Karnataka Convention of PSU Contract Workers at Bengaluru

An inspiring and well attended convention of PSU Contract workers was held on 23rd June at Bengaluru. Com. Tapan Sen, General Secretary, CITU, inaugurated the convention. Com. VAN Namboodiri, President, BSNLCCWF, Com. C.K.Gundanna, Circle Secretary, BSNLEU, Com. Meenakshi Sundaram, General Secretary, CITU, Com. K.M.Umesh, Secretary, CITU, Com. Sudarshan, District Secretary, BSNLEU, BGTD, Com. Irfan Pasha, Organisation Secretary, BSNLEU, Com. Mahantesh General Secretary Non-Permanent Workers BSNL Karnataka and other leaders addressed.
A resolution on the demands of the PSU Contract workers were unanimously adopted. A large number of workers participated.

On the same day a convention of the BSNL contract workers were also held which was addressed by Coms. V.A.N.Namboodiri, C.K.Gundanna, Mahantesh and other leaders.

Dark Memories of hated ‘ National emergency’ 1975

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The dark memories of the draconian ‘National Emergency’ is still not forgotten. It was on 25th June 1975 that the President of India promulgated the ‘National Emergency’ at the instance of the Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi. In fact, the declaration was not because there was an emergency situation in the country, but only because there was a danger to the continuance of the Indira Gandhi government after the Supreme Court verdict nullifying her election. It was a fake emergency imposed upon the people to save Indian National Congress and Indira Gandhi.

The 1974 Railway Strike and various agitation by the workers, the strong protest against the anti-people decisions of the government followed by the Supreme Court verdict created a situation, where the ruling party was not in a position to digest. The panacea to pass over the crisis was the declaration of emergency. All political opponents were arrested and put in jail arbitrarily. Trade Union leaders were also jailed. The newspapers were silenced. They could not print any criticism of the government. Functioning of political parties and democratic institutions were literally prohibited. The police and the government machinery were utilised to crush any opposition to the ruling party and the government. It was real dictatorship.

Leaders of central/state government employees’ unions were also jailed. I wThe emergency prohibited and suppressed all kinds of protests and democratic rights of the people. The newspapers were gagged. Without screening by the government censors, no paper could be published. Meetings, demonstrations – all were prohibited.as taken in to custody twice, but later released. It was difficult even to hold union meetings. There were spies, CBI, CID etc. every where to report any objection to the emergency. Student leaders were arrested and jailed. NFPTE also had to face a lot of victimisation.

The entire opposition parties united to fight against the National Emergency. Thinking that the entire opposition was derailed, Indira Gandhi declared General election in 1977 after about two years of emergency. But she was mistaken. The people who were suffering under emergency ensured that the Congress was utterly defeated. The Janatha government came  to power. The dark days were over.

My own experience: Date: 25th June 1975

I was in the train along with a few other comrades going to Delhi from Kerala to attend a Convention of the Central Government Employees and Workers on 26th June 1975 to chalk out agitation programmes on the urgent demands of the workers. On alighting at New Delhi Railway Station,  we found that there were a large number of police personnel. There was complete silence and people spoke in hushed voices only. Some comrades from Delhi came to us and told that National Emergency has been declared by the Government and it is not safe to stay where our accommodation was arranged. We were taken to the residence of Comrade Jyothirmoy Basu, CPI(M) leader and Member of Parliament. He had already gone underground to escape arrest. After reaching there, our comrades told about the explosive situation under the draconian emergency. We were told not to go outside, to avoid arrest.

However,  I went to No.4, Ashoka Road,which was the bungalow allotted to Comrade A.K.Gopalan, M.P. I met Comrade Narikutty Mohanan there, who was the Delhi correspondent of Deshabhimani, the CPI(M) daily being published from Kerala. Incidentally at that time a call came from Ernakulam Telephone Exchange.There were no mobile phones at that time.Even STD was not available.Every trunk call was to be connected through Telephone Exchange only. It was fortunate that Comrade K.Prabhakaran, well known P and T leader called at that time. Since all press news were completely barred and communications through telephones and fax were all censured, there was no opportunity for Narikutty to give the latest report to the Deshabhimani in Kerala. When Prabhakaran contacted I asked him to connect Deshabhimani and Narikkutty gave detailed report about the declaration of emergency, the list of the arrested leaders and other information. And in the next day in Deshabhimani, all the news came with photos of the arrested leaders and a strong statement of leaders condemning Emergency. I was told later that Com. Narikkutty was taken into custody and questioned, but the police could not find how the news reached Ernakulam Deshabhimani, because there were no records of fax, trunk call etc.

