ശ്രദ്ധിക്കപ്പെടാത്ത ട്രാഫിക് അപകടങ്ങളും വർധിച്ചു വരുന്ന മരണങ്ങളും

ശ്രദ്ധിക്കപ്പെടാത്ത ട്രാഫിക് അപകടങ്ങളും വർധിച്ചു വരുന്ന മരണങ്ങളും.
ഓരോ ദിവസവും കേരളത്തിൽ ശരാശരി 11 ജീവൻ ട്രാഫിക് അപകടങ്ങളിൽ പെട്ടു പൊലിഞ്ഞു പോകുന്നു. 2019 ൽ 41111 അപകടങ്ങളും 4440 മരണങ്ങളും. കോവിഡ് കാലത്ത് 2020ൽ 27877 അപകടം 2979 മരണം. 2021ൽ 33926 അപകടം 3429 മരണം. 2022 നവംബർ വരെ 40008 അപകടം 3829 മരണം. ഓരോ വർഷവും കൂടുതൽ മരണം.
ട്രാഫിക് അപകടമരണം ഒരു സാധാരണ സംഭവമായി മാറിയിരിക്കുന്നു. ആർക്കും ഒന്നും ചെയ്യാനില്ലെന്ന സ്ഥിതി. അറിയപ്പെടുന്നവർ മരിച്ചാൽ മാത്രം ഒരു പ്രാധാന്യമോ അന്വേഷണമോ.
മരിച്ചവരുടെ കുടുംബങ്ങൾക്ക് സാമ്പത്തിക ആശ്വാസം ലഭിക്കുന്നുണ്ടോ, ഇൻഷുറൻസ് സുരക്ഷ ലഭിക്കുന്നുണ്ടോ, അപകടപ്പെട്ടവർക്ക് അടിയന്തിര ശുശ്രുഷ ലഭിക്കുന്നുണ്ടോ എന്നതൊന്നും പലപ്പോഴും ശ്രദ്ധിക്കപ്പെടാറില്ല. അത് അപകടത്തിൽ പെട്ട വീട്ടുകാരുടെ പ്രശ്നമായി ചുരുങ്ങുന്നു.
അപകടമായ രീതിയിലുള്ള ഡ്രൈവിംഗ്, മദ്യപിച്ചു ഓടിക്കൽ, അതിവേഗം, ട്രാഫിക് നിയമങ്ങൾ പാലിക്കാതിരിക്കൽ, മത്സര ഓട്ടം, റോഡിലെ കുഴിയും കുണ്ടും, ഇടുങ്ങിയ പാതകൾ, അശ്രദ്ധ തുടങ്ങി പലതും കാരണമാകാം. മരണ ഭയത്തോടെ മാത്രമേ കുട്ടികൾക്കും വയോജനങ്ങൾക്കുമൊക്കെ റോഡ് മുറിച്ചു കടക്കാൻ കഴിയുകയുള്ളു. സീറോ ലൈനിലൂടെ പോലും റോഡ് മുറിച്ചു കടക്കുമ്പോൾ വേഗത ഒട്ടും കുറക്കാതെ ചീറി വന്നു, തൊട്ടടുത്തു മാത്രം നിർത്തുന്ന ഡ്രൈവർമാരും കുറവല്ല. റോഡ് മുറിച്ചു കട ക്കുന്നത് വലിയ തെറ്റ് മാതിരിയാണ് അവരുടെ കറുത്ത മുഖം കണ്ടാൽ തോന്നുക.നിയമ പാലകന്മാരുടെ മൗനവും ഒരു കാരണം.
ഭരണാധികാരികളും, നിയമപാലകരും, വാഹനം ഓടിക്കുന്നവരും, കാൽ നട യാത്രക്കാരും, പൊതുജനങ്ങൾ ആകെയും ഒന്നിച്ചു പ്രവർത്തിച്ചു അപകട മരണങ്ങൾ ഇല്ലാതാക്കണം, ഏറ്റവും ചുരുങ്ങിയത് വലിയ തോതിൽ കുറക്കാൻ കഴിയണം.
വി എ എൻ നമ്പൂതിരി
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Mgs Kurup and Balu Melethil

THE EPIC STRIKE OF JULY 1946 BY P AND T EMLOYEES – 3

The Economic Crisis of the 1928-30

The political map of the world changed vastly by the end of the First World War (1914-18). Economic crisis of unprecedented nature gripped the world.

