Kabeer Katlat

Kabeer Katlat

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Alert! Another sign of humans reaching nearer to ecological catastrophe!
 
Glacier Break Triggers Massive Flood In Uttarakhand, Many Dead!
 
Many people are dead, many more missing, many millions going to be affected, with vast damages to the river sides and structures, along with the animals and remaining trees in a vast region in Uttarakhand after a glacier broke off at Joshimath in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district in an avalanche and massive flooding of the Alaknanda and Dhauliganga rivers on today morning, forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands and destruction of the nearby Rishiganga and NTPC power plants. As the administration serving international corporate capital and the mainstream media owned by the corporate forces or controlled by the corporate fascist government will not come out with real facts even after such human tragedis occur as a result of the incessant aggression on eco-system and bio diversity in even an ecologically sensitive region like Himalayas, we have to wait for the full reports from the freelance journalists reach there in two or three days.
 
The glazier breaking and causing avalanche shows the alarming intensification of ecological destruction in the Himalayan region, in the general condition of increasing Global Warming causing destruction of most of the glaziers in the Antartic and Artic regions. In spite of the vast destruction caused by the June, 2013, heavy rains and floods in the state, least attention was paid for making an ecological study of the region before projects like the one which is washed away now were taken up. As India and China are engaged in huge infra-structure development along the long imalayan borders and deployed huge forces there, both are competing in the ecological destruction of mountain tops. It is in this situation, the Himalayan glaziers have started melting faster than it was predicted. What happened at Chimoli is only the beginning. If immediate plans for ecological protection are not taken up including stopping the projects in the most sensitive areas now taken up, the mining and real estate constructions for religious-tourism, before long more incidents of heavy rains, avalanches following glazier breaking causing vast destruction can be expected more frequently.
 
While expressing condolences to the families of the diseased, the CPI(ML) Red Star would like to say that following the 2013 floods the authorities were warned that most of these calamities are man-made for rabid expansion of accumulation of wealth, and only if the forces responsible for it are removed from power, and a people’s alternative with an alternative development perspective is brought forward the impending ecological catastrophe can be averted.
 
KN Ramachandran
General Secretary
CPI(ML) Red Star
New Delhi
7th February 2021

As glaciers melt in the Himalayas, depriving India and China of summer water supplies; as sea levels rise, drowning the fertile rice fields of Vietnam and Bangladesh; as drought threatens the productivity of grain-producing regions of North America; and as the end of the fossil fuel era impacts modern high-yield agriculture, there is a threat of wide-spread famine involving billions rather than millions of people.

People threatened with famine will become refugees, desperately seeking entry into countries where food shortages are less acute. Wars, such as those currently waged in the Middle East, will add to the problem.

What can we do to avoid this crisis, or at least to reduce its severity? We must urgently address the problem of climate change; and we must shift money from military expenditure to the support of birth control programs and agricultural research. We must also replace the institution of war by a system of effective global governance and enforcible international laws.

Optimum Population in the Distant Future

What is the optimum population of the world? It is certainly not the maximum number that can be squeezed onto the globe by eradicating every species of plant and animal that cannot be eaten. The optimum global population is one that can be supported in comfort, equality and dignity – and with respect for the environment.

In 1848 (when there were just over one billion people in the world), John Stuart Mill described the optimal global population in the following words:

“The density of population necessary to enable mankind to obtain, in the greatest degree, all the advantages of cooperation and social intercourse, has, in the most populous countries, been attained. A population may be too crowded, although all be amply supplied with food and raiment.

“… Nor is there much satisfaction in contemplating the world with nothing left to the spontaneous activity of nature; with every rood of land brought into cultivation, which is capable of

growing food for human beings; every flowery waste or natural pasture plowed up, all quadrupeds or birds which are not domesticated for man’s use exterminated as his rivals for food, every hedgerow or superfluous tree rooted out, and scarcely a place left where a wild shrub or flower could grow without being eradicated as a weed in the name of improved agriculture. If the earth must lose that great portion of its pleasantness which it owes to things that the unlimited increase of wealth and population would extirpate from it, for the mere purpose of enabling it to support a larger, but not better or happier population, I sincerely hope, for the sake of posterity, that they will be content to be stationary, long before necessity compels them to it.”

