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What's the difference between a bandh and a hartal? Could someone please go through and define all these specifically Indian-English protest terms such as bandh, hartal, dharna, gherao, so as to draw attention to what the differences are between them, and how (if at all) they differ from UK/American English words such as strike, sit-in, etc?

I follow protest news from around the world and regularly come across these terms in the English-language Indian press, and I'm interested in whether the distinct terms which are used reveal anything specific about how social movements operate in India. I find it interesting, for instance, that while a UK/US "strike" can only usually be called by a union or other occupational body, a bandh can be called by almost any social organisation; and also that bandhs often involve roadblocks and attempts to "enforce" the bandh by blockading, by various actions against people who are active during a bandh, etc.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:30, 7 February 2005

Well, at least Bandh and Hartal mean the same thing. "Gherao" can be literally translated as "surround/envelope",and can also be used as a verb i.e. to "gherao" the police, meaning to physically surround them say for example in the context of a street protest.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:09, 21 December 2005

As I understand, a hartal is like a strike while a bandh is more active, like a protest. Bandhs often get violent while hartals are generally peaceful. However, in some states where bandhs are banned, hartals are just bandhs with a different name. As described above, gheraoing usually has the target (usually a politician or an office building) surrounded by large crowds. A dharna is when someone fasts at another's door (usually a debtor's) until the demands are met. --Joshua Issac (talk) 17:40, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Bandhs are banned as per the Constitution since they disrupt the normal living of an individual, it prohibits access to livelihood and movement. Hartal is not a 'general strike' and is allowed. Strike is a statutory right but not a Fundamental Right under article 19(1)(c). It does not disrupt day to day functions of an individual not associated with the hartal. Dharna is a form of non violent protest. It does not necessarily involve fasting, though that is a common form. Dharna is a gathering at a particular place for a particular cause usually till the time the demands are met. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:36, 18 June 2015 (UTC)