As part of the measures to face the economic crisis, the British India Government reduced the pay scales of the Central Government employees w.e.f. 1931. Neither the unions were consulted, nor did any discussion take place. It was a unilateral decision of the government. The principle of ‘Equal Wage for Equal Work’ was abandoned. Reduced pay scales were imposed on the employees, who were recruited from 18th July 1931.

There were different and discriminating scales and grades for employees before 1920. In 1920, these scales were revised bringing some kind of similarity. The Hazilton Committee recommended time scales for P and T Employees.  The report was given after due consideration to the long hours of duty, night duties, special character of duties, job risks etc. In 1926, the scales of pay were revised after strong demand by the unions.

It is at this time that the government started taking many decisions to reduce the expenditure in the name of austerity. The Sir Kowvasji Jehangir Committee appointed by the government recommended retrenchment of large number of employees. Hence this Committee was known as “Retrenchment Committee”. In continuation, as stated earlier, orders were issued reducing the pay scales with effect from 1931.

The pay scales of Postmen were reduced from Rs. 30-1-50 to 27-1-45; almost 10% reduction. In the same way, orders were issued reducing all the pay scales, despite strong protest from the employees.

Reduction at the rate of ½ Anna for one Rupee was ordered in all pay scales below  Rs. 30.  1 Anna was reduced for Rupee for pay scales above Rs. 30. ( 16 Annas = 1 Rupee).  Government saved more than Rs, 2.75 crore through this reduction of pay scales. Along with this The Emergency Reductions Rules came in to force with effect from 8th December 1931.

Many cadre unions were formed since 1920 with the support of the administration so as to reduce the strength of the major unions and create disunity. When one union will go on struggle, some other unions will oppose it giving support to the government. It helped the government to sit tight without granting any demanded benefit to the workers. This is the time when the pay scales were reduced.

Strong resentment and anger arose among the workers. They realized that the government was misusing the lack of unity among the unions. Unity and struggle were necessary, they realized.

The All India Conference of the ‘All India Postal and RMS Union’ held at Delhi on 30th October 1931 adopted a resolution calling upon the employees to launch sustained struggles on the major demands of the employees. It called upon the employees to come to office without wearing shirts and to boycott work beyond  8 hours.

These programmes of agitation were implemented all over the country with effect from 1st January 1932. Employees attended office without wearing shirts.

Government was not sitting idle. Recognition of unions was withdrawn. Pay cut was imposed on those who went on agitation. The agitation was withdrawn unable to face the bitter victimization by the government. The recognition of the unions was restored on 24th March 1932.  But the problems remained unsettled.  (to  be continued).

THE EPIC STRIKE OF JULY 1946 BY P AND T EMLOYEES – 3

The Economic Crisis of the 1928-30

The political map of the world changed vastly by the end of the First World War (1914-18). Economic crisis of unprecedented nature gripped the world.

As part of the measures to face the economic crisis, the British India Government reduced the pay scales of the Central Government employees w.e.f. 1931. Neither the unions were consulted, nor did any discussion take place. It was a unilateral decision of the government. The principle of ‘Equal Wage for Equal Work’ was abandoned. Reduced pay scales were imposed on the employees, who were recruited from 18th July 1931.

There were different and discriminating scales and grades for employees before 1920. In 1920, these scales were revised bringing some kind of similarity. The Hazilton Committee recommended time scales for P and T Employees.  The report was given after due consideration to the long hours of duty, night duties, special character of duties, job risks etc. In 1926, the scales of pay were revised after strong demand by the unions.

It is at this time that the government started taking many decisions to reduce the expenditure in the name of austerity. The Sir Kowvasji Jehangir Committee appointed by the government recommended retrenchment of large number of employees. Hence this Committee was known as “Retrenchment Committee”. In continuation, as stated earlier, orders were issued reducing the pay scales with effect from 1931.

The pay scales of Postmen were reduced from Rs. 30-1-50 to 27-1-45; almost 10% reduction. In the same way, orders were issued reducing all the pay scales, despite strong protest from the employees.

