ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Textile Industry, Cotton Prices and Datta Samant

The textile labour agitation in Bombay coincides with the intense lobbying that has been going on in New Delhi over the fixation of raw cotton prices for Maharashtra for tho 1981-82 cotton year. The delay in announcing these prieos weeks after purchasing centres have opened all over the state is an index of the complex forces at work fust now.  

MAHARASHTRA-Sugar Workers Cautious Response

MAHARASHTRA Sugar Workers' Cautious Response Amrita Abraham THREE lakh workers in Maharashtra's Miliar industry may not be happy with the Patil Committee's wage recommenda- tions of this November, There have been some wage Rains, undoubtedly, but there has been a stalemate on other demands. The questions as always arc whether a little more pressure by a threatened strike action at a crucial moment would have got them more and whether if they accept Patil's decisions now they are tying themselves to a three-year agreement or can yet manage to keep a foot in the door and reopen some of the issues jo the course of the next year.

COTTON-Price of Social Obligation

tioned of fingerprints of an adivasi being taken on some documents immediately after his death. Adivasi tenants of absentee landlords were made to put thump impressions stating that they were only casual labourers with the result that they were deprived of their tenancy rights. The bulk of adivasi cultivators have been forced out of their lands by largely foul means in the las: five decades. Adivasis being mostly illiterate and poor had no lawyers, no police officers, no journalists, no judges, no high officials from their community while their oppressors had all these. The crux of the matter, simply stated, is the following: adivasis who form over 70 per cent of the total population of Valia taluka are already becoming superfluous. Their only relevance to the ruling class is that they form an unending source of cheap and depressed wages for the landowners who misappropriated adivasi land.

THE JUDICIARY-The Ratlam Judgment

THE JUDICIARY The Ratlam Judgment Amrita Abraham IN a historic judgment in July 1980, little noticed outside legal circles, the Supreme Court advanced the cause of citizens' rights in some important ways. The judgment in the Ratlam case (Municipal Council Ratlam vs Vardichand and others) does not have the drama of a Fundamental Rights judgment. But it is important in a down-to-earth way for ordinary people and represents a shift in the focus of traditional civil procedure. The judgment would, therefore, be of rise to activists and others interested in community interest litigation as distinct from legal remedies for the individual complainant.

MAHARASHTRA- Another Patchwork Agreement for Sugar Workers

November 29, 1980 MAHARASHTRA Another Patchwork Agreement for Sugar Workers Amrita Abraham SUGAR factory and farm workers have been on strike again this year in Maharashtra, It looks like becoming an annual ritual since there does not seem to be any other way of deciding wage claims and the wage boards do not serve the purpose

Maharashtra s Employment Guarantee Scheme

August 9, 1980 Maharashtra's Employment Guarantee Scheme Amrita Abraham MAHARASHTRA'S Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS) is often held up as a model for special rural public works programmes for other states in the country. Some writers have advocated some of its special features for rural public works programmes in other Third World countries. Most of these advocates of the programme have looked at its intent. Now that the scheme has been operating for more than five years we have data that show the shadows that have fallen between intent, and reality. A detailed evaluation of the EGS has been carried out jointly by the Planning Commission and the Maharashtra government in four districts. The draft report of this evaluation was completed in 1978 but has not been finalised as yet. If it is published later this year it will be out of date in some respects by two years but will still be the most comprehensive study of the EGS, particularly on the question of the rural works undertaken, number, size, nature, progress, costs and the all-important questions of how and why decisions are taken on type of works and their location. In the meanwhile there are other data, some more recent than the joint evaluation study, to show us how the EGS is operating.

MAHARASHTRA- Sugar Workers Draw a Blank

MAHARASHTRA Sugar Workers Draw a Blank Amrita Abraham "SUGAR strike looms large over Maharashtra", "No wage revision for ten years'', ''Strike threat worries sugar industry", the headlines told us in the middle of November. If these six column banner announcements and the detailed stories that followed were to be believed, it was to be one of the most momentus strikes in the history of the sugar industry in Maharashtra, guaranteed to sour election results for the sugar barons and to provide lessons in labour mobilisation for the rest of the country.

DHARAVI- Violence in a Bombay Slum

November 3, 1979 new record in prices and profits.
It was during those bad 1960s, when Jokai's shares were being quoted at about one-third of their face value, that an enterprising operator chose to acquire a controlling hold in the UK principal of the Indian company. And in course of time it became a part of the impressive outfit of Walter Duncan Goodricke which came to require a very substantial holding in the tea industry in India and a few other countries.


Importance of Renaming Marathwada University Amrita Abraham SINCE the widespread atrocities on Harijans last year there have been a number of reports on Marathwada. The Parliamentary Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Tribes which toured the region collecting evidence shortly after the atrocities, recently submitted its report to Parliament. Dalit professors from the Milind campus in Marathwada have published data collected during their study of affected villages and a group of Su- varna leaders in Aurangabad led by Govindbhai Shroff has produced its own analyses of events. Groups outside Marathwada have also done field work; the Atyachar Virodh Samiti, Bombay (whose findings were published in EPW, May 12, 1979) and the Centre for Social Studies, Surat whose report is not out yet, are two that I am aware of.

BOMBAY-Rickety Municipal Finances

take militant postures on their side of the fence. Fernandes's public statement that in any agitation of railway- men for bonus he would side with the workers was probably inspired by these considerations. His campaign on nationalisation of certain industries and other wordy duels with big business houses have the same motivation. He has opened a new front on the issue of nationalisation by his proposal to nationalist' the artificial fibre industry as a punishment to Birlas for their alleged breach of licence regulations, Interestingly enough, the Prime Mi- nister is extra careful in dealing with the Finance Ministry now presided over by Charan Singh. Charan Singh, it would appear, will not brook any interference without immediately precipitating a break up of the fragile Janata combination and the Prime Minister will not risk that.

MAHARASHTRA-Gendarme of the Bourgeoisie

Gendarme of the Bourgeoisie Amrita Abraham IN the elections to Bombay's Municipal Corporation last November the Shiv Sena won 21 seats. Ten years ago it had twice that number, just a little short of one third of the total membership of the house, The history of the Sena in the intervening period says a great deal about the nature of communal politics generally as well as suggesting what paths the Sena will pursue from now on.


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