Today, we observe the 49th anniversary of the historic one day strike by the central government employees of India on 19, September 1968. Next year it will be the 50th anniversary! After half a century, when I look back many vivid pictures come to my mind. I am really a product of that one day’s strike.
The main demand for the strike was “Need Based Minimum Wage.”Nobody talks about that demand now.13 working people – mainly from Railways – were brutally murdered on that day.Nobody talks about them now.
More than 50,000 workers were dismissed or terminated.It was the dress rehearsal for Emergency declared seven years later. For political reasons, Kerala became the major target of attack.Maximum employees were dismissed, terminated, suspended and transferred to far away places in Kerala.We struggled for three years facing all types of victimization.
Some leaders surrendered, not the workers. We became stronger like steel.
On this day, I can not resist recollecting those experiences. But I do not want to narrate everything here. Time has passed. Time has solved many problems.
STILL, ONE THOUGHT.
IF A WORKER REFUSES TO WORK FOR A DAY SAYING THE WAGES YOU GIVE HIM IS NOT SUFFICIENT CAN YOU CALL THE POLICE AND GET HIM ARRESTED? NO. NO RULES PERMIT THAT.
BUT IF THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES REFUSE TO WORK FOR A DAY SAYING THE WAGES ARE NOT SATISFACTORY THEY CAN BE ARRESTED, TERMINATED, MURDERED EVEN. THEY ARE BOUND BY RULES AND REGULATIONS.