DR. DWARKANATH SHANTARAM KOTNIS

Remembering Dr. DS Kotnis (1910-1942), an eminent surgeon, outstanding internationalist fighter against fascism, and an enduring symbol of India- China friendship, when people entered the New Year with hopes of peace, and relief from the disease (covid-19), we recall an event of December 30, 1942. Given here is a copy of an elegy hung in a memorial meeting hall in China on that day. It was held to pay tributes to Dr. Kotnis who had died on 9th December 1942.The banner was in Mao Zedong’s own handwriting specially sent for the event.....

 ”Dr. Kotnis, our Indian friend, came to China from afar to assist us in our War of Resistance. He worked for five years in Yan’an and North China, giving medical treatment to our wounded soldiers and died of illness owing to constant overwork. The army has lost a helping hand, and the nation lost a friend. Let us always bear in mind his international spirit.” More than two crore Chinese people, including thousands of military leaders, died in the anti-fascist war. Kotnis was not a big leader either but Mao had specially sent that warm note of tribute  to the “Indian friend” for his “international spirit.”

China then, as also now, greatly valued Kotnis and friendship with India, as seen below: Zhou en-lai, who was to become China’s Premier later, had said: “ Dr. Kotnis is a symbol of friendship between the great Chinese and Indian nations and a shining example of the Indian people, who are taking an active part in our common struggles against Japanese militarism and world fascism. His name will live forever in the hearts of the two great nations to whom he dedicated his life.”  Another prominent Chinese leader, Madame Sun Yat-sen, paid her respects to the revered doctor by saying, “His memory belongs not only to your people and ours but to the noble roll-call of fighters for the freedom and progress of all mankind. The future will honour him even more than the present because it was for the future that he struggled.”

A bronze statue of  Kotnis was formally unveiled in China in Sep 2020, even while the LAC stand-off was the staple news in India.  China on 2020 October 11 commemorated the 110th birth anniversary of Kotnis, who served in China during the Chinese revolution headed by Mao Zedong and the World War II, and saved hundreds of lives. The events were largely ignored by the India media. Remembering  physician  Kotnis acquires importance in India at a time when the medical profession is being gripped by commerce and corporates  fleecing people as well as younger doctors, when jingoism dominates the India media, and when the  present dispensation in Delhi is out to dump this anti-fascist legacy in favor of an alliance with world imperialism,  reaction and fascism, as against China.

 It was exactly three years ago, in a rare gesture, China restored the handwritten calligraphic condolence message that was sent by Mao Zedong to the family of Kotnis. The restored message was handed over to the Solapur museum in 2017 January, Times of India reported.  The document, which has been penned in traditional Mandarin using a special ink, is about 3-ft long and has been made from traditional rice paper. The restoration work by Chinese experts took nearly two weeks.  Explaining the importance of the document, Zheng Xiyuan, consul-general of China in Mumbai said: “The calligraphy artefact sent by Chairman Mao is priceless and shows the historical friendship between the two countries and the regard for Dr Kotnis. (TNN , Jan 8, 2017). Ke Dihua, the Chinese name of kotnis, is a “household name in China”, reported Xinhua 2020-08-24, more than six decades after his death.

70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and India: It may be recalled  that Modi and Xi in their Chennai summit had agreed to celebrate the occasion with year-long events. PM Modi had said, that the  Mahabalipuram  summit (Oct 11-12, 2019) had begun “a New Era of Cooperation between the two countries”. Modi  had famously said, about his summit with Xi Jinping: “We have decided that we would prudently manage our differences without letting them turn into disputes, that we would be sensitive to each other’s’ concerns, and that our relations strive towards world peace and stability.” “The  two sides decided to designate 2020 as year of India-China Cultural and People-to-people Exchanges” and to deepen all-sided relations, Modi had said. 

