The 5 days strike by the Central Government Employees started from 11th July 1960 will always inspire not only the CG Employees, but the entire working class in India. It was the biggest strike that Indian government had to face since Independence in 1947. This year is the 57th anniversary of the same.
The strike called by the All India Railwaymen Federation (AIRF), All India Defence Employees Federation (AIDEF) and Confederation of Central Government Employees and Workers demanded the government to modify the retrograde recommendations of the II Central Pay Commission, grant of Minimum Wage, Full neutralisation for cost of living etc.
The Government dealt the strike with iron hands. The government declined to meet the leaders of the Joint Action Committee. Instead it promulgated the Essential Service maintenance Ordinance against the strike with stringent punishment. Prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru termed the strike as ‘Civil Rebellion’ and issued instructions to suppress it with all the might of the central and state governments. Thousands of workers were jailed (outsiders also for supporting the strike), dismissed, terminated, suspended, charge sheeted, severely punished and transferred. The All India leaders were arrested and paraded hand-cuffed through the streets of Delhi. The government dealt with the strikers as enemies of the country. The strike could not go on more than 5 days. It was mercilessly suppressed by the government.
It took more than 4 years to get all the officials got reinstated. Even that was only after the Members of Parliament like Coms. A.K.Gopalan, Nath Pai, S.M.Banerjee and others lambasted the government in the Parliament about the inhuman treatment of the strikers by the government.
I was working at Cannanore (Kannur) at that time. Three comrade were put in jail, punished for 6 months rigorous imprisonment. I was kept out of service, charge sheeted and punished. The working class realised the inhuman face of the Congress government. Though suppressed with in a decade the government was compelled to accept at least some of the demands.
By once again going on a one day strike on 19th September 1968, the workers showed that they will continue to fight for their rights.
On this 57th anniversary, we pay homage to the great martyrs and pledge ourselves to continue the struggles in the path shown by them.
Red Salute to Martyrs!
(For details of the struggle, go through the book ” History of P&T TU Movement” being published shortly )