Next day, I walked through Rafi Marg on the side of which is the Mavlankar Auditorium where the CGE convention was to be held. The entire area was cordoned and a large number of police were there.The convention was already banned and the leaders were compelled to cancel it. So the first taste of emergency for me was in Delhi only.

Later, so many leaders of CGE movement were arrested and put in jail till the end of emergency. Com. Prabhakaran was one among them. I was taken in to custody twice during the emergency and questioned a whole night, but was later released. The period of Emergency were black days for the entire country. No criticism of the government or the ruling party was allowed. It was a reign of terror. ‘India is Indira’ became the slogan of the sycophants. People were arrested and jailed without any reason. It was dictatorship. But resistance continued inside and outside.

During Emergency period, myself as Circle President and  Com.T.V.Joseph as Circle Secretary of NFPTE E.III Union, went and met Kerala Chief Minister Shri C.Achutha Menon and requested for grant of parole to Com. V.A.Ouseph, NFPTE leader at Calicut, who was in jail, to attend to his sick mother. CM stated that he has no power in the matter and everything was decided by the Home Minister Shri K.Karunakaran only. We met Sri Karunakaran. When we introduced as representatives of the telecom Union, he became irritated. He cited an incident when a telephone operator refused to extend a trunk call he made to Smt. Indira Gandhi for more than six minutes. He told that ‘where I a Minister at that time, he would have been put in jail immediately.’ He also told that ‘all you union people are to be put in jail.’ We kept smiling, because we were interested in getting bail for Com. Ouseph. Fortunately he was given the parole as requested.

By 1977, Indira Gandhi felt that the situation is under control and election can be held. But her calculation failed. In the 1977 General Elections, Congress was routed out. For the first time in India, a non-congress government came in to power consisting of almost all opposition parties which won with thumping majority. The Shah Commission which was appointed to enquire in to the Emergency excesses gave a true picture of what the nation and the people suffered during the Emergency.  (In the Shah Commission report on Emergency excess, it has been stated that Kerala Government has given parole to the emergency prisoners and cited the case of Com. Ouseph, stating that he was given parole twice. Hundreds of arrested persons were not granted parole even once.)

No Indian wants a recurrence of that draconian Emergency. But what happens at present gives a resemblance to the pre-Emergency days. RSS and Sangh Parivar with the full support of the government attacks the rights of the people to eat what they want, how to dress, whom to love, what to study etc. etc. The trend is similar to what happened in the early days of the Nazi rule under Adolph Hitler. Trade union rights are curtailed; Achieved benefits are taken away. Public Sector Units are sold for a song. Minorities are attacked under the open eyes of the authorities. Moves are afoot for the creation of a rightist Hindu Rashtra. The secular fabric of the nation is being torn and the dark forces are  creating communal tensions.

The National Emergency of  1975-77 and its brutal suppression of people and their rights have not been forgotten. Nobody wants another or similar Emergency and attack on the people. Dark clouds are hovering over the sky. It is only through the determined mighty united struggle of the people that the recurrence of another Emergency can be avoided.

We learn from the past to defend our future!

World Population to increase by 2 billion by 2050 – India will lead in population by 2027 : UN

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A journalist holds a copy of the World Population Prospects 2019:

UNITED NATIONS, June 17 — The world’s population is expected to increase by 2 billion in the next 30 years, from 7.7 billion currently to 9.7 billion in 2050, according to a United Nations report released here on Monday.

The World Population Prospects 2019: Highlights, published by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, said that the world’s population could reach its peak around 2100, at a level of nearly 11 billion.

The report also confirmed that the world’s population is growing older due to increasing life expectancy and falling fertility levels.

The age group of 65 and over grows the fastest and by 2050, one in six people in the world will be over age 65, up from one in 11 in 2019.

The number of countries experiencing a reduction in population size is growing.

Populations are projected to decrease by 1 percent or more in 55 countries or areas, of which 26 may see a reduction of at least 10 percent.

China’s population is projected to decrease by 31.4 million, around 2.2 percent, between 2019 and 2050, the report said.

The report said that India is likely to overtake China as the world’s most populous country around 2027.

Red Salute to Com. Adinarayana, veteran leader of P and T TU Movement!