But it was all forgotten and instead replaced by a hate-China campaign in the Indian media, aided and abetted by Trump and US agencies including its media, and fueled by India’s own hawks.  It is of course only one type of hate campaign the Sangh parivar indulges in, and the Modi regime winks at. Is this the Indian culture and civilization they seek to project? They, including BJP Ministers, rather represent the fascist Hindutva mindset, did not hesitate to call agitating farmers Khalistanis and bracketed them with Left wing extremists. When it boomeranged, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, as part of double talk, said it was not proper to call them that way.

(Dr Bapuji M, January 9, Countercurrents)

Word ‘anti-National’ has been more in vogue form last few years. Simply put all those who are criticizing the RSS and its progeny are labeled as anti-National. As fountainhead of Hindu Nationalism RSS is becoming stronger, it has been trying to link patriotism and religion. While hailing Hindus for their loyalty to this nation, the subtle hints are being circulated about Muslims in particular that they are more loyal to Pakistan.

In cleverly worded articulation, (Hindustan Times, Jan 02, 2020) the chief of RSS, Mohan Bhagwat said that Hindus are patriotic by nature due to their religion.  He also twists a sentence of Gandhi to state that Gandhi’s patriotism had its origin in Hindu religion, “All Indians worship motherland. But Gandhi said my patriotism comes from my religion. So if you are a Hindu then you will be an automatic patriot. You may be an unconscious Hindu, you may need awakening, but a Hindu will never be anti-India.”

Before analyzing the subtle hints hidden in this formulation let’s understand that when RSS began, its major ideologue M.S. Golwalkar was forthright in praising the Nazis and recommended the treatment for Muslims and Christians (Foreign religions, according to RSS) on the lines which were used by Nazis for Jews. Now from last few decades as RSS is becoming more powerful through it multiple organizations like BJP, VHP, ABVP, Vanvasis Kalyan Ashram, and through its infiltration into different wings of state, media and education, it is using more subtle language, while communicating the same  Hindu nationalist ideology. The meaning and content remains the same, which Golwalkar had outlined in ‘We or Our Nationhood Defined’, but the presentation is well decorated, subtle to the extent of confusing many in the society.

As far as Gandhi is concerned, for him religion was a personal matter. He did call himself as sanatani Hindu, but his Hinduism was liberal and inclusive. His religion had more to do with moral values. He derived his spiritual strength from all the religions, “I consider myself as good a Muslim as I am a Hindu and for that matter, I regard myself as equally good a Christian or a Parsi”. (Harijan, May 25 197, page 164).

There is respect and inclusivity for people of other religions in his practice of Hinduism. This is in total contrast to exclusivist, narrow understanding and practice of Hinduism of RSS, which is continuously raking up issues to frighten and intimidate people of other religions.  As Gandhi’s practice of his religion was liberal and inclusive he could lead the people of different religions in the struggle against British rule.

He also did not connect up religion and nationality or for that matter to patriotism. In that sense patriotism, love for one’s country and countrymen, is not rooted in the religion but in the ‘Nationhood’ which is not an outcome of religion for that matter. His use of word religion has two levels. One is the popular notion of customs, identity, faith etc. and second the morality inherent in the teachings of religion. Though he is very clear that morality is the core of religions, the likes of RSS or for that matter even the Muslim communalists (Muslim League etc.) take his use of the word purely at the level of rituals, holy places etc. only.

The ideologues, who are a part of Hindu nationalist outlook, close to RSS mindset, are burning the midnight oil to dig fragments of sentences, not only from Gandhi and other national icons to present as if the values of these makers of ‘India as a nation’ had ideas similar to that of RSS. In the process they retain the RSS ideology while trying to get more legitimacy by showing their similarity to the great icons of India’s freedom movement and the process of ‘India as a nation in the making’.

