You Say You Want A Revolution – Film Review


Sanjay Kak’s new documentary is a love song to people across the country fighting to save our soul. Saroj Giri takes a first look

SAROJ GIRI

11-05-2013, Issue 19 Volume 10

2 / 2
Director’s cut: Sanjay Kak

Gandhi taught us that while a political or public victory is possible in war, it however degrades you as a moral being. Think of, say, the Rwandan genocide or the Bosnian conflict. Going by this, the Adivasi Maoists involved in a war in Chhattisgarh, should come across as utterly degraded beings caught in a spiral of violence. With a scribe and a camera in front of them, they should’ve started wailing about their miseries, pleading for exit from the hellish war.

Indeed, what kind of a filmmaker is it who comes back with news that something beautiful and forward-looking is flowering precisely in the midst of all the war and conflict? For God’s sake, why is he not talking about ‘conflict resolution’ or making the Maoists surrender arms, or restoring the government’s writ in the ‘red corridor’ and initiating ‘development’, and so on?

Instead Red Ant Dream — filmmaker Sanjay Kak’s new documentary — starts with Bhagat Singh declaring that “the state of war does exist and shall exist”. The viewer is already pushed to think: what is this war, which goes back to Bhagat Singh and is not just the ongoing war between the armed guerrillas and the security forces?

Brecht once asked what is the robbing of a bank compared to the founding of a bank. Or as one old saying goes, the law catches the thief who steals the geese off the land, but lets off the bigger thief who captures the land off the geese. Banks and law, among other things, are part of a class war, but they are perceived as normal functioning, business as usual. There is no class war, we are told, only peace and democracy. There is no real structural inequality, only asymmetrical life chances or bad luck for some. There is no corporate land grab, only development and growth, without which India will be left out in the global arena.

Everything is nice, everything is fine, except for some exceptions here and there, some terrorists or violent guerrillas! What we have then is a social order constituted by war, but where the war never appears as war as such, appearing instead as peace and/or democracy, or simply ‘growth’. Because of this, revolutionaries who accept that this war exists and take sides are easily smeared as violent, or as terrorists, as immoral. This film challenges this narrative and establishes that revolutionaries open up real utopian possibilities through war, and renders the existing order less impenetrable, less unchallengeable than it appears. It intimately moves along the pregnant fissures and faultlines revolutionaries have patiently furrowed in the belly of the beast.

Red Ant Dream maps the ongoing dirty war over mineral resources. It opens with big dumper trucks ferrying goods, ores and minerals, with big dusty factories in the background. Next, it sets up the ‘two sides’: armed guerrillas in the forest and severe looking security forces. War over resources morphs into the war between these two sides: this is the purported, perhaps intended, frame within which the film signals its unfolding.

But as the film unfolds, it becomes clear that there are no two sides, since they simply do not mirror each other. The guerrillas come across not as warmongering soldiers but, to use Rasta-speak, as souljas, or, in Gandhi-speak, as moral beings. They are not just opposing the enemy. Real opposition is achieved only when you are no longer determined by the conditions set by the enemy you are fighting. The film brings us signs of a real freedom and emancipation, where the Maoists are pointing to a different social order, a different way of relating and approaching life.

Far from being merely one ‘side’ in a dirty war, the Adivasi and the jungle become a metaphor for a rupture and a utopian stirring. From deep within the jungle, a voice emerges: violence is a structural feature built into our hierarchical, oppressive and rotten society. It feels like an infinite judgement on the present order. It refuses to be an ‘opposition voice’, refuses to engage in the rhetoric of ‘democratic opposition’ or the ‘struggle for hegemony’, and instead heralds the dissolution of this order

And then it is the Bhumkal festival. Here the many red flags amidst Adivasi drumbeats and brightly costumed dancers and ‘Gandhians with a gun’ will leave the middle class red radical riveted to the screen. It feels like a dream where you go and touch that other world of freedom. The Adivasi leader Gundadhur is celebrated amidst calls for “death to imperialism” and “long live the new democratic revolution”. You forget that in the melee of the crowds are women People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) soldiers with guns dancing to the drums. Weren’t these soldiers supposed to be atop watchtowers?