17th June 2019 is the 16th death anniversary of Comrade K.Adinarayana, veteran leader of the P and T Trade Union Movement. There have been many illustrious leaders of the Posts and Telegraphs Trade Union Movement in the past and present and will be some more in the future. But it is difficult to find another comrade like K. Adinarayana, who had come from the lowest strata and through sincerity, dedication and hard-work had reached the highest leadership both in the P and T and the of Central Government Employees’ movement.

His life has been a saga of struggle and sacrifice. Com.Adi, as he is affectionately called, was involved in mass movements from a very young age which resulted in his discontinuing formal education itself. He was jailed for three and half years during 1950-53 for participation in the great Telangana movement. He joined P and T Department in 1954 as ED. He retired in June 1986 as LSG clerk. From day one of joining the P and T he was in the thick of the movement. He was elected as the General Secretary of Postmen and Class IV Union in 1968 and continued till 1997. He was elected as Secretary General, NFPE in 1992 and vacated the position in 2001 due to ill health.

I had been fortunate to have the opportunity of working together with Com. Adi in the movement for many years, especially after I joined CHQ of All India Telecom Employees Union Class III New Delhi as its President in 1991 and later as its General Secretary from 1994. On all matters of importance I used to consult him and seek his advice. He was suffering from many ailments, but still used to be very active. His residence in the V.P.House was a centre for union leaders to go and discuss issues with him.

He was staying at his ancestral home in Hyderabad after leaving New Delhi. When the sad news of his death reached, along with Coms. C.C.Pillai, then SG NFPE, K.K.N.Kutty, Convener of Confederation and Des Raj Sharma, GS Postmen and Group D Employees, I also went to pay our respects to the departed leader. The body was taken for funeral after we reached there. Hundreds of CG employees, postal workers and others were there. We placed wreaths and paid our homage.

on his 16th death anniversary, I pay homage to Com. K.Adinarayana, whose life was completely dedicated to the cause of the working class.
Red Salute to Com. Adinarayana !

Com. Shiv Gopal Mishra, President, NCCPA, bereaved

It is with great sorrow that we intimate the untimely accidental deaths of close family members of our NCCPA President comrade Shiv Gopal Misra. In a car accident near Bhopal Mrs.Prabhavathi Devi wife of comrade Shiv Gopal Misra; and Ms.Irisha Misra his Grand Daughter met with their demise on 11.06.2019. Shri.Gaurav Misra son of Comrade Shiv Gopal Misra also succumbed to his injuries and breathed his last at Apollo Hospital Delhi, where he was airlifted earlier. The tragedy struck on comrade Shiv Gopal Misra and the loss of so many near and dear kith and kin in an accident is unbearable. We are shocked and deeply saddened. Let nature give solace and strength to comrade Shiv Gopal Misra and his other family members to overcome this unbearable sorrow.

Former advisors of BSNL, Deloitte and KPMG are frauds- charges government.

It is interesting to note that the government is moving the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to debar two companies which are engaged by the BSNL Management in the past, for the revival of BSNL. One is Deloitte and the other is BSR, which is an arm of the KPMG. Both, Deloitte and BSR, had earlier acted as auditors of the Infrastructure leasing and Finance Services (IL& FS). A massive corruption of Rs.95,000 crore has taken place in IL&FS, as a result of which that company has collapsed now. The Corporate Affairs Ministry has alleged that both the Deloitte and BSR (KPMG) have helped in the commitment of Rs. 95,000 crore. Based on the recommendations of Deloitte and KPMG, BSNL Management had taken many steps for the revival of BSNL. Now, all can understand what sort of advise/ recommendations could have been given by these two companies, for the revival of BSNL. (BSNLEU Website)

Homage to Com. Moni Bose on his 9th death anniversary!

19th May 2019 is the 9th death anniversary of Com. Moni Bose, veteran leader of P and T employees and the first patron of BSNLEU. He left us on 19th May 2010.

Since his entry in the the P and T department in 1945, he has been fully engaged with the union activities along with his elder brother and historical figure Com. K.G.Bose. He was terminated in connection with the 1949 strike and was never taken back in service. But his life was fully dedicated to the service of the P and T workers and led the movement as Circle Secretary of E.III Union W.Bengal Circle. In 1991, he was elected as the General Secretary of E.III Union, defeating Com.O.P.Gupta, who has been the GS Of the union since its inception in 1954. Later he was elected as the President in 1994. Com. Moni fought for the correct policy and against revisionism.

