Technical University by BSNL – A good proposal

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BSNL may start a Technical University utilising the infrastructure of the ALTTC Ghaziabad and TTC at Jabalpur. This was stated by the Shri Anupam Srivastava, Director, BSNL, who has been selected to be CMD after the present CMD Shri R.K.Upadhyay retires within a few months.

According to Shri Sivastava, in ALTTC Ghaziabad alone, training could be given to 2,500 – 3,000 trainees/students.

If implemented, it is good.

Support and Solidarity to the Striking Steel Workers of Greece

The Steel Workers in Greece are on a sustained struggle against the anti-worker policies and actions of the employers / Greek Government in reducing the wages and attacking the rights of the workers to go on strike. Workers are being victimised. The Union is being attacked.

The working class in India fully support the struggle of the Greek Workers and express their solidarity. The victimization of the strike workers is condemned.

Corrupt Congress will face worst ever defeat’ – Prakash Karat

Chennai, Apr 12 CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat today claimed Congress was poised for its worst ever defeat in Lok Sabha polls due to its ‘corrupt’ regime and wrong economic policies, but said BJP would be worse than the UPA in implementing “neo liberal” economic policies.
UPA was the “most corrupt” regime since independence and people had already decided to vote it out. “A severe punishment is awaiting Congress in the polls,” Karat told an election rally here, campaigning for party candidate Vasuki in North Chennai Parliamentary constituency.
Lashing out at UPA for the various scams, including the 2G spectrum one, and the economic policies, he said such policies, including deregulation of fuel prices, led to steep increase in the prices of all essential commodities.
Assailing the tax concessions to industry which, he claimed, were to the tune of 21 lakh crore rupees in the past five years, he alleged Congress policies enriched the rich corporates to make “super profits” even while it cut down subsidy on food and fertilisers.
Hitting out at BJP and Narendra Modi for harping on the Gujarat development model, he said such a model only served to be a “laboratory for Hindutva which led to relegation of minorities to second class citizens”.
Another aspect of this model was giving tax concessions and free land and power to corporates to enable them make super profits, he charged.
“If Narendra Modi comes to power, a much worse situation will emerge where super exploitation and looting of the country by the corporates will take place. The BJP is worse than the Congress in implementing neo liberal policies,” Karat said.
Only the Left parties offered an alternative policy as there was no difference between the BJP and the Congress in their economic policies, he said.
Stronlgy criticising the DMK for extending an olive branch to the Congress, he said the “DMK is not going to a new direction..It is in no way breaking with its past and it is fully discredited due to its role in graft in the UPA”.
Pointing out that both DMK and AIADMK had aligned with either the BJP and the Congress to serve their “narrow interests”, he asked why Chief Minister Jayalalithaa was silent about Modi and the BJP.

Dr. B.R.Ambedkar, a Fighter and Visionary.

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download (1)I have been going through most of the districts in the country in connection with union activities for the last many years. If any body asks me ‘whose statues are more to be seen in the country, whether Gandhiji or Dr. Ambedkar ?’ , I have no hesitation in saying that it is the statue of Dr. Ambedkar, that are seen more.

This is not an exaggeration. In almost all Cities/Towns, you can see a number of statues of Dr. Ambedkar. He has become one of the icons of  New India. Each and every passing year has more and more shown what he stood for and what he has done for the country and the downtrodden.

His entire life he has to fight the society for a decent space for the dalits. It was a fight against the feudal and caste system. Well educated and with a brilliant mind, he rose far above his equals.

He was the main architect of Indian Constitution, which is accepted as one of the best in the world.

14th April 2014 is the 113 birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna Dr. B.R.Ambedkar.  Let us pay respectful homage to the great leader!

PS: I am at a loss to understand why the Government is not declaring 14th April as a holiday in advance, instead of declaring the same as a holiday one week or two weeks in advance only. The people want it to be declared as a National  Holiday along with other holidays.

‘Rebellion 1857 – A Symposium’

