A lot of people in Bombay are upset that there is no bandh today. For instance, my elder son, Darryl, was saying: "What's the point in having Shiv Sena of they cannot organise a bandh on a day like this and we have to go to school."
I explained: "The Sena has not organised a bandh because if feels it is doing all the owrl and the BJP is hogging the publicity. In any case, you better hurry up or you will be late for school."
My younger son, Derek, said: "I have not done any homework thinking it would be a bandh today. Do you think I can report sick?"
"You will report to school," I said. "The trouble with our children is that they have go too used to bandhs, the more bandhs you give them, the more they want."
Darryl said: "All that was required from Mr. Bal Thackeray was to give one call for a bandh. Then his sainiks would seen to it that all schools remained closed and children could have a holiday. I do not understand why he did not do it."
Derek said: "It is unfair that when Mr. Advani was arrested, children were given a holiday, and when Mr. Vajpayee is arrested, they have to go to school. You yourself have always been saying that Mr. Vajpayee is a much better leader than Mr. Advani."
"I never said that," I siad. "And even if I did, I withdraw it now; all that the BJP leaders are interested in are votes."
Darryl said: "Who will give them votes if they do not give proper holidays in school! The principal will not give them votes, no teachers will give them votes, and whenthe children grow up, they will also give them votes."
"If they do not vote for them, it will be for other reasons and not because they have not closed schools," I said. "Your teachers and your principal will not vote for them because they are secular people and the BJP is a communal party. Not at all like our V.P. Singh's Janata Dal."
"Then the Janata Dal Should have organised a holday," Derek said. "I do not know hat this country is coming to if there is not a single party in this country which can order schools to be closed so that childrencan have some rest from their studies."
"You have been having enough rest from your studies," I said. "Mr. Advani gets arrested, you have a bandh, autorickshawas go off the road, you have a bandh, some bad character is shot dead by the police, you have a bandh. The politicians are only concerned with getting political mileage out of every situation."
The wife, who been listening o all this, said: "Why are you intoducing politics into a simple question of school holidays! You have yourself said that politics and school children should not be mixed."