Updated: June 1, 2015 5:02:34 am
The organising secretary (called sangathan mantri) of RSS affiliate the Bharatiya Majdoor Sangh, K C Mishra, alleges that the Narendra Modi government is not doing anything for the welfare of labourers and says he should at least avoid snatching the rights labourers already have, achieved with decades of struggle. Mishra adds Modi does not know the real meaning of gharibi (poverty) and suggests that he look at eastern parts of India to understand what it means.
Mishra is the most senior among 22 RSS pracharaks deputed to BMS. Speaking to The Indian Express at Thengdi Bhawan in Delhi, Mishra says, “Modi does not understand gharibi. He has seen the poverty of western India, where people think that if someone has a house, a car and several other things but does not have the money to construct a new floor on his house, he may be considered a poor man. In eastern India’s Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar and the northeastern states, poverty means a person who lives in a jhopri and mostly eats just rice with green chilli and salt.”
The BMS, India’s largest labour organisation, has joined other trade unions to protest against the government despite the fact that the government is run by the BJP. “The fact is that in the BJP regime, it becomes very difficult for us to work. We always vote for the BJP,” Mishra says. “But we always need a tougher fight with BJP governments.
Manmohan Singh ki sarkar to thoda darti bhi thi. Ye log to baat karne ko bhi taiyar nahin hain (The Manmohan Singh government was at least a little afraid but people are not even ready to talk with us). Since Modi’s swearing in, we have written him letters but are yet to get any response.”
Asked what the BMS would like Modi to to do, Mishra says, “I have only one request — if he cannot give anything new to our labourers, he must not snatch the rights they have already got following decades of struggle. We are against disinvestment. The PM has been saying everywhere that he has abolished several laws. I request him that he should abolish only useless laws, but he must not touch the labour laws that are the result of a huge struggle.
Hamara unse yehi anurodh hai ki agar majdooron ka bhala nahi kar sakte to kam-se-kam bura to mat karo (My request to him is that if he cannot do anything good for labours, at least avoid doing anything that harms them.”
When reminded that Modi’s “Make in India” slogan would call for amendments in labour laws, Mishra says, “We are against Make in India. The MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) were killed by conspiracies of successive governments since 1991 when globalisation began. None of the parties has done anything for the welfare of labourers since then. If they have done nothing, they (political parties) have no right to take away the rights they already have.”
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