There is then, in effect, no two sides, only one side — the side of revolution and life. The big companies live through loot and plunder, through exploitation and terror, trying to live off our land, lives and resources. They, as the Niyamgiri Adivasis explain, only have the pot with boiling water, but “the rice is with us”. And so if we don’t give them the rice and what we have in our mountains, “they are in trouble”. In other words, they need us, we don’t need them.

The philosopher Alain Badiou reminds us that there aren’t two worlds, one of the capitalists and another of the oppressed and marginalised. We must claim that there is only one world and it is all ours: “Ek baag nahi, ek khet nahi, hum saari duniya maangenge”. The same voice is heard from the Adivasis of Niyamgiri, Lakhpadar, Muniguda and beyond, to the activists in Punjab upholding the legacy of Bhagat Singh, and Pash, the poet of revolutionary dreams.

And yet, in the meantime, there are ‘two sides’, for there is a war. Hence the enemy enlists the poor in its ranks, in the army and, worse, you have the Salwa Judum, which has many ordinary Adivasis in its ranks. You see state propaganda videos in which Mahendra Karma (a founder of the vigilante militia) tells us that Salwa Judum is a spontaneous uprising of the Adivasis against Naxalites. And then goes on to boast about the support of the government and the police!

In Red Ant Dream, we see rare footage from the training camps of the Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare College in Kanker. We hear about plans for the “creeping reoccupation of territory” from the Maoists and establishing the writ of the government. “Towards this aim,” we learn, “the entire spectrum of national power must be mobilised with the security forces at the forefront.” There’s also Maoist video footage that documents torture by security forces.

Overall, the film’s strength is that it wants to go beyond the spatial specificity of the Adivasi struggle as an indigenous movement (in this forest, against this particular mining company, and so on) and tease out a wider revolutionary left current. Hence its basic orientation is not one of romanticising the Adivasi way of life.

There is, however, one major tension in Red Ant Dream: in the way it presents industrialisation and modernity. The factories and plants are rightly presented as scary and oppressive. The long shot visuals of the industrial plants conjure up this image. But then these industries appear as an absolutely repressive deadweight thing and not as constituted by internal social relations (of capital exploiting labour), not as internally riven by class struggle. Hence the fact that there are potential allies of the Adivasis inside those factories — the workers — does not get taken seriously. Or, for example, that striking Maruti workers could be (potential) allies of displaced Adivasis. This would require an inside-out close-up of the industrial plant so that displaced Adivasis and workers can be seen together to form the proletariat — the properly communist perspective. The proletariat demands the whole world, and not just the protection of its own habitat (jal, jangal, jameen).

The film does come close to exploring this dimension. At one point, there is a conversation with two workers of the Vedanta mining company. They are in solidarity with the Adivasi villagers but still work for the hated company. They know that the company exploits them, that the real wealth is in the mountains and not in the city. But they have to work in the factory since they have no other way to feed their family. The jal, jangal, jameen option is not available to them. So what will be their terms of solidarity with those Adivasis who can revert to their jal, jangal, jameen and who want the company out? Only a wider movement can address these questions.

Another tension is with regards to the use of Bhagat Singh’s legacy. Here ‘anti-imperialism’ seems overloaded with nationalist or patriotic fervour. So the three men shouting “bagawat, bagawat, bagawat” to defend and “give our life for the nation” would surely run counter to the Adivasis in Niyamgiri who want to question the nation itself. Those upholding the legacy make tall promises about sacrifice and revolution. This contrasts with the fighting guerrillas who make no such claims.