So now the formulation is that Hindus are naturally patriots, they can’t be anti national. The other side of this is that the nationalism and patriotism of those belonging to other religions is suspect, subject to certification by those who have a monopoly of being patriots and nationalists, those claiming to represent Hindus.

This totally bypasses the great contributions of Muslims and Christians in making of modern India. Where do you place the millions of Muslims who followed Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad who stood not only against British rule but also against the concept of partition of India? Where do you place the likes of Shibli Nomani, Hasrat Mohani, and Ashfaqullah Khan? How do you value the contribution of Allahbaksh who was instrumental in organizing the conference of Muslims to oppose the resolution for separate Pakistan by Mohammad Ali Jinnah? There were innumerable organizations formed by Muslims who rubbed shoulders with participants in the struggle for freedom movement.

In Independent India people of all religions have contributed with equal zeal in making of modern India, in all the fields of industry, education, sports, culture and what have you. Are they not patriots or nationalists?

On the other side this formulation of Mr. Bhagwat is a clever defense of the one trained in its shakhas who murdered Gandhi, Nathuram Godse. How do we label those who participated and led in demolition of Babri Mosque, which was called as a crime by the Supreme Court? As per Bhagwat do acts of killing of Gandhi, Kalburgi, Dabholkar, Gauri Lankesh and Govind Pansare fall in the category of patriotic acts? Where do so many Hindus involved in spying, smuggling, black marketing etc. are to be placed?

Interestingly as RSS is making a show of paying respect to Gandhi, at the same time its trained pracharaks and fellow ideologues and many of its affiliated organizations are openly paying respect to Nathuram Godse. This Gandhi anniversary tweets praising Godse were aplenty, mostly from Hindus. That just shows the ideological manipulation capability of the multithreaded hydra, RSS. Only such an organization can simultaneously make the show of paying obeisance to Gandhi while quietly enhancing the ideology which led to his murder. n

 

The state of UP is in the grips of the draconian law called Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020. This ordinance is essentially based on the conspiracy theory of the Hindu nationalists that Hindu women are seduced or lured by Muslim men in order to covert them to Islam under the pretext of marriage. While the claim is not supported by even a shred of evidence in terms of official data about such conversions, the UP government has been relentless in its propagation of falsehood. The ordinance attracts imprisonment of upto 10 years and is a non-bailable offence. Under the ordinance, any inter-faith couple has to apply to the District Magistrate two months prior to marriage in case the woman wants to convert before the wedding. This ordinance is draconian because ever since it came into effect from 28th November, 2020, it is used as a weapon to target Muslim men and their families and the Hindu women who have exercised their agency and fundamental right to marry out of their own choice. Thus, that apart from being primarily anti-Muslim, this law is detrimental to the agency of women in general is a mute point.

The UP government has sufficiently demonstrated that this law is used arbitrarily to violate the fundamental rights of inter-faith couples. 11 cases have been made out under this law up to 21st December and 34 persons arrested so far- all telling a tale of discrimination, misery of ordinary citizens who dared to live and love on their own terms and blatant acts which undermine constitutional values (The Wire, 2020). Marriages between consenting adults have been stopped, couples separated and one such victim even lost her unborn child to this politics of hatred. Let us go through some of these cases to understand how this law is implemented and affected the lives of the couples which fall prey to it. These cases are compiled from different media reports that appeared in newspapers and alternate media.

