Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues are briefed by bureaucrats to show how the State has been paying attention to well-being of working class, which they may vouch for from podiums on occasion of the May Day.

I am not going to details of that.

I am not going to say how the number of unemployed persons has increased many folds and how industrial workers in Orissa are not receiving the minimum wages as prescribed under the Minimum Wages Act.

I am not going to say how more and more persons from different parts of Orissa are entering into the category of bonded labors and leaving their respective homes and families in search of avenues of livelihood in neighboring and far away States.

I am not going to show how victimized workers of various factories have been spending decades in labor courts in Orissa because of absolute inadequacy of labor courts vis-à-vis profuse rush of complaint and referred cases.

I am not going to say how labor officers, all over Orissa, after failure of conciliation, are abandoning all the cases in adjudication stage even though the same cases are based on their respective reports and leaving the tortured and illiterate workers to defend their respective stands against victimization all by themselves to the total advantage of touts and the employers.

I am not going to say how newspapers and NGOs are looting the State exchequer hand-in-glove with the official functionaries in the guise of awareness campaigns against child labor and I am not going to show how private employers having caught attention for torturing child labors under their employment have not been punished for their pernicious offenses in any case during Navinraj so far.

I am going to show you some pictures of how under the scorching sun and unbearable dehydrating heat the unorganized workers categorized under the law as casual labor are blacktopping Bhubaneswar roads with boiling liquid bitumen sans shoes on their feet, sans any apron on their body, sans any mask on their nose, sans any protective glass on their eyes, sans any drinking water in their workplace. Mark them.

If, as human beings, you feel that human beings should not be treated so inhumanly, rise to the occasion and take the authorities to task for having shown such blatant disregard to human life.

Let Navin Patnaik, the autocratic chief of the mischief of democracy in this part of the globe be warned that when the labor of Orissa reduced to a state of inanity by his pro-rich administration has the courage to kick at the hot bitumen with their bare feet under the scorching sun just to elk out a day’s living, what would happen if they decide one day to deal with whosoever is responsible for their present predicament.

May Day stands witness to victory of labor over exploiters.

Starting from the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893 the exploiters have adopted innumerable Ravi Shankars to pacify the exploited all over the world. But the victory march of labor is surging ahead. Whatever welfare measures are drawn up and codified in any part of the globe are because of inherent ability of labor to unite against exploitation.

Against this backdrop, again you may peruse the pictures that show how workers are exploited in broad daylight in Orissa and you may advise the present rulers not to make a farce of May Day, but to cogitate if the workforce goes on being thus neglected, what would happen one day.

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