At another level, the convergence of rebels and forests in the film is of wider provenance. The movie Pan’s Labyrinth has the little girl running away from the fascists only to find support from the rebels in the forests. Here again the fascists are parasitic and vampirish while the rebels stand for the rupture of the status quo, for life and a brighter future. The rebels seem a realisation of the freedom the girl always yearned for. Or think of Satyajit Ray’s Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne, when the dancing spirits of the forest offer boons to Goopy and Bagha. These boons set them on a fantasmatic high, give them a footing as it were to critique or reject existing society for its harshness and inequalities: the impossible becomes possible.

Unlike these movies, there is nothing oracular in the Red Ant Dream: here, the fantastic is snatched from the jaws of reality, of war and class struggle, through patient work among the masses. The imposed reality of war is turned around into the possibility of a better society: what else can be more fantastic!

Red Ant Dream will be screened at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, on 7 May

letters@tehelka.com

(Published in Tehelka Magazine, Volume 10 Issue 19, Dated 11 May 2013)

Saroj Giri     

24  2  0 Tumblr0   – See more at: http://tehelka.com/you-say-you-want-a-revolution/#sthash.12IqeVad.zT4oA5dV.dpuf

 

#India-Online campaign to save George Orwell’s birth home #ancientmonument


IANS

Fed up with assurances that have made little difference, residents of Motihari town in Bihar, birthplace of legendary British author George Orwell, have gone online seeking support for the conservation of the house the author was born in.

“In a bid to mobilise support for the conservation of the birthplace of George Orwell, we have launched a new initiative online to inform people and offer those interested a platform to know more about the ground reality,” Debapriya Mukherjee, a senior Rotarian in Motihari, told IANS on Sunday.

Mukherjee said that Rotary Motihari Lake Town has launched a website on the birthplace of George Orwell called www.birthplaceofgeorgeorwell.org.

“It is the first of its kind to help conserve George Orwell’s birthplace,” he said.

After being neglected for decades, the website may aid efforts to conserve George Orwell’s birthplace, Mr. Mukherjee said.

According to him, the ancestral house of George Orwell now lies dilapidated, and stray cattle graze in its premises.

Another local resident, Somnath Singh said that it was unfortunate that despite the Bihar Government’s declaration of the house as a protected site a few years ago, nothing had changed.

“The house is in poor shape. It may collapse if not renovated,” Mr. Singh said.

Earlier this year, the state government announced that it would prepare a blueprint to turn the crumbling single—storey house in East Champaran’s Motihari town, about 300 km from here, into a museum.

Orwell is the cult author of classics such as “Animal Farm” and “1984”, which painted a grim ‘Orwellian’ picture of a future totalitarian society where ‘big brother’ was always watching.

Successive governments have done little to capitalise on the tourism potential of house in which the author was born.

Two years ago, the state government had issued a notification declaring the building a protected site. The notification for its protection had been issued under the provisions of the Ancient Monuments (Protection) Act, 1976.

According to district officials, Orwell’s birthplace was mainly targeted by encroachers, who have been damaging it.

Orwell was born Eric Arthur Blair in 1903 at Motihari near India’s border with Nepal. His father, Richard Blair, worked as an agent of the opium department of the Indian Civil Service during British rule. The house has been lying neglected for decades, and now serves as a shelter for stray animals and vagabonds. A small portion was taken over by the State Government and a schoolteacher now lives there.

It has been reported time and again that the roof line has caved in, and a large grapefruit tree has undermined the southern wall.

Only the stone floor looks solid, though it cracked during an earthquake that almost levelled Motihari in 1934.

At present, there is nothing to tell visitors that this modest two-room house was where Orwell spent the first few months of his life, tended to by his mother, Ida, and an Indian maid.

Orwell and his mother left for Britain soon afterwards. – IANS

‘Prime Minister to announce UID-Aadhar linked bank accounts’


 

 

INDIAKumardeep, BloombergUTV.Aug 3, 2012, 12:40PM IST

 

PM to announce UID-Aadhar linked bank accounts

The government will need to step up spending to negate the impact of the drought. However, in a fiscally constrained year, it is going to have to ensure minimum leakages in subsidy payouts.