Stopping Marriages Between Consenting Adults

The Uttar Pradesh police, on December 2, stopped a wedding between a 24-year-old Muslim man and a 22-year-old Hindu woman in Lucknow’s Duda Colony. The ceremony was to be solemnised as per Hindu rituals and had the consent of both families. The police, who were acting on a complaint by a vigilante group, Rashtriya Yuva Vahini asked the couple to seek the district magistrate’s nod for their marriage. The couple didn’t intend to convert. The mother of the woman said, “It is no one’s business whom my daughter gets married to. We have lived in a mixed colony all our lives and have been friends with Muslims. Then, why can’t my daughter get married to a Muslim? He does not want her to convert either… I don’t know who complained to the police or if they acted on their own”. (Rehman, 2020)”

In another incident, on receiving a phone call that a Muslim man was marrying a Hindu woman after converting her, police stopped a marriage in Kushinagar and questioned the groom and the bride, both Muslims. The allegation turned out to be false and the couple got married the next day. The man, 39-year-old Haider Ali, has alleged that the police personnel beat him up with a leather belt and tortured him for hours at the Kasya Police Station.

On Tuesday afternoon, Shabeela and I got married. After the ceremony, a small party was on when a police team arrived and said there had been no nikaah. They wouldn’t listen to anything and took us to the police station around 7.30 pm. There they let the cleric go after he changed his statement and said the nikaah wasn’t final yet”, said Ali. While the watchman of Ali’s village Gurmiya in Kushinagar, Mushtaqeem Ali, admitted making the call on a tip-off by some Hindu youths, a local social activist who facilitated the wedding, Arman Khan, claimed a few Hindu Yuva Vahini members had “interrogated” the couple before the police arrived (Mishra, 2020).

Applying the Law in Retrospect

Any law is applied to the crimes which take place after the law comes into effect. A law can’t be applicable to the incidents that took place before the law came into force. Such application is against the spirit of law and justice. However, in the case of this ordinance, it is observed that the ordinance was applied to the marriages that took place even before the ordinance came into effect.

On 5th December, the police arrested seven persons under the anti-conversion law in Sitapur for allegedly abducting a 19-year-old woman. However, the case was filed on 26th November, two days after the alleged crime and two days before the law was notified, on a complaint by the girl’s father. On November 26th, the woman’s father got an FIR registered against seven people, including his neighbour Jibrail, on the charge of kidnapping his daughter. Citing some local residents, the father told the police that she had been converted to Islam (Sahu, 2020).

In the infamous Moradabad incident, 22 years old Rashid and his 25 years old brother, Saleem were arrested and released only after two weeks when Rashid’s wife, Pinki gave testimony that she had married him willingly without any force. Rashid and Pinki were on their way to have their marriage registered on December 5 when they were accosted by alleged Bajrang Dal men, who accused Rashid of “love jihad”, and took them to the police. Saleem was with them at the time. While Rashid and Saleem were arrested, Pinki was sent to a shelter home. Pinki repeatedly told the media, the police and the court that she had married Rashid willingly and wanted to live with Rashid family. Ironically, the couple had got married in July, well before the law came into force but were only registering their marriage in December. They were apprehended by Bajrang Dal vigilantes. The vigilantes brought Pinki’s family to the police station. While the police remained mute spectators, the vigilantes harassed the couple and questioned them. Pinki suffered a miscarriage in this incident. Rashid reported, “I told the Bajrang Dal men my wife is pregnant, but they hurled abuses at us. They dragged us to a police station and called my in-laws. We were then locked up and sent to a quarantine centre. I wasn’t able to meet my wife.” (Rehman & Sinha, The Indian Express, 2020).

Witch-hunting of the Muslims

In Etah, the UP police have booked Mohammad Javed and his entire family of 11 members including three women. Javed’s wife was a Hindu and had converted over a month back and married Javed. The FIR was based on the complaint filed by the father of the woman who received a letter from Javed’s lawyer informing him their marriage and the wife’s conversion. Six family members of Javed have been arrested and five are “absconding”. A reward of INR 25,000 has been announced on each of the 5 accused (Lavania, 2020).

This law has the potential to be misused to implicate Muslim youth under questionable circumstances or for vested interests.

