This was the direct cost.
Also, disruption of public transport and vandalisation of public property heaped suffering on millions.
A person in need of medical treatment may have arrived late at a hospital, children may have missed school, and so on.
Why did so many stay at home, especially in states run by opposition party governments? Were they expressing solidarity, or just afraid to step out?
If Naxalites and extremists disrupt normal life, destroy public property, inject fear into people and make them retreat into their homes and away from public places, we call that terrorism.
What is a state-sponsored bandh then?
Image: A BJP activist throws a burning tire on a road during a nationwide opposition strike against price hike in Mumbai on July 5, 2010.
Text: K Subrahmanyam, Business Standard | AP Images
Note on the author: K Subrahmanyam, a former civil servant and the founding director of the New Delhi-based Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, is India's leading security expert