 

Bloomberg UTV has learnt that the Prime Minister is likely to announce a UID-Aadhar linked bank account scheme around his annual Independence Day speech.

According to sources, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh may announce the scheme around August 15. “The scheme will be implemented on pan-India basis,” they added.

Sources further said that cash subsidies will be directly transferred to these accounts. “Rs 3 lakh crore of cash subsidies will go through banks and is likely to kick off end of the year.”

 

A long shadow: Nazi doctors, moral vulnerability and contemporary medical culture #SundayReading


 

Animated map showing German and Axis allies' c...

Animated map showing German and Axis allies’ conquests in Europe throughout World War II (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

ABSTRACT
More than 7% of all German physicians became members of the Nazi SS during World War II, compared
with less than 1% of the general population. In so doing,these doctors willingly participated in genocide,
something that should have been antithetical to the values of their chosen profession. The participation of
physicians in torture and murder both before and after World War II is a disturbing legacy seldom discussed in medical school, and underrecognised in contemporary medicine. Is there something inherent in being
a physician that promotes a transition from healer to murderer? With this historical background in mind, the
author, a medical student, defines and reflects upon moral vulnerabilities still endemic to contemporary
medical culture.

 

Read full article here genocide

 

 

 

Hitler a coke head who farted uncontrollably- Medical Documents


PTI,  May 8,2012

Washington: Adolf Hitler was apparently a coke head who farted uncontrollably, ingested some 28 drugs at a time and received injections of bull testicle extracts to bolster his libido.

It’s a whole other side to the Nazi dictator, whose poor health condition was revealed in medical documents that are now up for auction online at Alexander Historical Auctions of Stamford.

Bidding for the documents – which include ten X-rays of various views of the dictator’s skull, the results of several electroencephalogram (EEG) tests and sketches of the inside of his nose – ends Tuesday and Wednesday. The cache consists of a 47-page account compiled by his six chief physicians, each specializing in different areas of treatment, and of a 178-page report dated June 12, 1945, which was compiled by Dr Erwin Giesing, while he was interned by US forces.

'Hitler used cocaine, had fart problem'

The US military commissioned the medical reports provided by Hitler’s personal doctors, Bill Panagopulos, president of Alexander Autographs the New York Daily News. Among the more surprising notes, Autographs said, was that the “Mein Kampf ” madman used powdered cocaine extensively to soothe his sinuses and throat, and was also prone to passing gas. In the attempt to control it, the Nazi dictator regularly ingested up to 28 drugs, including “anti-gas” pills which containing strychnine, a poison , “which probably explains his stomach pains”, he said.

Hitler also used chamomile plants as a “cleansing enema” , the reports said. One of the doctors reported that the Mein Kampf madman received injections of extracts of seminal vesicles, testis and prostata of young bulls.

“Morrell believes that Hitler, although not strongly inclined to sexual activity, did have sexual intercourse with Eva Braun, though they were accustomed to sleep in separate beds,” said one of the papers.
The medical reports are expected to fetch as much as USD 2,000 each.

Nuclear Events in Ancient India



Evidence at Mohenjo-Daro

When excavations of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro reached the street level, they discovered skeletons scattered about the cities, many holding hands and sprawling in the streets as if some instant, horrible doom had taken place. People were just lying, unburied, in the streets of the city.

And these skeletons are thousands of years old, even by traditional archaeological standards. What could cause such a thing? Why did the bodies not decay or get eaten by wild animals? Furthermore, there is no apparent cause of a physically violent death. These skeletons are among the most radioactive ever found, on par with those at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

At one site, Soviet scholars found a skeleton which had a radioactive level 50 times greater than normal. Other cities have been found in northern India that show indications of explosions of great magnitude. One such city, found between the Ganges and the mountains of Rajmahal, seems to have been subjected to intense heat.

