Anarcho-environmentalism allegorised

The name Anaarkali in the present context has many meanings - Anaar symbolises the anarchism of the Bhils and kali which means flower bud in Hindi stands for their traditional environmentalism. Anaar in Hindi can also mean the fruit pomegranate which is said to be a panacea for many ills as in the Hindi idiom - "Ek anar sou bimar - One pomegranate for a hundred ill people"! - which describes a situation in which there is only one remedy available for giving to a hundred ill people and so the problem is who to give it to. Thus this name indicates that anarcho-environmentalism is the only cure for the many diseases of modern development! Similarly kali can also imply a budding anarcho-environmentalist movement. Finally according to a legend that is considered to be apocryphal by historians Anarkali was the lover of Prince Salim who was later to become the Mughal emperor Jehangir. Emperor Akbar did not approve of this romance of his son and ordered Anarkali to be bricked in alive into a wall in Lahore in Pakistan but she escaped. Allegorically this means that anarcho-environmentalists can succeed in bringing about the escape of humankind from the self-destructive love of modern development that it is enamoured of at the moment and they will do this by simultaneously supporting women's struggles for their rights.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Tribal Mining Workers' Strike

The Prayas Centre for Labour Research and Action (PCLRA) has over the past few years spearheaded a fairly successful campaign of organising informal labourers in the brick kiln and construction industry across the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh in the face of determined opposition from the employers and apathy and connivance on the part of the Government and Administration. One of the great things about this effort is that the organisation continually seeks out new areas in which to intervene and further broaden the struggle. As part of this process they have now come out in support of a unique strike by tribal workers in the green marble mining industry in Udaipur district of Rajasthan. Sudhir Katyar of PCLRA reports -
Nearly 5000 tribal workers at the green marble mining area of Rishabdeo in Udaipur district of Rajasthan have been on strike for last three weeks. The workers are demanding an eight hour work day, registration under the Provident Fund scheme of Government, improved safety measures at mines to prevent accidents, and modest wage hikes. In fact the demands are already mandated by labor laws. However as is the case almost everywhere, the labour laws are followed more in breach.
 The mining area is located in a tribal belt that witnesses heavy out migration to Gujarat. However in the mines, nearly half the workers are from other states as owners find them more vulnerable. They stay at the site and work 12 hours a day. This puts pressure on local workers to put in longer hours. Almost five workers die every year because of lax safety arrangements. 
The strike has entered its fourth week. The employers, instead of negotiating with the workers, have foisted police cases on union leaders. The strike is unprecedented as the mining belt of South Rajasthan has never seen industrial action on such a large scale. The local tribal member of the legislative assembly (MLA) is himself a mine owner and he has ensured that there is almost no media coverage of such a big industrial action locally and also that the union leaders have been arraigned in false criminal cases. There has been little outside support. We appeal to all to support this action of mine workers. Please send messages as follows to -
Smt Vasundhara Raje
Chief Minister of Rajasthan
1012, Chief Minister’s Wing
Secretariat, Jaipur, Rajasthan
Ph 0141- 2227716, 2227687 (fax)
email - ,
Honorable Chief Minister Rajasthan
Nearly 5000 mine workers at Rishabhdeo, District Udaipur have been on strike for three weeks. Their demands like eight hour shift, paid holidays, security measures to avoid accidents are anyway mandated by law. We are dismayed to learn that the local police has acted in a one sided manner and foisted cases under various sections of IPC at the Union leaders. We understand that the local MLA of your party, Nana Lal Ahari, is one of the mine owners and is responsible for this one sided police action. The right to organize is a fundamental right and the police action has taken away this right. We appeal you to - 
1. Order the police department to take back the false cases against the Union leaders 
2. Take a sympathetic view to just demands of the workers and ask the administrative machinery to help them realize their legal demands.
With regards


JYS said...

प्रिय राहुल
मुझे यह जानकर बहुत अच्छा लगा कि आपने अपने ब्लॉग अनारकली में केसरियाजी-खेरवाड़ा के ग्रीन मार्बल माइंस मजदूरों के आंदोलन के बारे में लिखा है। यह भी अच्छी बात है कि सुधीरजी ने इसका समर्थन किया है अन्य अनेक संगठन ,संस्थाएं और आप जैसी पार्टिया भी समर्थन करने पहुंची है। मैं कुछ तथ्यात्मक जानकारी देना चाहता हूँ जो इस प्रकार है-
१ इस तरह का आंदोलन इस क्षेत्र में पहली बार नहीं हो रहा है। २००२ में इससे भी बड़ा आंदोलन हुआ था जो एक माह से ज्यादा समय तक चला। जबर्दस्त दमन हुआ।
गोलिया चली जिसमे एक आदिवासी युवा लक्ष्मण मारा गया था और ४०० लोगो पर झूठे मुकददमे लगे थे। खेरवाड़ा का जागरूक युवा संगठन हर साल १५ सितम्बर को लक्ष्मण कि शहादत को याद करता है।
२ यह आंदोलन जनजाति खान मजदूर यूनियन द्वारा शुरू किया गया है और वे पिछले एक माह से धरने पर बैठे है तथा उनके लीडरस पर इस समय तीन केस लगे हुए है तथा अभी तक जमानत नहीं हुई है। जबर्दस्त दबाव का वतावरन है तथा लोगो में रोष बढता जा रहा है।
३ क्षेत्र में संस्थाओं के कार्यकर्ताओ,दलगत राजनीतिक पार्टिओं के गुर्गो के साथ ही बिचोलियों ने डर का वातावरण फ़ैलाने कि कोशिश की है तथा इस समय मजदूर लीडरशिप विहीन से है लेकिन डटे हुए है।
४. २४ फरवरी को स्थानीय मजदूर हक्क संगठन जो एक प्रकार से वर्कर्स सोलिडेरिटी टाइप का संगठन है,ने खान मजदूरो के समर्थन में भाई चारा रैली निकलने का फैसला लिया है। इस हेतु ५००० पर्चे निकले है और पोस्टर चिपकाएँ है। रैली के बारे में बाद में विस्तार से लिखूंगा।
५. यह भी तथ्यात्मक रूप से सही नहीं है कि यंहा आधे मजदूर बाहर के है। २००२ के बाद खदान मालिको ने यह गलती नहीं दोहराई है। इस समय क्षेत्र में २५० से अधिक कानूनी और गैर कानूनी खदाने है जिनमे लगभग दस हजार ( डूंगरपुर के कुछ क्षेत्र को जोड़ देवे तो ) खदानो से सम्बंधित काम करने वाले मजदूर है।
बाकी बाद में
डी एस पालीवाल, जनवादी मजदूर यूनियन उदयपुर

JYS said...

Some details of Mine worker's agitation is available on my FB page
DS Paliwal