Tag Archives: AITUC

Crisis of Working Class Politics – Challenges for Rebuilding the Left


In this year of COVID19, the organized ‘working class’ movement completes a hundred years of its history. It was on October 31 1920, that the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), the first central trade union organization, came into being. This might be a good occasion to take stock – to look back into history from what can only be described as a very troubled and difficult present – and peer forward into the future.

Workers, the long trek
Workers – the long trek, Image courtesy, The Wire

The year of COVID19 reveals, among other things, the very fragile and unstable nature of this entity called ‘the working class’ in countries like India. The monstrous situation arising out of the pandemic only provides us the window to that long and endless process by which the ‘working class’ is constantly made and remade. In a very important sense, unlike the peasantry which has a far more stable existence (till, for the requirements of Capital, it is uprooted and thrown into urban labour markets), the working class is an inherently structurally unstable social group. Given that its fate is tied to the requirements, caprices and maneouvres of Capital, the working class is not given to us readymade, once and for all. For as long-term changes in industry and technology occur or capital takes flight in the face of worker militancy, the working class too undergoes changes.

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लाल सलाम कामरेड बर्धन


(Photo : Courtesy – Outlook Magazine)

इत्तेफाक ऐसा था कि 2 दिसम्बर को ही उन्हें सुनने का मौका मिला था।
जोशी अधिकारी इन्स्टिटयूट द्वारा ‘साम्प्रदायिकता की मुखालिफत और जनतंत्र की हिफाजत’ नामक मसले पर आयोजित एक सेमिनार की वह सदारत कर रहे थे। पहले सत्र में प्रोफेसर इरफान हबीब, सईद नकवी, जस्टिस राजिन्दर सच्चर आदि को बात रखनी थी। जब वह मंचासीन थे और बात कर रहे थे तब कुछ पता नहीं चलता था, मगर जब किसी वजह से उन्हें उठना होता था, तब संकेत पाकर पार्टी का कोई कामरेड दौड़ पड़ता था और उनके साथ चलता था।
पहली बार मैंने महसूस किया था कि जिन्दगी के 91 बसन्त पूरे कर चुके उन पर उम्र की छाया अब दिख रही है।

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