Reduction at the rate of ½ Anna for one Rupee was ordered in all pay scales below  Rs. 30.  1 Anna was reduced for Rupee for pay scales above Rs. 30. ( 16 Annas = 1 Rupee).  Government saved more than Rs, 2.75 crore through this reduction of pay scales. Along with this The Emergency Reductions Rules came in to force with effect from 8th December 1931.

Many cadre unions were formed since 1920 with the support of the administration so as to reduce the strength of the major unions and create disunity. When one union will go on struggle, some other unions will oppose it giving support to the government. It helped the government to sit tight without granting any demanded benefit to the workers. This is the time when the pay scales were reduced.

Strong resentment and anger arose among the workers. They realized that the government was misusing the lack of unity among the unions. Unity and struggle were necessary, they realized.

The All India Conference of the ‘All India Postal and RMS Union’ held at Delhi on 30th October 1931 adopted a resolution calling upon the employees to launch sustained struggles on the major demands of the employees. It called upon the employees to come to office without wearing shirts and to boycott work beyond  8 hours.

These programmes of agitation were implemented all over the country with effect from 1st January 1932. Employees attended office without wearing shirts.

Government was not sitting idle. Recognition of unions was withdrawn. Pay cut was imposed on those who went on agitation. The agitation was withdrawn unable to face the bitter victimization by the government. The recognition of the unions was restored on 24th March 1932.  But the problems remained unsettled.  (to  be continued).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revolutionary Greetings to 26th General Conference of AIIEA at Kolkata on 8-11 January 2023 !

The All India Insurance Employees Association (AIIEA) is holding its 26th General Conference at Kolkata on 8-11 January 2023. It is one of the strongest union among the PSU Unions and represents vast majority of its workers. Since its formation , it has been perusing a progressive and democratic  outlook and has conducted many successful strikes to achieve the just rights of the Insurance workers. Even now, it is fighting against disinvestment of LIC and making massive propaganda against the anti-worker, anti-PSU policy of the government.

My close relation with AIIEA starts in the 1960s, when a new LIC Division was formed in Calicut and LIC Employees Union was formed there. They became an active partner of the Workers Centre, which was a co-ordination Committee of the Central-State-PSU unions, which organised many struggles as also helped the struggles in other sectors. 

As an All India Office-bearer of All India Telegraph Engineering Employees Union Class III (NFPTE) and later as its General Secretary as also General Secretary of the BSNL Employees Union since its inception in 2001, I have been in good contact with the AIIEA and its all India leaders. Many of our All India Conferences were addressed by General Secretary of AIIEA and vice-versa, which strengthened the co-ordination between the two unions. 

The 26th General Conference of AIIEA is being held at a time, when more and more attacks re coming on the working class. Their hard won rights are being taken away. Attacks are on the secular fabric of the nation. The working class are unitedly fighting for their rights and also against the attacks from the ruling class. I am sure that the Conference will discuss all these issues and take appropriate decision.

Red Salute and Best Wishes for the success of the 26th General Conference of AIIEA !

V.A.N.Namboodiri,

Advisor, All India BSNL-DOT Pensioners Association (AIBDPA)

 

 

THE EPIC STRIKE OF JULY 1946 BY P AND T EMLOYEES – 2

FORMATION OF UNIONS IN P AND T

THE EPIC STRIKE OF JULY 1946 BY P AND T EMLOYEES – 2

FORMATION OF UNIONS IN P AND T

As mentioned earlier, Postal Service was started in 1766 and Railways and Telegraphs in 1854. Since these services were considered as utmost important to the running of the government, its security and communication needs, all the important and top posts were filled up only by British officers. Anglo-Indians and Indians were recruited for the lower posts only. British wanted to have complete control of these strategic sectors.

The discrimination between the rulers and the ruled was fully evident, whether in recruitment, postings and/or pay scales.  Higher scales for British officers, lower scales for Indians. Service conditions for Indians reminded the days of slavery. Brutal punishments, unending hours of job and no holidays at all. The ruled have no rights, only responsibilities. This was the sad condition of the P and T employees during the British days.

Formation of Unions

The First War of Independence of 1857 or Sepoy Mutiny as the British called it, was brutally crushed by their superior military power and clever strategy. Thousands of Sepoys, their leaders and those who supported the mutiny were mercilessly shot down or hanged and the bodies exhibited in public spaces as warning.  But all these could not extinguish the flames of Independence burning in the hearts of the people. It was only natural that the workers of Railways, P and T etc. also started thinking about independence of the country as also for a better deal for themselves.

