NEW DELHI: Leftist trade unions are in the forefront of a one-day, 24-hour all-India strike and demonstrations, protesting against the “anti-labour policies” of the central government. The strike is held at a time when most sectors are reeling under the adverse impact of the Covid-linked lockdown and restrictions on public movement.
Among other demands like more salary and benefits, the strike is in protest against privatization of public sector units by the Modi government. Most public sector units are incurring losses due to the messing up of the management by politicians as ministers, board directors etc, and loot by them and the bureaucrats; the result being they are progressively being finished off. The Indian Railways, for instance.
The Narendra Modi government is blinking in the face of such protests at a time when social distancing norms are in force. The strike is also participated by pro-Congress INTUC. There is public concern that such street protets will only add to the spread of the Covid pandemic and worsen the nation’s health scenario.
Notably, it is a policy of the Leftists in India to protest against what they loosely call “anti-people” policies of the central government, be it of the Congress or the BJP, and hold nation-wide demonstrations at least once a year. This about is all the action programme of the two Communist parties at the national level. It is common knowledge that such protests have no meaning, but this is resorted to to show that the Left is fighting for the causes of the people. Many a time, even issues are not identified.
A set of visionless leaders have, by their actions, taken the Leftist and communist movements in the country to its base level in recent years. They operate mainly through the media and have no direct contact with the masses. Reason why new political entities like the AAP took the wind out of the Leftist sails even in the national capital.
The Left is weak at the political level, but holds clout among trade unions by way of its advocacy of causes supporting not only the unjustified causes of the labour force but also government, bank, railways, and private sector white collar employees. Notably most of these sectors had not functioned for the past eight months due to the Covid-linked restrictions and employees in government and other sectors, by their bargaining clout, took full salary even as they mostly sat back at home.
Even the BJP government led by Narendra Modi is bent on pampering the white collar workforce including government employees—most of whom being hugely corrupt—and are keen on giving full salary to them even as they did no work for months. Modi too sees them and their families as vote banks.
The Congress, while it ruled the nation, too messed up with such scenarios. National interest, today, is hardly of any interest to the ruling classes, be it the right, the centre or the left. Those who had high expectations from the Modi government for effecting reforms in such fields are totally disappointed as he too apparently has no agenda other than winning elections. IHN-NN
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