BSNL Completes 15 Years – Struggle to Continue for Survival, Restoring Past Glory
On this 1st October 2015, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), the telecom PSU, will complete 15 years of its service to the people. There used to be great celebrations of the day in the BSNL Corporate Office, Circle Offices etc. earlier, but it seems that all these are forgotten.
But workers have not forgotten. Formation of BSNL was not the demand of the workers. They were against it. They organized sustained struggles against corporatizing telecom services from the Department of Telecom. But, unfortunately, the agreement between DOT and three main Federations speeded up corporatization.
BSNL was formed on 1st October 2000. In the front lawns of the Sanchar Bhawan, the office of the DOT, then Communications Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, while inaugurating BSNL, declared that BSNL will be granted the Maharatna Status, financial assistance will be provided by the Government and it will be made the No.1 telecom company in the world. Nothing happened; it was all empty promises. Whatever assistance was given in the initial stage was discontinued. On the contrary, the government took actions one after another,( including stopping of purchase of equipment which was most necessary), to destabilize and weaken BSNL, in order to allow the private companies to grow and maximize their profits. It is well known, whether the UPA or the NDA, it is the government of the corporate, for the corporate and by the corporate. Both of them, one after another, ensured that BSNL is stunted and is kept like a bonsai tree, allowing it not to grow.
It is only through sustained struggle of the workers that BSNL continues without being disinvested or privatized. It was through the 100% strike of the workers in 2007, that at least some equipment could be purchased, even after the cancellation of tenders at the behest of Minister. The “Customer Delight Year” and such programmes initiated by the Joint Action Committee/Joint Forum/Forum of BSNL Unions and Associations helped to improve the services.
While there was good profit during the first 7-8 years, it is loss during the last 5 years. But due to the continued concious effort of the unions and workers as also some recent initiatives by the Management, the situation is turning around. The loss is coming down for the last two years and the number of new connections is increasing. It is expected that the company will be profitable by three-four years.
But it is not an easy task. The anti-people, anti-worker, anti-PSU policy being adopted by the Modi government is a threat to the future of BSNL also. The workers have to be vigilant and ready for action against these wrong policies, as earlier. BSNL is our home and it has got to be protested. Let us make all out efforts for the same.
STRUGGLE FOR UNITY, UNITY FOR STRUGGLE AND STRUGGLE AND UNITY FOR PROGRESS!
MAKE ALL OUT EFFORTS TO RESTORE THE PAST GLORY OF BSNL!
GREETINGS TO THE PEOPLE WHO SUPPORTED AND HELPED BSNL TO SURVIVE!
REVOLUTIONARY GREETINGS TO THE COMRADES WHO FOUGHT AND SUSTAINED BSNL ALL THESE YEARS!