Huge masses of walls and foundations of the ancient city are fused together, literally vitrified! And since there is no indication of a volcanic eruption at Mohenjo-Daro or at the other cities, the intense heat to melt clay vessels can only be explained by an atomic blast or some other unknown weapon. The cities were wiped out entirely.

While the skeletons have been carbon-dated to 2500 BC, we must keep in mind that carbon-dating involves measuring the amount of radiation left. When atomic explosions are involved, that makes then seem much younger.

 Giant Unexplained Crater Near Bombay

by David Hatcher Childress

Nexus Magazine

Another curious sign of an ancient nuclear war in India is a giant crater near Bombay. The nearly circular 2,154-metre-diameter Lonar crater, located 400 kilometers northeast of Bombay and aged at less than 50,000 years old, could be related to nuclear warfare of antiquity.

 No trace of any meteoric material, etc., has been found at the site or in the vicinity, and this is the world’s only known “impact” crater in basalt. Indications of great shock (from a pressure exceeding 600,000 atmospheres) and intense, abrupt heat (indicated by basalt glass spherules) can be ascertained from the site.

A Nuclear Catastrophe in Paleoindian Times?

by Richard B.Firestone and William Topping

Terrestrial Evidence of a Nuclear Catastrophe in Paleoindian Times
The Mammoth Trumpet, 16:9, March 2001. Cr. C. Davant III.

This off-mainstream journal is published by the Center for the Study of the First Americans, 355 Weniger Hall, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331-6510.

 Introduction

We introduce here a remarkable theory of terrestrial catastrophism that seems to be supported by evidence that is equally remarkable. One of the authors of this theory (RBF) is identified as a nuclear scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley Nuclear Laboratory.

The second author (WT) is a consultant. The authors’ credentials seem so good that we must take a close look at their extraordinary claims concerning a natural phenomenon that they believe reset radiocarbon clocks in north-central North America and – potentially – elsewhere on the planet.

The claims

In the authors’ words: Our research indicates that the entire Great Lakes region (and beyond) was subjected to particle bombardment and a catastrophic nuclear irradiation that produced secondary thermal neutrons from cosmic ray interactions. The neutrons produced unusually large quantities of ^239 Pu and substantially altered the natural uranium abundances (^235 U/^238 U) in artifacts and in other exposed materials including cherts, sediments, and the entire landscape.

These neutrons necessarily transmuted residual nitrogen (^ N) in the dated charcoals to radiocarbon, thus explaining anomalous dates. Some North American dates may in consequence be as much as 10,000 years too young. So, we are not dealing with a trivial phenomenon!


Supporting evidence
Four main categories of supporting evidence are claimed and presented in varying degrees of detail.

  • Anomalously young radiocarbon dates in north-central North America. Example: the Gainey site in Michigan. [Other map sites include Thedford & Zander, Ont.; Potts, NY; Shoop, Penn.; Alton, Ind.; Taylor, Il.; Butler & Leavitt, Mich.; and far to the north Grant Lake, Nunavut; and in the far southwest Baker, N.M. – TWC]

  • Physical evidence of particle bombardment. Example: chert artifacts with high densities of particle-entrance wounds

  • Anomalous uranium and plutonium abundance ratios in the affected area

  • Tree-ring and marine sediment data

The authors claim that the burst of radiation from a nearby supernova, circa 12,500 years ago, not only reset radiocarbon clocks but also heated the planet’s atmosphere, melted ice sheets, and led to biological extinctions. If verified, the claimed phenomenon would also “reset” archeological models of the settlement of North and South America.

 To illustrate, we may have to add as many as 10,000 years to site dates in much of North America!

 

 Rajasthan: Evidence of Ancient Atomic Explosion


Radiation still so intense, the area is highly dangerous.