A union by name ‘Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants in India’ was formed in Railways in 1854. British government actually treated their Indian employees as servants.  Hence the usages like ‘servants’, ‘yours most obedient servant’ etc. Even after India got Independence in 1947 such words were freely used. Till recently government employees were termed as ‘Government Servants’ – a legacy of the British Rule. Another example is that on all the Indian Planes, whether of government or private, the letters ‘V T’ can be seen even now. ‘V T‘means ‘Viceroy’s Territory’. To a question in Parliament, the concerned Minister stated that ‘we are examining it’!

Postmen in Pune struck work in 1880 raising their important demands. ‘Indian Telegraph Association’ as also ‘All India (including Burma) Post Office and RMS Association’ were formed in 1908 under the leadership of Henry Barton and Babu Tarapada Mukherji respectively. ‘All India Postmen and Lower Grade Staff Union’ was formed in 1919 under the leadership of V.G.Dalvi, Bar-at-Law.  Many all India struggles were organized by these unions.

When the first trade union in India, All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), was formed in 1921, some of the P and T union leaders were involved in the same. Many leaders of the P and T unions were well known TU leaders or Barristers etc. elected to ensure effective discussion with the government as also to evade victimization. (Most of the Presidents of the National Federation of P and T Employees (NFPTE) which was formed in 1954 were Members of Parliament.)

Leaders of various political parties including Congress, Socialist and Communist were leaders of AITUC. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, S.A.Dange, Lala Lajpat Rai, Dewan Chaman Lal and many others functioned in AITUC. The P and T Unions had close relation with AITUC.

In short, many unions representing the P and T employees were formed and functioned effectively, organized strike and struggles on their demands. The government was compelled to concede many demands.

All India Railwaymen’s Federation was formed in 1924. All India Audit and Accounts Association, Income Tax Employees Federation and All India Defence Employees Federation were also formed in the 1920s.

The formation of unions in the various departments of the Central Government and the struggles organized by them created an urge for united actions and solidarity with the Independence movement.  (To be continued ..)

-V.A.N.Namboodiri –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lossof Comrades in 2022

Lost many friends and comrades in 2022. Two of them were known to me for many decades & were very close both personally and organisationally. Will remember their great contribution to the T U movement.
Red Salute to Com. P.V.Chandrasekharan and Com. K. K. N. Kutty!
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Mihir Dasgupta, Balu Melethil and 10 others
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THE EPIC STRIKE OF JULY 1946 BY P AND T EMPLOYEES – 1

A BRIEF HISTORY OF COMMUNICATIONS

THE EPIC STRIKE OF JULY 1946 BY P AND T EMLOYEES – 1

A BRIEF HISTORY OF COMMUNICATIONS

The 23 days strike of the Posts and Telegraph Employees which started from 11th   July 1946 is an historic and inspiring chapter of the great Independence Struggle. The strike ended with achievement of all the 12 demands raised by the unions. It also shows the full justification of the demands. Public fully supported. As in the case of the Royal Indian Navy Mutiny, The strike of the P and T Workers also inspired and encouraged the freedom movement.

Before going in to the details of the strike, it will be pertinent to have a brief look in to the then communications services and the trade union organizations.

Growth of Communication Services

The history of Communications starts along with the history of mankind. In the early ages, they communicated each other with body movements, sounds, symbols, hints, pictures, drawings etc. These have been recorded by the various historians, who deeply investigated in the matter.

Alphabets, sentences, writings etc. were already in vogue in BC 3000 and used by Sumerians, Semitics, Egyptians and Chinese etc. The invention  of paper, printing press etc. helped communication services in a big way.

The rulers in India  used doves for conveying urgent messages to distant parts of their kingdom. Chinese used bamboo and wood pieces. Messages were also sent through horse men to various parts of the country. It is well known that Marathon is being organized in memory of the epic non-stopping run of soldier Philipedas to inform Caesar about the victory in the war.

Not only for sending messages and news, but also for the growth of civilization and progress, Communications have been of great help. Letters / Messages were sent initially by the rulers only.  Religious institutions and merchants followed suit for their own requirements.