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81px-Rani_of_jhansiThe above is the title of a book which I completed reading a few days back. It is a book edited by Comrade P.C.Joshi, veteran Communist leader and published in 1957, in the centenary year of the First War of Independence 1857. There are many articles written on the 1857 struggle by many important historians and authors. The articles deal with the brutal exploitation of the people through heavy taxes and appropriation of the land of the people through auctions etc in case of non-payment, the conversion to Christianity using official status, taking over the zamindari/landlords etc. which agitated the people. The sepoys, as the Indian military was called, were also affected by the above. Compelling the sepoys to use pig fat for oiling the guns was the breaking point, which hurt their religious sentiments. It was not only sepoys, but the people in large number participated in the rebellion in the north India. The Nawabs, Kings and prominent persons who lost their property and power also joined ranks. You can say that it was a well prepared struggle considering the then situation. The capture of Delhi by the rebels, the decision making the Mogul Emperor Bahadur Shah as the head of the rebel government,the formation of a Court of Administration with a few top leading persons, the manifesto issued by the Government in a democratic way – all these were positive points of the government. One after another, cities fell to the rebel government. But the weaknesses of the government was more than its positive side. The manifesto included restoration of the lands to those from whom it were taken away and also tried to put an end to the exploitation of the small land owners. The former zamindars etc. now started worrying that the new government may turn against them. Some of the local chieftains also thought that it will be better for them under the British Government. The British also sent emissaries to them assuring that in future no confiscation of their property will be there. The rebels expected help from Punjab and Bengal also in addition to the central north. But, for their own reasons, the new reformists of W.Bengal and the Punjabs kept themselves away from the rebellion and in some places, actually helped the British. Since there was not any other war engaged by the British at that time, except in China, they could mobilise their armies in full against the rebels. The Telegraphs and Railways was a big help for communications and transport. The sincerity and bravery of the rebel leaders was no match against the well trained, disciplined British army with more destructive guns and ammunition. The leaders of the rebellion, one after another had to sacrifice themselves in the battlefield or were captured and killed. Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatia Topi, Kunwar Singh – all were dead. The War of Independence was over within one year. Though the struggle was crushed and the people brutally shot and hanged by thousands, the seed for the Independence Struggle has been sown. There was no going back. It started again with the formation of the Indian National Congress in 1885. The development of the freedom struggle and its culmination on 15th August 1947, India becoming a free nation, is well known.

The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre – A Dark Chapter of British Rule

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180px-Massacre_memorial_in_AmritsarOne of the darkest chapters in the British Rule was the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of hundreds of innocent Indians who had assembled to protest against the Rowlatt Act/hear the speeches of the freedom fighter leaders. This was on 13th April 1919.

The Rowlatt Bill, which curtailed the rights of the Indian people and enabled the government to impose stringent punishments was strongly opposed by the Congress and the freedom movement. Mahatma Gandhi called for observance of protest strike and disobedience movement against the same. It was also decided to observe 30th March 1919 as protest day by fasting, hartal etc. Five people died in the firing by police in Delhi on that day. Protesting against this, countrywide demonstrations were held participated by thousands all over the country. The entire country was in a protest move.

In Punjab, the situation was more tense. Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew and Dr. Satyapal,  who were organising the 1919 All India Session of the Congress in Punjab were arrested and taken away to some secret place. The people who started protesting were fired upon and some were killed.

A big public meeting was organised to protest the atrocities of the British on 13th April 1919 at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar. More than 20,000 gathered in the place to hear the leaders. When the meeting started and leaders started speaking, all of a sudden, General Dyer came there with about 150 troops both British and Indian. Immediately,without any warning, he ordered fire against the people gathered there. It is recorded that 1600 rounds were fired and was stopped only when they ran out of ammunition.

It was terrible. Hundreds of people were killed on the spot and thousands were seriously wounded many of whom died later. There was no warning before the firing or at least the people did not know. And even if known, there was no way to disperse. The maidan was surrounded by walls/ houses and there was only a narrow path to go out through which even a vehicle could not pass. According to Government there were 400 killed and more than 1000 wounded. But this is far less than the actual casualty. General Dyer later told arrogantly that he wanted the people to be punished for defying the law. The British cut the water and power supply in the whole of Amritsar. People were fogged for coming out in to the streets. A terror was let loose.

The entire country rose in anger. Protest actions continued for days together. Revolutionary activities increased against the British. General Dyer who returned to England was shot dead by Udham Singh, a youth from Punjab who went to England to avenge the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

95 years have passed since this brutal massacre of the Indian people. We have got freedom. Every year on 13th April, the day is observed at Jallianwala Bagh, where a martyrs column is erected in memory of those killed, with massive participation, speeches, homage to the martyrs etc. I had the privilege to attend and pay my respectful homage to the martyrs there, five years back. All over Punjab and many centres in India, the day is observed as Jallianwala Bagh Martyrs Day.

We all pay our respectful homage to those martyrs who have sacrificed everything at the altar of the freedom of the country. They will always be an inspiration in our future struggles and advance march.

( The Photo given above is the Martyrs Memorial erected at Jallianwala Bagh. The well in which many fell and died, the walls on all sides of the maidan with bullet shots etc. can be clearly seen even now. A visit to the jallianwala Bagh is a must when one visit Punjab).

MOU for 2014-15 between DOT and BSNL – ‘Perform or Perish’.

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The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between DOT and BSNL for the year 2014-15 has been signed on 27th March 2014, four days before the start of the New Financial year. The targets are moderate and seems to be practicable.
The Very Good Financial Targets for the year 2014-15 is as below:
Sales Turnover : Rs. 29,000 crores
Gross Operating Margin : Rs. 1,180 Crores

In addition the targets for Finalization of policy for organisational restructuring and implementation during the year and other parameters also have been noted. One of these is the Formulation of subsidiary of BSNL Tower Assets with a target date of 31-12-2014. As far as the workers are concerned, they are strongly opposing the formation of a subsidiary company, which is unnecessary and against the interest of BSNL.