In a separate incident, the superintendent of police in Shahjahanpur said that a Muslim youth identified as Mohammad Saeed, was arrested on charges of allegedly sexually exploiting a woman after concealing his religion. The police said that the man, who was booked for rape and extortion, was also accused of taking intimate pictures of the woman and blackmailing her. In addition to forcing her to give him money, he had recently also started threatening her to marry him by forcibly trying to convert her, the police said. Vishwa Hindu Parishad office bearer Rajesh Awasthi went to the police station along with the woman to lodge a complaint against 12 people, including the qazi who solemnised the marriage, police said.

In Kannuaj too, a case was registered against a Muslim man for marrying a Hindu girl allegedly through a fraudulent Hindu identity. A complaint was registered after a man alleged that his daughter was married through fraud using a fake name. A group of BJP leaders reportedly also accompanied the complainant to the police station and assured to help the father (The Wire, 2020).

Blatant Discrimination

The UP police are seen to be implementing the law selectively. In Bareilly, police did not entertain the complaint of a father that his daughter had married a Hindu man after conversion. Police said they went by the woman’s testimony that she got married in September before the law came into force. Here in contrast to the Moradabad incident where the husband, Rashid was Muslim, in Bareilly, the husband was a Hindu. Thus the police didn’t press charges whereas in the Moradabad case, Rashid and his brother Saleem were arrested. Shahid Mian, the father of 22-year-old Alisha, lodged an FIR at Prem Nagar police station in Bareilly stating that his daughter had been kidnapped by three persons, including the owner of a firm where she had worked. Besides Siddharth Saxena alias Aman (24), who married Alisha, the FIR named his sister Chanchal, who was her colleague at a private firm, and the firm’s owner Manoj Kumar Saxena. In the FIR, the father claimed that on December 1st, his daughter left home “to collect pending dues from her office” and did not return. Finding her phone switched off, Mian said, he went to the office and met Saxena who did not provide any information. Mian claimed that Aman used to pressure his daughter for marriage, which led to her stop going to work. He accused Manoj Kumar and Anchal of putting pressure on Alisha to marry Aman. While in Bareilly, the policemen dropped Alisha back at Saxena’s house, in the case of Moradabad, Pinki was sent in a remand home where she suffered a miscarriage (Sahu, Indian Express, 2020).

Nexus Between Police and Vigilantes

In most of the cases, the role of the Hindu nationalists and vigilantes is very prominent. They are giving tip offs to the families or police or fearlessly apprehending the couples as seen in the above cases. They are also in some cases instigating the parents of the Hindu women or even forcing them to lodge complaints against the Muslim family. What is appalling but predictable is that the police have given the vigilantes a free hand to intimidate the couples and the families with complete impunity. While the vigilantes openly indulge in violence against the couples in the presence of the police, the police remain mute spectators leaving the couples at the mercy of the vigilantes. This is an alarming precedent or trend given that the police are vested with the duty to maintain law and order and protect innocent citizens. But in this case, it is operating hand in gloves with the ruling dispensation and the non-state actors enjoying political patronage.

Conclusion

The anti-conversion ordinance is a beating stick in the hands of the ruling dispensation in Uttar Pradesh to target the Muslims and women who dare to exercise their agency. While the various high courts have ruled that choosing one’s life partner is a fundamental right guaranteed under the constitution, the state of UP is relentless in destroying constitutional propriety. The vigilantes are powerful in intimidating the innocent couples. Other BJP ruled states are bringing in similar laws which are institutionalizing discrimination and violation of fundamental rights including freedom of religion and right to life.

(Secular Perspective December 16-31, 2020)

Introduction

The workers’ issues are widely discussed in India before many years. , we are not noticing the widespread unrest among the workers for their rights and needs. This does not mean that the workers are getting their wages and are assured of their rights. But in contradiction, the exploitation is increasing day by day. It is due to the overexploitation and coercion going on in the industries that prevents the voices of the workers frombeing  heard outside. But these issues are getting unnoticed by the people.