Postal Services in India

Postal Services were started in Britain in 1516. Although initially it was only for the use of the royalty, it was extended to the people in 1635.Postal Coaches, pulled by horses and transporting letters, parcels etc were introduced in 1784.  When the trains were introduced, postal articles were sent through them also. It was on 15th September 1830 that the first postal bag with articles  through train were sent from Liverpool to Manchester.  Universal Postal Union connecting postal services between various countries was introduced in 1874.

Although limited postal services existed during the period of Mughals and earlier sultans, kings etc., it was in 1766, during the British regime that the modern postal services were introduced in India, under the initiative of Robert Clive, then Governor General. The services were run under the direct control of the top British officers, and that too for the East India Company only. Only District Collectors were authorized to open the postal bags.

The General Post Office in Calcutta was started in 1774; in Madras in 1789 and in Bombay in1794. Gradually services started in the kingdoms of Travancore, Mysore, Junagadh, Indore, Bhopal, Cochin etc. It was called Anchal Service in Travancore and Cochin. There were some private services also.

Through a Post Office Act in 1854, all the postal services run by private organizations were closed. Postal services became the monopoly of the East India Company. The postal rates were unified. A grand system with 300 Head Quarter Offices  and 451 Sub-ordinate Offices  was introduced in October 1854. Postal Stamps were also introduced. The charges were calculated on the basis of distance in the early days.

Telegraph Services started in India in 1850s along with Railways. The first Telegraph line between Calcutta and Lucknow was inaugurated in November 1850.

The British fully utilized the  Posts and Telegraph Services  to control their biggest colony, India. It is worth mentioning  that the historians have recorded that  the telegraph services were fully used for conveying information and locating the enemy forces etc. during the first Independence Struggle, which the British called as “1857 Sepoy Mutiny “.

V.A.N.Namboodiri

 

Three great Strikes of the Central Govt Employees,  1946,1960 and 1968

Three great Strikes of the Central Govt Employees,  1946,1960 and 1968

Dear Comrades and Well Wishers,

Comrade P.V.Chandrasekharan and I (V.A.N.Namboodiri) have jointly written and published three books about the great three strikes of the Central Government / P and T Employees – 22 Days Strike by P and T Employees in 1946, 5 Days Strike of CG Employees in 1960 and One day Token Strike of CG Employees on 19th September 1968. All these are in Malayalam and have been well received by the employees as a whole.

Now many comrades from other states, who do not know Malayalam, have requested that these books be translated in to English, so that they can also read the same. I have agreed to their requests. Interestingly the Malayalam books were published first about 1968 strike, then 1960 strike and thirdly 1946 strike. This was not intentional, but it happened as such. The translations, however, will start with the 1946 strike.

Now that Com.PVC has passed away, the entire responsibility falls upon me. I propose to translate and post in FB.  Within a few days the posts will start.

Your support and suggestions are most welcome in improving the contents as well as the presentation.

Yours Comradely, V.A.N.Namboodiri

THE EPIC STRIKE OF JULY 1946 BY P AND T EMLOYEES

PRE FACE

The various struggles, strikes and agitations organized by the workers and common people against the British Rule for about two centuries are part of history. Many people became martyrs in these struggles.

After the ‘Quit India Movement’ under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi in 1942, sustained struggles in one form or other continued till declaration of Independence on 15th August 1947.  ‘Royal Indian Navy Mutiny’, Thebhaga Struggle, Formation of INA under Subhas Chandra Bose and military campaign,  etc. are well known. The 1946 strike of Posts   and Telegraph employees which continued for 23 days and ended only after all the demands were achieved is also part of the great independence movement.

In preparing the original book in Malayalam, the various articles written by Comrades V.G.Dalvi, Dada Ghosh and K.G.Bose who were leaders of the strike, as also the union journals of that period have been of much help. In addition, the reports of the strike in the daily “Mathrubhoomi”,being published from Kozhikode for the entire period of the strike could be obtained and referred to, with the help of the Mathrubhoomi  management and their Librarian Shri  K.K.Vinod Kumar ( a former telephone Operator in P and T)  for which thanks are due to them. The present series of articles being posted are the English translation of the book, as demanded my many comrades from other states.