On the CAPEX for Capacity Expansion, it has been given a target of additional 100 lakh lines of GSM, OFC of additional 20,000 Route Kms, Replacement of Wireline Exchanges by NGN with 5 lakh Customer migrations etc. Since no dates have been fixed the target date may be 31-03-2015.

Completion of ongoing Projects include the laying of OFC for Defence project (Network for Spectrum) to lay 40,000 Route Kms of Cable, National Optic fibre Network (NOFN) to connect 73,500 Gram Panchayats and also commissioning of 1,200 GSM BTSs.

Targets have been fixed for Productivity and Internal Process, Human Resource Management, Sector Enterprise Specific Parameters including net addition in GSM Mobile Connections (100 lAKH), Broadband Connections( 30 lakhs) implementation of ERP ( 10 Circle) etc.

The Rs. 29,000 crore Revenue Targets have been distributed among the following Verticals: Consumer Fixed Assets (Rs. 12,500 crores), Consumer Mobility ( Rs.13,500 crores) Enterprise Business (Rs. 3,600 crores) and New business ( Rs. 300 crores).

As usual all other conditions of submitting Quarterly Report to the DOT, Annual report to the DPE etc. are mentioned.

The Memorandum of Understanding are signed every year as usual. But what is the fulfilment of the Targets and parameters? According to our information, which may be incorrect also,most of these targets and parameters are never completed. Have they been fulfilled, whether the company, BSNL would have gone in to loss?

In fact, the OFC Project for Defence (NFS) and NOFN would have been finished much earlier according to the earlier Project formulation. The same with the Towers in the naxalite area.

What is plaguing the BSNL is the projects are never fulfilled. These are known to the management, but are never discussed with the 2,50,000 workforce who are also much interested in the better future of the company.

With such a large workforce, with more than 50,000 well trained technical executives and about two lakh committed workers, why the Management is unable to reach the targets fixed after much discussion and planning. There is a certain inertia somewhere in the lines. There is a casual attitude some where. This has got to be changed. Instead of sitting in the office, the majority of the executives and non-executives should be in the field.

Take the workforce also in to confidence in executing and fulfilling the targets. ITS, Executive or Non-Executive – all should realise that unless one’s full energy and effort is not utilised in expansion, development and service, it is difficult for BSNL to survive, leave alone improving.

Our demand to the BSNL Management is to make a detailed Plan for fulfilling the targets, take the workers and their unions /associations in to confidence, discuss with them how to implement the plans even before target dates and then move in to action.Is the BSNL Management capable of doing this exercise ? If so, well and good. However, the workers are determined to ensure that the company survives, strengthens and provide a better service to the nation. And certainly they have to ensure that the Management functions as it should be.

A united and joint effort is sure to win. The people of the country prefer BSNL to any other private telecom provider, because they know that it is not the profit motive that moves BSNL, but the service-motive.

Let Us March Ahead to Provide a Better Service to the Nation!

History of the P and T Trade Union Movement

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Dear Comrades and Friends,

As per the decision of the Central Executive Committee of BSNLEU, a Trade Union Class was organised for the leaders and workers at K.G.Bose Bhawan, New Delhi on 7th and 8th of April 2014. I was assigned to take the class on ” History of the Indian Trade Union Movement, with particular reference to the P and T Trade Union Movement”. I took the class which continued for about three and half hours. In fact, the subject needed much more time.

After the class, many comrades came to me, appreciated and suggested that a book be written on the P and T TU movement for the benefit of the new generation. I have been pressed earlier also by many senior leaders and comrades to write a book on the subject. After much thought I have decided to take the stupendous task and challenge. Earlier I have written some articles and small booklets on the subject and had taken classes. But writing a full history is not an easy task. My experiences as a humble worker in the thick of the movement for more than five decades will certainly help me. There are union journals and certain booklets already published on the subject. But a lot have to be studied before preparing a comprehensive book.

Along with the records of the past, the experiences of the living senior comrades and workers are very important. They have to be met for their assistance. That I will do. I request all our comrades to assist me in this regard so that we will be able to produce a full history of the P and T Trade union Movement in India.

With Warm Greetings

V.A.N.Namboodiri.

Mulayam’s Statement Shocking and Deplorable – Brinda Karat

brinda_0Brinda Karat, Member of the Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:

One may oppose the death penalty for rape offenders, but to trivialize rape as a “small mistake” as the Samajwadi Party President Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav has done, is most shocking and condemnable.

It underlines the urgent necessity for a code of conduct for political leaders against sexist and anti-women remarks.

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