 

A heavy layer of radioactive ash in Rajasthan, India, covers a three-square mile area, ten miles west of Jodhpur. Scientists are investigating the site, where a housing development was being built. For some time it has been established that there is a very high rate of birth defects and cancer in the area under construction. The levels of radiation there have registered so high on investigators’ gauges that the Indian government has now cordoned off the region.

Scientists have unearthed an ancient city where evidence shows an atomic blast dating back thousands of years, from 8,000 to 12,000 years, destroyed most of the buildings and probably a half-million people. One researcher estimates that the nuclear bomb used was about the size of the ones dropped on Japan in 1945.


A Historian Comments
Historian Kisari Mohan Ganguli says that “Indian sacred writings” are full of such descriptions, which sound like an atomic blast as experienced in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He says references mention fighting sky chariots and final weapons.

An ancient battle is described in the Drona Parva, a section of the Mahabharata.

“The passage tells of combat where explosions of final weapons decimate entire armies, causing crowds of warriors with steeds and elephants and weapons to be carried away as if they were dry leaves of trees,” says Ganguli.

“Instead of mushroom clouds, the writer describes a perpendicular explosion with its billowing smoke clouds as consecutive openings of giant parasols. There are comments about the contamination of food and people’s hair falling out.”

 

Archeological Investigation provides information 
Archeologist Francis Taylor says that etchings in some nearby temples he has managed to translate suggest that they prayed to be spared from the great light that was coming to lay ruin to the city.

“It’s so mid-boggling to imagine that some civilization had nuclear technology before we did. The radioactive ash adds credibility to the ancient Indian records that describe atomic warfare.”

Construction has halted while the five member team conducts the investigation.

 

The foreman of the project is Lee Hundley, who pioneered the investigation after the high level of radiation was discovered.

Sunday Special- for Cricket in India – whether you love or hate ;-)


This song for cricket is sung by  Sambhaji Bhagat, the Dalit Lokshahir (people’s poet), a teacher by profession and bard at heart.

Sambhaji has received no formal training in singing but has a lilting voice that can mesmerise listeners for hours. Sambhaji is a teacher but others in his troupe are not so fortunate — Asaram Umap who handles the dimdi (a small hand held drum) and flute is a rag picker; Sandeep Lokhande, the dholak exponent makes his livelihood as an instrumentalist; Babasaheb Atkhile is a promising young lad who also performs the role of a troupe coordinator. This motley group would not have not come together had it not been for their inspirational anchor — Sambhaji.

Born to a cobbler in the picturesque Panchgani in Mahableshwar, a hill station of Mahrashtra, Sambhaji as a school boy was swayed by the drills of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. But his heart and mind somehow failed to walk in tandem with the RSS idealogy. His feet carried him away from the drill sessions. From the far right he landed straight into the lap of the leftists. He was in his teens by then but the leftist ideologies proved to be too ‘dogmatic’,  and he quit. From the far right to the far left, Sambhaji took on a new path that made him find his true identity.  He went back to his roots.

Sambhaji, has joined us at Justice and Peace for All ( JAPA), a group propagating “musical activism” – this very popular and very effective method was used in the sixties in america to protest against the vietnam war and launched the careers of many great musicians and songwriters. JAPA has
talented musicians, song writers, artists, poets all dedicated to this cause of justice and peace for all and we hope through this evenings music to highlight some of these issues and perhaps sow the seeds of activism in the hearts  of people. Join us on facebook JapaMumbai

This song was performed at JAPA muical evening last year when semi final of world cupw a son between india and Pakistan and is still relevant today with IPL FEVER, infact will be relevant till eternity as cricket is religion for India .

Cricketwallae Sun Lo

India ke Deshbhakto, Bharat ki zara  Sun Lo

Enjoy the song and share widely

Medical and Legal Aspects of Providing Care during Political Protests


The Albert Einstein College of Medicine has just posted (in three parts) our social medicine rounds on Medical and Legal Aspects of Providing Care during Political Protests.