I had been closely connected with Com. Moni Bose for more than four decades. After death of Com.K.G.Bose in 1974, the leadership of the progressive section in the union fell upon Com. Moni and he led the movement for years. We were elected All India President and General Secretary in the Bhopal Conference in 1991 and had a close relation in our fight for the right of the workers. Com. Moni returned to Calcutta in 1996 after vacating the post of All India President, but continued his activities there. He was appointed as a member in the Pay Commission appointed by W.Bengal government for the state employees. (Life history of Com. Moni Bose and his activities are narrated in the book ‘Great Leaders of P and T TU Movement’ authored by me).

Moni Bose Day is being observed all over India as per the call of BSNLEU by organisisng meetings, seminars, trade union class etc.

On his 9th death anniversary, we remember him and pay our respects. Red Salute to Com. Moni Bose.

EUROPEAN DOCUMENT AGAINST the PePP: “EUROPEAN PLAN OF PARTICULAR PENSIONS”

THE FIRMING DOWN ORGANIZATIONS ARE POSITIONED AGAINST THE RESULT OF THE VOTE PERFORMED IN THE PLENARY OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT (the one that approved the PEPP) DONE ON APRIL 4, 2019.

It is clear that the PEPP approval (English acronym for Pan-European Personal Pension Product), by the European Parliament, expresses total social cruelty and total evidence of the capitalist interests of the European Union. The European bourgeoisie bets firmly and harshly in defence of their economic interests, of their class interests. They have voted for the privatization of pensions, which will be marketed by banks, insurance companies, fund management and / or investment managers, i.e., the creme de la creme of European financial capitalism.
The vote this morning is clearly expresses what the European Parliament is, what class interests defends and what political role it has. The vote has faithfully reflected the “social” character of the EU. Only the naive, the uninformed and those who, with treachery and premeditation, deceive the citizens of EU countries, can defend the social character of the EU. Today’s vote historically reflexes that the EU was created to defend the interests of the European and that only it represents that bourgeoisie. It was not intended to defend decent public pensions, nor to fight for wage and social equality: it was born to exploit workers and whatever social sectors that are necessary.
The approval by 338 votes in favour, 143 against, and 139 abstentions is a true reflection of the fact that the EU and its Parliament is an institution that only defends, to the extreme, the interests of the powerful. With the approved tax breaks, which is public money, private pensions or retirement plans will be financed, leading to the perversion that public money will not only contribute in a decisive way to finance private pensions, but will also contribute to blow up public pensions, generating more inequality, more poverty and more social misery.
That EU they say was born to increase rights, social improvements and to increase individual and collective opportunities, has been clearly portrayed as the Europe of capital and merchants, completely alienated from the people’s interests and clearly in the service of oligarchic interests.
What class unions call robbery, depletion of public money, exploitation and consequent popular misery, the EU and its instruments call it financial products, which according to them would have “advantages”, such as choosing a pension plan for retirement while contributing, as in an “Austrian backpack”, even when changing residence, or such as providers both nationally and internationally after having contributed for a minimum of five years, etc., all with the strategic objective of channelling savings, i.e. investments, so that the banks and financial institutions are guaranteed an economic pillar that allows them to speculate long term.
To whom is the “PEPP product” preferentially addressed? According to the European Commission, it will be a product suitable for any savings profile, from workers to unemployed or students. It is clear that the recently approved PEPP Regulation has the strategic objective of substituting public pensions by private ones.
Given this evidence, the struggle in defence of public pensions should be increased. We must add the vast majority of society to these struggles. It is clear that only a unified and consistent struggle for clear class interests can be the determining instrument for the defeat of the perfidious and criminal plans of European capitalism against the working class and the popular sectors.

In Europe, May 2019

List of signers:

CPI(M) condemns Pragya Singh’s statement on Nathuram Godse

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) strongly condemns the outrageous statement of BJP candidate from Bhopal Parliamentary Constituency, Pragya Singh Thakur, describing the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi Nathuram Godse: “was a patriot, is a patriot and will remain a patriot….”. Pragya Thakur is a terror accused out on bail on medical grounds.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi described her as “a symbol of India’s civilizational heritage”. By fielding her, the RSS-BJP were seeking to whip up communal polarization and consolidate the ‘Hindutva communal vote bank’. This reflects the RSS-BJP attitude towards terrorism, a terror accused and the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi. The apology she has made, at the behest of the BJP, is an eyewash confirming that she adheres to her position.

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) refrains from approaching the Election Commission of India, on this score, given its recent track record. The Polit Bureau calls upon the Indian people to defeat and reject the BJP in order to safeguard and strengthen the Indian Constitutional Republic.