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Punjab industrial labour leaders seek to accomplish complex task: Unite with farmers

By Harsh Thakor* 

In Manesar in Haryana the Besonika Mazdoor Union has held a Mazdoor Kisan Panchayat at the Gurgaon District Collector’s office, protesting the “anti-people policies” of theModi government and the “pro-capitalist designs” of the rulers. Around 4,000 persons participated.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) president Joginder Singh Ugrahan was present with other peasant organisation leaders. Workers' organisations from Gurgaon and Uttarakhand also joined in. Interarc workers, in preparation, had staged a mini-maha panchayat a few days ago in Uttarakahand.
The Inquilabi Mazdoor Kendra szmade a considerable contribution, through ideological-political campaigning. Cloth Mazdooor Union workers, Ineterarc workers from Uttarakhand, Hitachi Contract workers, and Aisan workers participated.
Belsonika Union secretary Ajit Singh explained the objectives of the Mazdoor Kisan Panchayat and narrated the goal of the four labour laws instated by Narendra Modi and why it was essential to get them scrapped.
Ajit elaborated the strategy of the management to break the backbone of the workers' organised movement by installing contract labour system, retrenching old workers, bringing in fresh team trainees and dismantling trade unions. Unemployment has scaled unprecedented levels, with all permanent workers replaced by contract or badly workers, it was pointed out.
Ajit went on to narrate how the workers and peasants waged a battle against a common enemy and their struggle could not be viewed in isolation of each other.
He stated it was imperative that it forged unity in struggle in a common front, by linking issues. Both classes were equally victimised by the government policies. It was time for the workers and peasants to challenge the wrath of capitalism and raise a national level stir against the ruling BJP and imperative to undertake a ground level preparatory campaign to build a collective organisation.
Last year on November 14, the Mazdoor Kisan panchayat staged an identical programme, in which workers participated in huge numbers.
For some days the Belsonika Union undertook preparatory work to stage the panchayat, through leafleting, postering and social media like facebook. It turned out effective. The methods they adopted in mobilising were most complementary.
It was complex and challenging to unite workers and peasants on a common platform, considering differences in culture, outlook, production methods etc. This is because the gap, which has to be narrowed through consistent and painstaking ideological work, remains high. Mere mobilisation can never substitute grassroots work.
---
*Freelance journalist who covers mass movements

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