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Drumming up protest: Sangh labour union 'left high and dry' at Jantar Mantar grounds

By Liaquath Mirza 

Have you recently come across any news coverage which covered Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh’s (BMS) protest rally at Jantar Mantar? If you did indeed, then I must congratulate you for unearthing this news despite best efforts by the Government to hide it from public eye.
You are indeed one of the very few who managed to avoid the toxic foam of Yamuna and took a deep dive to get to the bottom of reality. Kudos to you for keeping yourself abreast of what is happening in Bharat these days. The protest took place at Jantar Mantar on 17th November 2022.
For those blissfully unaware souls let me provide a bit of a context here. The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) is one of the oldest trade union bodies, a Sangh Parivar family member tasked with trade unionist activities while keeping the working class in Hindu fold.
The wise men of BMS have a difficult task of perpetual performance of balancing act between two opposing forces -- capital and labour. This act becomes even more difficult when one of their brethren occupies the throne and rolls out plan after plans, Niti after Niti to liquidate, sell and privatize government assets. The operating motto here is that the government has no business to be in business and … even beyond.
And so for the past eight odd years BMS is caught in a nut cracker situation with capital from above and labor from below cracking hard at it to its breaking point. The point at which keeping its working class flock together looks to be increasingly difficult unless some show is staged for the benefit of its constituency.
I must say I chanced upon it while scrolling through my subscribed feeds on YouTube. I am now completely dependent on digital news magazines and a few YouTubers for my daily staple of news. I logged out of the toxicity of Facebook insta and twitter long years ago to save myself from going crazy.
I uninstalled WhatsApp, unable to endure the toxic good morning and the dazed good night messages, pictures and sermons which were interspersed with ‘Mera Bharat Mahan’ and Hamara Hindu Hriday Samrat propaganda pieces between good morning an good night.
The feeds emanate from a certain IT cell and get cascaded by Whatsapp uncles, chachas, chachis, mamas, and taus among families and friends groups. Even office whatsapp groups are not spared. These messages clog the internet highways and cloud the gullible minds.
Though I miss the UNSESCO and UNICEF recognition certificates given to our anthems, our culture and to our supreme leaders, they were like funny pages of dailies providing comic relief amidst the heavy stuff.
But I digress. Let me circle back to the hot news at hand. While scrolling through my subscribed feed of YouTube I chanced upon this video clip which had a catchy title and angry saffron clad people milling about in the background. I could provide the link here but I desist from doing that in order not to be seen as promoting this channel.
The 20-odd minute episode was hilarious all through. BMS office bearers were thoroughly confused. The cheeky interviewer was thoroughly enjoying himself playing the devil’s advocate, posing impertinent questions while poking holes into the flimsy arguments put forth by the BMS representatives. They were squirming like caterpillars at the mischievous questions while steadfastly refusing to denounce their supreme leader on camera.
I was reminded of the Panchatantra tale of a monkey’s tail caught in a wedge. The stupid monkey forcibly removes a wood worker’s wedge while his tail is left dangling between the half cut logs. The wedge comes out and the half open log snaps shut catching the monkey’s tail in between leaving the monkey howling and screaming in pain.
The 20-odd minute episode was hilarious all through. BMS office bearers were thoroughly confused
I see an analogy between the two -- BMS dharna dilemma and the monkey’s meddling in the panchatantra tale. The only difference is that the Monkey was free to howl whereas poor BMS blokes can’t even scream in agony.
The poor chaps of BMS came across as trying very hard not to take one misstep on the tight rope act lest the Hriday Samrat’s heart is hurt. As it is the supreme leader is hard at work converting vile ‘gaalis’ hurled by his enemies into vitamins and nutrition. To have to stomach gaalis from family and friends would be a bit too much even for him. Et ‘tu Brutus?
The tragicomedy that unfolded in the video peaked my interest to scout for some more news on the event. But Google’s powerful search engines returned just a clutch of news items and trickle of YouTube videos in .0006 seconds. None of the so called news channels dared to cover the event barring a small clip from NDTV (but how long will NDTV go on? Wait and watch... or better still don’t and ban TV news altogether from your life like I did).
The YouTuber in his conversation mentioned that jammers were alleged to have been fixed at the venue so that the outdoor ‘shor’ (noise) made by the dharna does not cross Jantar Mantar. TV OB vans were conspicuous by the absence.
The wise men and women of the idiot box were busy with their postmortem of the sensational murder case that is still doing the headlines and occupying the ticker tapes. In that case there is sex, there is depravity, there is psychopathy and to top them all there is religion of the accused. Lots of masala, lots of drama. And most importantly a green signal from the kitchen cabinet to exploit, beat and repeat.
Poor BMS was left high and dry on Jantar Mantar grounds despite their feeble efforts to drum up a protest and come across as a responsible union of the mazdoors. As Arundhati Roy says, peaceful protests need an audience to enact a spectacle. Here bloodline of broadcast was cut off at its root successfully leaving the heads of BMS scratching their heads.



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