Even in the year of 2021, when the modernization is claimed to have reached its zenith, the workers and women are getting exploited and abused in factories. Recently, we were able to notice the arrest of NodeepKaur, a workers’ activist charging non-cognizable offence. She was sent to judicial custody for 14 days. That is why, we, the members of AIRSO and AIRWO, headed for a fact study of the issue to recognize the rights violations that occurred in the issue.

We are acknowledging the efforts of NCHRO in creating a fact-finding report, which helped us to get a lot of information. It also served as a source of reference.

Background of Kundli

Kundli is an industrial block of Sonepat, Haryana, in which, there are more than 2 lakh workers, who are working in almost 1,800 industries. These industries produce a wide variety of products ranging from food products to steel. It is a site of Haryana from which, a lot of export takes place. Most of the workers in Kundli Industrial Area are migrant laborers from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha. Most of those migrant laborers are from minority communities or from dalits and backward communities.

During this COVID-19 period, the closure of these industries led to a mass movement of workers back to their hometowns and villages. It was a condition of mass unemployment for these workers. But after some months, when the industries opened most of them came back and started working.

We have already seen the background from which workers come. They are really poor and landless in their homelands. The caste and class barriers forced them to migrate to find a good living. Beyond the unjust wages, they also face health problems, working in the industry. Due to lack of rest intervals and long working hours, many of the workers have problem in vision. There are a lot of women too, who are unduly treated and discriminated in the industry. They are also not provided a hygienic living environment. They are paid less wages and are forced to work for hours than others. Even they were abused, sexually and mentally by the company management.

Their wages are lower than 6,000/ month even though the minimum wages fixed by Haryana state is 9,458/ month (as on 01/07/2020) for the unskilled laborers. Even they don’t receive there is a huge delay in the payment of the wages. These issues occur on a regular basis in the industrial area.

The workers are not allowed to form unions by the management and owners. They try their maximum to stop any kind of unionization. There is an organization of the owners and managers, namely, KIA (Kundli Industrial Association), which acts as a barrier for them to form unions. This organization is registered under HSDIIC for maintaining the issues of the factory workers. They proclaim themselves to be one of the most progressive industrial associations. But the reality is different. When they use security team/bouncers for suppressing any kind of struggle in the industry, the workers find themselves in a situation of insecurity. Even before a year, there was an allegation that the response of the team, when contacted for any problem resolution is really bad. They mistreat the people who contact them for resolving issues. KIA has a Quick Response Team (QRT), which responds to the stress calls made by the company management. A report from Groundxero says “The sole purpose of the QRT is to intimidate workers and quash any attempts at building unions, a constitutionally guaranteed right of every worker, through brute force and violence.”

In this situation, Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan that was established in 2016 strives to unite the workers in Kundli for their rights. MAS was active from 2018. This is the base of the class relations between the workers and the owners and management in the Kundli industrial area.

Struggle for Due Wages and Suppression

The struggle for getting the unpaid wages to be paid began a month ago. They didn’t go for protest, in the beginning. But later, they started organizing and striking for their wages. It was done in a peaceful manner. Till date, a sum total of 5 lakh rupees were given to 250 workers as a result of their continuous struggle. But it was not sufficient for all. They went on with their struggle. The QRT reacted to this issue. On 22nd December, 2020, the workers organized under the leadership of MAS and protested at a steel factory. That day, the bouncers came to suppress the struggle. But they failed due to the support from the struggling farmers. The MAS sent letters to the company regularly on their wage issue and also demanded their wages to be paid. At that time only, the company paid them the above mentioned 5 lakh rupees.

