a five-day bandh. It has been a thoroughly disruptive cocktail of faith on the one hand and bank employees’ rights at another remove, the latter almost synonymous with overwhelming sloth and inefficiency. The two-day bank strike served to emit a direly distressing signal on the eve of the Union Budget.
Fiscal management has been underwhelmed by the bank unions that had arrogated to themselves the right to down their shutters for 48 hours, calculatedly covering the day on which the Budget was presented. Reduced to irrelevance has been the symbolic significance of the bank. The backlog over five days and the plight of the depositors can well be imagined. On display is irresponsibility of a high order.