Eleven Central Trade Unions protest against the Government's policies that have caused a price rise and and violated the rights of the working class and the poor. Kolkata, India. 8th November 2011
Eleven Central Trade Unions of India, owing allegiance to different political parties including the Indian National Trade Union Congress(INTUC) took out rallies in all State capitals and some district headquarters. This was to protest against the policies of the Central Government . The policies, as claimed by the trade unions, were causing price rise and violating the rights of the working class and the poor. In West Bengal an additional allegation was also against the recently elected government that upset the Government ruling the state for nearly three and a half decades.
The main venue for the rally in West Bengal was at Esplanade, Kolkata and here the leadership was in the hands of the Center for Indian Trade Unions(CITU), a frontal organisation of the Communist party of India (CPI(M)) and the tricolour flag of the INTUC was nowhere to be seen..
When I reached the venue about half an hour after the scheduled 1 p.m. the number of people attending the Rally was not more than about ten thosand acccording to my eye estimation although the aim was to collect about fifty thousand people.
The Rally ended with a symbolic violation of section144 around Writers Building, the administrative headquarters of the state. The Section prohibits gathering of five or more people for such purposes.
It may be an interesting aspect here to note that the man on the street was not aware of the aims of the agitation and the issues involved. It may be an interesting topic for political and social analysts to inquire why an issue like price rise that affects everybody did not agitate their minds.