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

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Maharashtra- Pleasing Cotton Growers

Maharashtra- Pleasing Cotton Growers

assume leadership". But what constitutes militancy? One could very well surmise how the government would define militancy since any genuine militancy on the part of organisations of poor peasants and landless labourers is dubbed extremist not only by the law and order enforcing agencies of the government but by the labour ministry itself. Take, for instance, the Mazdoor Kisan Sangram Samity (MKSS), an organisation of poor peasants and landless labourers which is struggling to enforce minimum wages in Gaya and Jehanabad districts of central Bihar. Against the state government's stipulation of 5 kg of rice or Rs 10 as the minimum wage, the average wage prevailing ranges between 1.25 and 1.5 kg of 'kachhi dhan' which is 600-800 gms of rice or less than Rs 2 per day. In areas where the MKSS has been actively organising agricultural workers, it has been able to force the landowners to pay the stipulated minimum wage in spite of the presence of the private, caste-based armies of the landlords. But whenever the state government has intervened it has acted not on behalf of and in the interest of the wage labourers, as liberals of the National Labour Institute would have liked it to, but in the interest of the landowners. Ultimately MKSS was banned by the state government. The government's intention in espousing so-called militant organisations of agricultural labour is precisely to pre-empt genuine militancy.

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