29th July 2020 is the 74th anniversary of the Great Rally in Calcutta by the working class in support of the P & T Strike which continued from 11th July to 6th August 1946.
The three week historic strike of the P and T employees which started from 11th July 1946 spearheaded by Postmen and Lower Grade Staff Union headed by Shri V.G.Dalvi, is considered as part of the Independence struggle as is the Royal Indian Navy Revolt of the same year. In many states like Bengal, all the P and T workers participated in the strike. Dada Ghosh and K.G.Bose led the strike in Bengal and Assam. The working class in Madras, Bombay and Calcutta organised massive marches and strike on 23rd, 28th and 29th July respectively.
The only national trade union in the country, AITUC, gave a strike call on 29th in Bengal and Assam in support of the P and T Strike, which was participated by more than 15 lakh workers. The two states were entirely paralysed. All transport vehicles, including buses, motor cars,taxis, rikshas, trams suspended their operations. Secretariat, colleges, police, courts and mercantile firms stood closed. Entire students community was in the maidan to participate in the rally. Twenty thousand Postal and Telegraph workers participated. The rally held on that date was the biggest ever rally Calcutta has seen till that time.Com. Jyoti Basu, former Chief Minister of W.Bengal, in his book has mentioned about the rally which forced the city to be completely stand still.
The P and T strike was called off after all the major 12 demands were agreed to by the British Government. The strike continued for three more days in Bengal and Assam and was withdrawn after an additional demand ‘ Good Conduct Pay’ was also conceded.