The Indian story of economic growth and structural transformation since 1992 is an intriguing one. Rapid growth has not led to overall development but wealth has got concentrated in the hands of the few. The vast gulf has never been starker than today, when the government in power is working avowedly for corporate interests, but with the partial electoral approval of the poor and the working classes. This presents a unique set of challenges to activists who organize against inequality.
Claiming the City Space
The Year After Covid
Five Years of Corbynism
The First May Day
In the late nineteenth century, the working classes were in constant struggle to gain the 8-hour workday. Working conditions were severe and it was quite common to work 10-to-16-hours a day in unsafe conditions and in heavily underpaid jobs. Death and injury were commonplace at many workplaces. As early as the 1860’s, working people started agitating to shorten the workday without a cut in pay. This movement started in Australia, and gradually spread elsewhere.
Ambedkar Jayanti, Amidst a Workers’ Struggles
This year’s Ambedkar Jayanti arrives on the back of a two-day general strike on 28 and 29 March, called by central trade unions and other sectoral organizations. The unions are demanding work for every hand, equal pay for equal work, the scrapping of the labour codes, immediate measures against the record-high unemployment and skyrocketing price-rise, and an end to mass privatisation and sale of the country’s public resources.
[An Abridged Version of the Fact Finding Team Report on the Mistreatment of ITI Contract Workers—Almost Half of Whom are Dalits—on the 100th Day of their Struggle. Bengaluru, 10th March 2022.]
One Hundred Days of Struggle!
On 1st December 2021, 80 workers of India’s first Public Sector Undertaking (PSU), M/s Indian Telephone Industries (ITI) Limited, based in Bengaluru, were terminated with little justification. Despite having worked for between 3 to 35 years, workers are guised as “contract workers.”