Thursday, July 16, 2009

Protests and strike in Kolkata

Hello everyone
So I'm currently stuck at our hotel today because of a series of violent protests and a twelve hour bandh (strike) that is going on today that has pretty much brought the entire city to a halt. Fortunately, the strike has calmed things down a lot, though I think there is still a little protesting going on. It is nothing like yesterday, and I'm glad that none of us were caught up in any of the violence. From what I gathered from the newspaper, the state of West Bengal is currently dominated by the Marxist Communist party of India (the CPM), which is considered to be corrupt and ineffective by many people, including all of the protesters yesterday, supported by a party called the Trinamul Congress. It sounds like some of the Congress leaders were attacked the other day, and the lack of aid by the state police. This caused a series of protests and fights throughout the state, escalated by the death of a farmer who got in the way of a battle with the police. In Kolkata yesterday there was protesting all over the city, road blocks on all the busy intersections (which was why Morgan and I were stuck in traffic for so long on our way back from the leprosy center), and at least twelve state buses were burned. Thankfully, none of us have seen any violence, and we are all safe. The rest of our group are out working at their homes since they are much closer by, Morgan's home being the closest and safest. I, however, couldn't go anywhere since all of the buses are stopped, and Crossing the Howrah bridge is probably a bit dangerous since that was where one of the buses were burned yesterday.
I'll probably just hang out here, maybe get a veggie and egg burger from the Blue Sky Cafe (the best veggie burgers I've ever had), or maybe I'll borrow Morgan's camera and check out the Victorian Memorial park that everyone keeps telling us about. Anyway, everyone should keep praying for peace and love in India. Also keep praying for our group that we will all be healthy and free of distractions. I know Rachel has a fever today, and Morgan still has her infection that makes it very hard for her to concentrate. Thanks everyone for your support.


  1. What is Morgan's ongoing infection that we may pray for it and is Rachel's fever due to infection? Lord, please touch, keep, minister to and heal Morgan and Rachel and keep the entire group safe and free of health issues and give them opportunities to share your good news.