ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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COAL MINES-Sub-Human Conditions at Jhagrakhand

Gandhi's government. It Is evident that much of the present report is based on the groundwork prepared by the previously appointed members of the Commission. Yet the present members, nowhere 'in their report, acknowledge the contributions of their predecessors.

ORISSA-Government Employees Divided

Government Employees Divided A S TRADITIONAL trade unionism was caught in a major dilemma over the 02-day strike by the Orissa .secretariat employees, which finally ended on July 15, The employees sought special pay- scales for the secretariat staff; they wanted" that those working in the departmental directorates and in the districts and Mocks should have lower pay-scales, This demand divided the 2.5 lakh state, government employees, almost all opposing openly the move by the 6.000 secretariat staff. They based their opposition on the 'equal pay for equal work' principle.

DHANBAD-New Aspects of Coalfield Politics

FOR the Janata Mazdoor Sangh, the BCCL contractors' front, the loss of power of the Janata party has meant declining fortunes. Nevertheless, its chieftain, Surajdeo Singh, has again made himself an, MLA practically at gunpoint, and party president Chandra- shekhar has gone so far as to make him head of the district unit, In early October, Chandrashekhar came to Dhanbad to address public metlings. One of these was held at Kustaur colliery, the mafia base, where workers live in terror. Surajdeo Singh reportedly presented him a purse of Rs one lakh and assured him enrolment of lakhs as party members.


Language Muddle A S THE very first decision of the new Bihar cabinet was to declare Urdu as a second official language in districts where at least 10 per cent of the population was Urdu-speaking. Since that announcement in early June, there has been no further official ward on the subject though an ordinance for the amendment of Bihar Official Languages Act, 1950, is said to be on the cards.

BIHAR-Class and Caste in Parasbigha Massacre

February 23, 1980 BIHAR Class and Caste in Parasbigha Massacre A S AS in any village, land was at the root of the conflict in Parasbigha in Gaya district, culminating in the massacre on the night of February 6. Twelve people, among them four women and five boys, were either shot dead or burnt alive. There was a piece of government public land (called gair mazarua aam in the zamindari days), which the families of shepherds, yadays and harijans had been using as pasture. The shepherds and yadays most needed the pasture; with more and more land coming under the plough, their sheep and cows could depend only on the public land for grazing. As for the harijans, in last few years, after securing court decrees, they had worked hard and made a few acres of the public land fit for cultivation. They had sown and reaped harvests of arhar, masur and kurthi.

BIHAR- The Caste Divide

The Caste Divide A S THERE were only two parties in the Lok Sabha elections in Bihar this time; the 'backward' castes and the 'forward' castes. The former were represented by the Lok Dal and allies and the latter by the Congress(I) and Janata. It was the mass urge of the backward castes that the Lok Dal, CPI, CPI(M) and Congress(U) join hands

BIHAR-Voting for Law and Order

measured words and expressive sketches.) No wonder these have been reports of reverberating cries "give us food, give us work" at some NAEP centres.

DHANBAD- Allies and Enemies

Allies and Enemies A S IN the Dhanbad coalfields violence is a common faith. It is followed by all the parties involved: the officers of Marat Coking Coal, who hire goondas to break labour strikes; the transport contractors, who engage in inter-company skirmishes; the police officials, who kill and rape at the bidding of BCCL officers and contractors; and finally, the labourers, who refuse to take all this lying down.

BIHAR-Waiting for Elections

September 22, 1979 Waiting for Elections A S BIHAR POLITICAL convulsions in Bihar should not be seen merely as a clash of personalities; basically, they are a projection of the sharpening conflict of caste elites. The intention of any leader to become the chief minister represents the aim of his caste elite to command political power. This was evident not only in the recent war over reservation; it was there even in the many splits in parties like the Congress and the Socialist party. Yesterday, the intermediate caste elites might not have been able to stand on their own feet and therefore clung to the,high caste-dominated parties. To- they think they are powerful ough to challenge the domination.

BIHAR-Fiasco of Kosi Kranti

BIHAR Fiasco of 'Kosi Kranti' A S IN the middle of 1977 a group of social scientists and agrarian experts met at the A N Sinha Institute of Social Studies, Patna. They worked out a pilot land reforms project, to be implemented in five blocks of Purnea district. It was an ambitious plan. According to the author of the project, B G Verghese, "A limited but highly concentrated programme of such a nature in a small yet demonstrably significant area of five blocks with a population of five lakhs could have an electrifying effect on all of Bihar and all of India, like the 1917 Champaran goverment." In reality, 'Kosi Kranti' was yet another effort at agrarian pacification. According to Verghese, "Purnea is an area of known agrarian tension that has witnessed past violence and it is important to demonstrate a workable Gandhian alternative," Further, "The situation is explosive and must be remedied unless the future is to be abandoned to violence. JP's effort to ameliorate the land situation in part of Muzaffarpur district in the early 1970s in the Musahari gramdan block was a heroic effort to prove that there is an alternative to violence. Unfortunately, other circumstances compelled JP to move his attention elsewhere. A new beginning is required".

BIHAR- Dhanbad s Dispossessed Peasants

August 18, 1979 under a common understanding of any number of persons who are or have been so employed to continue to work or to accept employment and includes (i) refusal to work overtime where such work is necessary for the discharge of functions of the bank, (ii) any other conduct which is likely to result in or results in cessation of substantial retardation of work in the Bank. This too did not deter the RBI em- ployees. And now the crisis in the government and other political developments have once again opened up avenues for a negotiated settlement. The tribunal once appointed cannot be wound up by law. Hence even if a negotiated settlement is arrived at, it will have to be through the tribunal the nature of a consent decree. All this only on account of one issue

BIHAR-Siren Call to Agricultural Labour

way Board's letter of November 12, 1975, so that they may be absorbed in regular class IV service; (in) stoppage of the unscrupulous practice of denying the legitimate rate after promotion; (iv) abolition of the system of penalty, i e, reduction from project rate to daily rate (amount paid to workers who are recruited exclusively for temporary jobs), on grounds of absence for more than 20 days in a six-month period; and (v) sanction of casual leave, IAP and passes, PTOs and medical facilities to casual workers and their families.


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