On 28th December, 2020, the bouncers from QRT attacked the workers, who marched for their wages. They abused the workers who took part in the march. Later, on 12th January, 2021, a fight took place between the QRT members and the workers at Company Address, M/S Elc mech Pvt. Ltd. Plot N0.349 PH-4, Sector-57 HSIDC, KUNDLI. There was gunfire by the QRT bouncers against the workers. The KIA argues that the QRT members fired in self defence against the sticks and lathis used against them. The FIR is silent about this fact. The police, without enquiring about these matters, charged Section 148, i.e., Rioting with deadly weapon against NodeepKaur, who was a leader of the protest. The FIR states that, on 12th January, 2021, 11:00AM, the workers peeped into the factory and demanded wages. The accountant, Mr. LalitKhurana stated that they were taken away from the factory by the guards. They called the police and the police came immediately. As per the FIRs, there were around 50 people, of which, 2-3 women also were present. The report also says that the workers also injured the police. But the FIR is silent about the people who got injured.

Reading the FIR, what we felt was that it was just one-sided. It doesn’t account the arguments or allegations of any of the workers’ representatives. The wokers lament fully says that NodeepKaur was forcefully taken away from the mass that got dispersed to save themselves from the police violence. She was presented before the magistrate and was remanded for 14 days. She was charged Sections 148(Rioting with deadly weapons), 149 (Unlawful Assembly), 186 (Obstructing Public Servant), 307 (Attempt to Murder), 323 (Voluntarily Causing Hurt), 332, 353(Assault on Public Servant), 379B (Theft), 384 (Extortion), 452(House Trespass), 506(Criminal Intimidation).

It is really shocking that Nodeepkaur is facing violence in the jail. As per the statement of RajveerKaur, Nodeep’s elder sister, given to us, Nodeep’s shoulders were injured, blood was coming from her feet and also there is suspicion that she was sexually assaulted. Even the FIRs of this case are not published in the website. These issues pose a big challenge to the common people in accessing these resources.

That is why we went to the police station on 22nd January, 2021, 3:07PM and enquired about the issue. There were three people, of which, two were in police uniform and one was in civil dress. We went to get detailed information on the issue. We demanded to talk with SHO but they refused. With the two policemen, we spoke the matters, but in between, the man in civil dress, spontaneously, jumped towards our team member, Mr. ShishuRanjan and suddenly, rebuked him and told him to leave. Even he was to apply force. That time, our team member, Mrs. Urmila stood in between and he stopped his attempt. We were not given any information on this and were asked to go.

We took the SHO’s mobile number and called him. He was busy and told us to call later. Then we tried many times, but there was no response. Then we talked with the workers at Kundli. They told us that, we could not rescue our leader from getting arrested.

The Payment of wages Act of Haryana govt. is inadequate in protecting these workers. There is law to protect only the workers who are paid under Rs. 1600 per month. The law provides that all the wages should be paid within a week after the expiry of the period. Therefore, the erroneous laws are also to be changed so that the workers’ justice can be ensured.

Conclusion and Demands

What we understand from this issue is that this is a reckless assault on womanhood, workers and entire humanity. That is why; we have to resist this move with full strength as soon as possible. These issues clearly reveal the corrupt and prejudiced nature of the Haryana Police. What happened in Kundli was a clear expression of misogynistic brutality. So we want all kinds of exploitation of workers and women to be ceased. Even the Supreme Court remarks on women in the farmers’ issue was also extremely patriarchic. The new amended labour codes are also exploitative. That is why; it is an urgent need to curb all kinds of assaults that take place against the workers and women. We are placing in front of you the following demands:

a         Release NodeepKaur and take back all the false charges against her immediately.

a         Take legal action against the members of KIA, who took part in the violence.

a         Immediately make adequate legislations for ensuring the workers’ rights.

a         Repeal all the anti-worker labour codes.

Members of the Team : ShishuRanjan, Member, AIRSO, New Delhi, Niranjan K S, Member, AIRSO, New Delhi,,Urmila, All India Vice President, AIRWO, Pramod Kumar, Member, AIRSO, Chhattisgarh

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The Communist movement in India has a history of almost a century after the salvos of October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to the people of India who were engaged in the national liberation struggle against the British colonialists. It is a complex and chequered history.