Twenty-five crore workers belonging to 10 trade unions went on a day long strike on November 26 even as millions of farmers too have either assembled in Delhi or have been stopped by police at various points in the vicinity of the National Capital Region. Central and state government employees, factory workers, unorganized labourers, taxi and auto drivers and farmers are on the warpath in protest against the recent legislations, which the government claims have been made as a part of the labour and farm reforms.
The polluted city of Delhi, vainly fighting coronavirus, has virtually been besieged as farmers from across the country, especially Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Uttarakhand etc. took part in the two-day ‘Delhi Chalo’ (Go to Delhi) campaign—Nov 26 and 27.
The farmers of Punjab, who had only on November 23 suspended their two-months long ’Rail Roko’ (Train Blockade), are certainly in the most aggressive mood. Considered as the food basket of India, Punjab lost Rs 40,000 crores due to the agitation by farmers, who alleged that they are hit hardest by the three laws passed in September.
Thousands of farmers of Punjab have been stopped by Haryana Police at Patiala-Ambala border. Similar police blockades have been reported in various districts of Haryana as chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said on Wednesday that he would not allow farmers to pass through the state.
Haryana unit chief of Bharatiya Kisan Union, Gurnam Singh, said that the farmers would continue their march come what may. The farmers are upset as to why the Haryana government is creating obstacles when the state governments of Punjab, Rajasthan and even the BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh are allowing them to go.
So far trade unions are concerned, almost all except RSS affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, had given the strike call. However, the BMS too has expressed its reservation over the new measures, including that on Social Security.
The workers are of the view that the recent government moves, including rise in the working hours of the labourers, have been undertaken to help the corporate houses. Both the farmers and workers see a great capitalist conspiracy as the government move has been undertaken at the height of the pandemic.