I express my thanks to all those who helped in various ways to prepare the book on the epic strike of 1946.  I pay my respectful homage to Com. P.V.Chandrasekharan, veteran leader and co-author of the book, who passed away a few months back.

V.A.N.Namboodiri

PENSION REVISION – UNNECESSARY CONFUSION.

PENSION REVISION – UNNECESSARY CONFUSION.

There are lot of confusion being created on the letter of DoT dated 17-11-2022.

The letter was issued in the wake of the claims by certain pensioners associations after the meeting held with all the pensioners organisations on 17-10-2022, that their demand for 7th CPC fitment is not rejected by DoT and their subsequent letters reiterating the demand of 7th CPC fitment. Almost all the contents of the letter is the same in the record of discussion, released earlier.

It is a fact known to all the participants in the meeting held on 17th October,2022 that the proposal of zero percent fitment was rejected by all the pensioners associations in one voice. Thereafter,Member (Services) in his concluding speech assured to modify the proposal considering the demand for 15% fitment as the entire liability is of the Central Government.

Member(Services) has reassured the same later to the General Secretary AIBDPA on 14-11-2022 also.

Therefore, the need of the hour is the united efforts to achieve 15% fitment for pension revision. AIBDPA request all the pensioners organisations to join together for achieving our common cause.

We are also confident that the support of AUAB would be extended to our efforts as the demand of 15% fitment, delinking wage revision for pension revision is one of the demands of AUAB on which several struggles including strikes were waged in the past.

NFPTE DAY – 24th November

68 years back , National Federation of Posts and Telegraphs Employees (NFPTE) was formed merging all the existing unions under a reorganisation plan agreed jointly by the P and T Department and the Unions. It was assured by the government that no other union will be recognised. NFPTE was having nine affiliated All India Unions – 2 unions in each arm of the department ( viz. Postal, Telegraphs, Telephones and RMS) for class III and Class IV separately and also one union for class III and Class IV staff of the Circle office. This system continued for three decades till the Department was bifurcated in to Posts and telegraphs in 1986. The Federation was also bifurcated in to NFPE and NFTE. But close relationship continues between NFPE and BSNLEU, the new union formed after Telecom was converted in to BSNL, a PSU.

It was the leadership of NFPTE, which took initiative for forming the Confederation of Central Govt Employees and Workers in 1956. The glorious strikes of 1960, 1968 and 1974 were organised under the leadership of Confederation, NFPTE, AIRF, AIDEF etc, The victimisation of the workers and their leaders by the govt was beyond any description and never seen earlier, even during the British days. But these struggles compelled the Central govt to settle many issues of the workers.

NFPTE Day was celebrated all over India with massive participation on 24th November every year with honouring the strike martyrs, flag hoisting, procession, meetings etc. It was an opportunity to remember the glorious past of the P and T trade union movement and also the pioneers and great leaders of the movement.

NFPTE as such does not exist now. The heritage is taken by NFPE and BSNLEU. The day is still observed in many centres jointly or separately. It is a time to teach the new generation about the glorious past and the great sacrifices made by the workers of the past to maintain the organisation and for achievement of demands.

As everybody knows, P and T trade unions did not start in 1954. Struggles were organised by the Postmen of Poona in the last decades of 19th century guided by Lokmanya Tilak. Babu Tarapada Mukherjee, Henry Barton and Barrister-at-Law V.G.Dalvi formed unions in Posts, Telegraphs and Postmen respectively in the first and second decades of 20th century and organised historical struggles. The 22 days strike of the P and T employees in 1946 is considered as part of the Independence struggle, in which the British government was compelled to agree to all the 12 demands raised by the Union.

On this 68th anniversary of the formation of NFPTE let us remember our glorious past and prepare for sustained struggles against the attacks on the working class and ordinary people by the pro-corporate Modi government. PSUs are either sold or disinvested, hard won trade union rights are being taken away, Communalism is raising its ugly head supported by the ruling party etc. etc. The working class has got an important role for safeguarding the ‘Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic of India’ and its traditions.

Let us remember and pay homage to the Martyrs who sacrificed their all in the many strikes and struggles. Red salute to them.

NFPTE Zindabad !

Unity for Struggle, Struggle for Unity, Unity and Struggle for Progress !