It is largely devoted to street medics and we had three excellent speakers: a paramedic, a physician, and a lawyer, all of whom were street medics.

 

From homemaker to labour leader


Published: February 14, 2012

Party’s first female worker talks about throwing off her burqa, taking to streets.

LAHORE: “Take off your burqa (veil) and accompany me in the hunger strike tomorrow.” Those were the words with which Shamim Qayyum 

was invited by her husband, Mian Qayyum, to join the Labour Qaumi Movement (LQM) in a hunger strike in Faisalabad in 2005.

Shamim, speaking at Café Bol on Monday about organising women workers, said she had previously never imagined leaving the house.

“I was a home-maker. All I knew was that things were not going well for the labourers and that my husband was planning a hunger strike,” she told the audience.

On the third day of the strike, she recalled, her husband asked her and her three children to join him. She said she was the only woman in the strike that day. Other women and children joined the strike later. “It raised my spirits to see women coming out of their houses and supporting their men in the cause.”

After a nine-day strike, Shamim said the labourers were called in for negotiations, which were successful. She said during those nine days, a rally was led by Dr Farzana Bari, but with growing concerns of the labourers, she said, another rally had to be organised, this time led by her. Formed in 2003, the Labour Qaumi Movement aims at addressing the issues of labourers, especially those working in the power looms of Faisalabad.

Previously, Shamim’s husband, Mian Qayyum also delivered a talk about the role of women in the Labour Qaumi Movement at Cafe Bol.

Shamim said she was thankful to her husband for his support.  “It just didn’t change my life, it changed the lives of several women I would go out and talk to,” she said while talking about her decision to take off the burqa. She said at first it was difficult to convince women to stand up for their rights. However, with time these women realised that it was for their own benefit, she added.

The current energy crisis, she said, had increased the number of home-based workers. Shamim said there was a dire need to address the difficult conditions the majority of these home-based workers were working in.

She told the audience about an incident where four workers were illegally detained by the Faisalabad police and how she mobilised women workers to rally towards the police station in protest.

“On the fourth day of their detention, the workers were released,” she said. She said despite having similar skills, women labourers in the textile power loom sector were given less wages than men. She said she had organised a strike in which women refused to work at the looms unless they were paid an equal wage. Within days of the strike, she said, their demands were met.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 14th, 2012.

Invite for Public Meeting to commemorate the Historic textile workers strike


On  Jan 18th at Maharashtra High School Maidan,
NM Joshi Marg, near Lower Parel and Currey Road stations
at 4.30 pm
Dear friends
It was on January 18th,  30 years ago that textile mill workers of Mumbai went on the indefinite city -wide mills strike which turned into a historic battle between the mill owners, government and recognised union on the one hand and the workers on the other. The government and mill owners won that round, but what the world still remembers most is the sheer grit and tenacity of the Mumbai textile mill workers and proud tradition of struggle that they represent.
30 years later Mumbai’s  textie mill workers are still fighting. In a changing metropolis, and a globalised world, textile mill workers are fighting for the right to remain in a city they have played a major role in building, They have established thier right to alternate work and housing in principle and the struggle continues to make this a reality for the workers and their families.
This January 18th, textile workers will commemorate the Mumbai textile workers strike, not as defeat, but as a proud moment in the history of working class struggle, and a symbol of their resolve to continue the struggle.
The meeting will also symbolise the common context and the links between the struggles of the workers and the farmers in Maharashtra, where both are fighting a bitter battle for survival.
Speakers
Raju Shetty, Member of Paliament,  farmer leader, Swabhiman Shetkari Sanghatana
Gajanana Khatu, political thinker, writer
and
Bhushan Samant (President, MGKU)
Datta Iswlakar (President, GKSS)
Please join us, and please forward this message widely.
In struggle and solidarity
Jaiprakash Bhilare, Maharashtra Girni Kamgar Union
Pravin Ghag, Girni Kamgar Sangharsh Samiti

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