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

Articles by Gurbir SinghSubscribe to Gurbir Singh

Who needs an Exit Policy Anyway

Gurbir Singh The government is yet to announce an official Exit Policy, Meanwhile, it has settled for an unstated exit policy the cornerstone of which is the voluntary retirement scheme and the contract system.

Hindutva s Low-Intensity War against Bombay s Riot Victims

against Bombay's Riot Victims Gurbir Singh IN a swift, brutal action on February 18, ten rebuilt tenements of January 1993 riot victims of Jogesh wart's Sitawadi were demolished by officers of the 'K' East Ward of the Bombay Municipal Corporation. This act summarised the severe trial of riot victims all over Bombay faced in their bid to return to normal life. It also showed the widespread network Hindutva forces had developed to keep up a low intensity attack on the minority community.

Another Victim of a Spreading Sickness

left parties continue to take an ambivalent position. These parties, in particular the CPI(M), have indeed given the impression that they may be once again lured into the Congress(I) parlour and play second fiddle even as a mock drama of fighting anti- secular forces is staged by Congress(I) leaders, including Narasimha Rao. After first holding Narasimha Rao culpable for the Ayodhya happenings and demanding his resignation, the CPI(M) leadership seems to have lost its nerve. Harkrishen Singh Surjeet, the CPI(M) general secretary, has argued that the demand for the resignation of Narasimha Rao need not be pressed since political instability would pose a danger to the unity and integrity of the country. It is indeed extraordinary that the left parties, in particular the two main communist parties, should place their faith so much in the status quo and equate stability of government with political stability. It is also significant that these parties have gone quiet about the so- called economic adjustment programme, with all its dangerous implications. It appears that the two communist parties might have opted for a joint front with Congress(l) in the name of putting up an effective fight against the BJP but for the reservations of the other left parties and the Janata Dal which have taken a more forthright position against the Congress(l) for its handling of the Ayodhya issue and its aftermath.

The Murphy Story

sent back home at 2300 hours. Basugaort (Golaghat) November 17, 1992 Armymen from Deragaon camp raided Basugaon and entered the house of Jadu Bora at around 14. 80 hours. They ransacked the house which was being spruced up for the marriage of Bora's elder brother, himself an armyman. Then they arrested Bora and took him' to Deragaon army camp for interrogation where he was punched on his face, beaten with rifle butts on chest, abdomen, groin, and knees. He was released at 1500 hours the next day and asked to report to the camp regularly for treatment.

Indian Navy Goes to War

Gurbir Singh The Indian navy authorities based in Bombay have located the 'enemy' within

Legal Setback for Contract Labour

Gurbir Singh A recent Supreme Court judgment has come as a major setback in the fight for the expansion of the rights of contract labour.
THE law protecting contract labour is weak as it is. However, the latest Supreme Court judgment, on the legal controversy surrounding the lower courts' intervention in declaring contract workers to be 'permanent' employees of the principal employer, is a big setback in the fight for the expansion of the rights of contract labour.

INDUSTRIAL LABOUR-Lever Workers Struggle

Lever Workers' Struggle Gurbir Singh The lock-out in Hindustan Lever's Bombay factory is linked to the company's efforts to reduce labour costs by decentralisation of production, increasing use of contract labour and mechanisation.

College Teachers Strike

Gurbir Singh Even if it is considered debatable whether the settlement with the government is a gain for teachers, on the organisational front the teachers have certainly lost. The AIFUCTO leadership is in chaos and a sizeable minority in the AIFUCTO executive has even indicated its desire to form a rival confederation. This is certainly suicidal. The leadership, if it has lost the confidence of the teachers, should be voted out, but two central federations of teachers will only have the government rubbing its hands in glee.

Blood, Sweat and Struggle

Blood, Sweat and Struggle Gurbir Singh The Long Haul: The Historic Bombay Textile Strike by Rajni Bakshi; Build Documentation Centre; pp xiii + 254; not priced.

LABOUR-Displaced Textile Workers Kotwal Report

LABOUR 'Displaced' Textile Workers: Kotwal Report Gurbir Singh THE recently-released Manohar Kotwal Report on the effects of the 1982 Bombay textile strike on workers, while providing a good statistical exposure, is a damp squib as regards remedial measures. The terms of reference of the Kotwal Committee were limited to identifying the numbers of workers 'displaced' on account of dismissals, retirement, deaths, etc, from the Bombay milts during the strike, and the extent of unpaid dues owed to such workers. The short report, however, also sketchily goes into some of the ailments of the textile industry and briefly records the submissions of unions and mangement on various strike- related issues.

LABOUR-Policing Workers in an Industrial Estate

LABOUR Policing Workers in an Industrial Estate Gurbir Singh TARAPUR is synonymous with the atomic power station a little over 100 km north of Bombay, close to the Maharashtra-Gujarat coastal border. Few, however, know that the little fishing village also lends its name to one of the largest and most successful industrial zones floated by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC). Set up in 1974, the Tarapur MIDC today houses over 500 functioning industrial units which employ anywhere between 30 to 900 workers each, with a total workforce of nearly 30,000. Chemical and mini-steel plants and powerloom factories predominate but the assortment of production is wide. Contract labour is commonly used, especially the adivasi villagers from the neighbourhood. However, the non-absorption of the local youth in permanent jobs in the Tarapur units has remained a sour point over the last decades.


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