BHARATIYA MAZDOOR SANGH- A FORWARD THRUST
BMS, by virtue of its hard work and sincerity to the cause of workers has occupied the most enviable position of the largest central trade union organization in India. BMS as on today, commands more than one and crore membership covering all industries viz. Public Sector Undertakings, Private Sector, Government Departments, Municipalities, Factories, Teaching community, Farm labour, Insurance, Bank, Service Sector besides huge Un Organised Sector workers . With its organizational spread in all the States, including smaller ones like Tripura, Mizoram etc., the onward march of BMS continues with more and more workers joining the BMS family. The organisation has truly developed into a gigantic structure at all India level.
The unprecedented growth and progress of BMS is not accidental. It is the product of ceaseless work put in by thousands of activists over the last 55 years with the firm commitment to BMS ideology and intense urge to ameliorate the sufferings of workers and downtrodden in the country.
B .M. S is a unique experiment in Indian Trade Union Movement. BMS was established, on 23.07.1955 (Tilak Jayanthi). Bharatiya culture forms the ideological basis of BMS Approach to culture is subjective. BMS is one of the instruments of culture fighting against the mutually hostile but equally anti-human Capitalism and Marxism, with the ultimate goal of establishing Bharatiya Social order based upon the tenants of Integral Humanism.
Labour has always been regarded as the very foundation of the Bharatiya social structure. It is an integral and vital part of society. The character of its problems is not sectional but national. To protect and promote its interest is the therefore the natural responsibility of the entire nation. BMS is pledged to fulfil this fundamental national duty towards labour.
With a view of achieving national prosperity and eradicating poverty, BMS is pledged to ‘maximum production and equitable distribution’. The spirit is reflected in the ancient Bharatiya – ‘Shata Hasta Samahara Sahasra Hasta Sankira’ (with a hundred hands produce; with a thousand hands distribute).
Capitalism over-emphasise the importance of production. Socialism over-emphasizes the aspect distribution. But, BMS lays equal stress on both production & distribution. Maximum production is the national duty of labour, but at the same time equitable distribution of the fruits of production is the legitimate right of workers. BMS has therefore introduced in the labour field a new slogan based on patriotism-
“Desh ke hith me karenge kam, Kam ke lenge pooray dam”
(We will work in the interest of the nation and will demand full wages)
Marxists and Socialists conduct their trade unions as an instrument for intensifying class conflict with the ultimate goal of establishment of Socialism. BMS is a votary of integralism and nationalism and therefore rejects the class conflict theory which would result in the disintegration of the nation. BMS is determined to do away with the gross disparities and establish the ratio of 1:10 between the minimum and maximum income of the land.
The idea of two camps – haves and have – notes is a brilliant myth. The whole nation is one unit. All the nationals are only so many limbs of the same body. Therefore their interests cannot be mutually conflicting. They are naturally complimentary. The vehement advocacy of “socialism as a goal and class struggle as theory’ is a major obstacle in the way of Trade Union unity”.
Before the formation of BMS, the Indian labour field was dominated by political unionism. The recognized Central Labour Organisations were the wings of different political parties or groups and they were treated as instruments for capturing political power. The trend was the product of westernized thinking that, the State was the sole representative of society. Moreover, politicalisation was and is the main cause of multiplicity of unions and preference to political rather than workers interest in the actual conduct of trade union affairs. This situation calls for denunciation of political trade unionism. Truly speaking the STATE is not the sole representative of the society but is merely one of the several institutions created by society for fulfilling the national needs of course, every worker is conscious of his rights and duties as a citizen and is free individually to join or not to join, work and not to work for a political party of his choice. But as union members collectively the workers must keep out of politics. The trade unions should not become a platform to provide fund, forum and cadre to the political parties. Therefore with a view to building up strong independent labour organization to attenuate the all powerful authoritarian state, to bring about trade union unity and to ensure the highest measure of democracy, BMS follows the principle of non-political trade-unionism and keeps itself free from the hegemony of the political parties.
HSTORY OF INDIAN TRADE UNIONS AND FORMATION OF BMS
The history of Indian trade union movement shows that every new trade union, which entered the labour field, came into being due to a split in the existing trade union or was launched as a front organisation of a political party. In the post-independence era, AITUC & INTUC, the giants with huge membership and firm political patronage, were dominating trade union movement.
AITIUC was formed on 31.10.1920 under the presidentship of the great Sri Lala Lajpath Rai. On the very first day it enjoyed the support of 64 existing trade unions with 1,46,584 members. INTUC was established on 03-05-1947 under the presidentship of the Iron man of India – Sardar Vallabhai Patel with the blessings of revered- Mahathma Gandhiji. On the very first day, it enjoyed the support of 35 unions with a membership of 1,57,000 workers. This went up within one year of Independence to 499 unions with 10,33,614 members with the backing of the ruling congress party. HMS was formed in December 1948 under the General Secretaryship of Sri Ashok Mehta, a great public figure with 119 trade unions and 1,03,798 membership. UTUC was formed in April 1949 with 137 trade unions and 1,31,991 members.
None of them were required to begin from the beginning. but BMS had to start from the scratch. On its Foundation day (23rd July 1955) BMS had no membership, no all India body, no political backing not a single registered trade union affiliated to it, nor a single paisa in its treasury, nor any publicly acknowledged leader. It had to begin from Zero. BMS’s structure was evolved from the bottom up and not imposed from above. Poojaniya Sri Dattopanth Thengadiji, devoted his entire energy and time to build up the organization assiduously and patiently. He developed a master team of dedicated, disciplined and idealistic cadre. The BMS leaders at the helm of affairs, with the help of dedicated workers, steered clear the road for the growth of BMS. The matured and foresighted leadership guided the activists throughout India and instilled confidence in them to work ceaselessly for the cause of workers. The organisation braved the situations of neglect, humiliation, isolation and confrontation during its growing years.
It was only after 12 years of relentless work, BMS held its first All India conference in New Delhi in 1967. BMS was legally constituted in Delhi on 13.08.1967. This type of development formation of constitutional body after 12 years of its continued gross is an unique example iii the history of the labour movement of the world.
From the year 1967-77, BMS hastened slowly. The membership was 8.59,200 in the year 1977 BMS made marvellous progress and its membership jumped to 12,11,345 in the year 1980. Thus BMS was accorded. Number 2 position amongst Central Trade Unions. After 1989 Labour Census, with a verified membership of 31,17,324, BMS has declared the largest Central Trade Union in India by the then Indian Government . Again in the 2002 labour census, BMS has been adjudged the No.1 Central Trade Union with a verified membership of 62,15,797. At present our membership has crossed more than one crore. This means an average annual Increase of over 2.50 lakh membership. An incredible growth indeed.
BMS – THE POWERHOUSE OF WORKERS FOR NATION
BMS activist is an instrument by which ideals of BMS are translated into practice in trade union movement. BMS has become a powerhouse of workers for the nation. In the last 61 years, BMS introduced a number of new concepts, new slogans, and new practices and led a number of struggles, all of which cannot find place in this small submission due to paucity of space. However, a few of them are illustrated to give glimpse of BMS functioning in the trade union movement. The list is not exhaustive.
NEW SYMBOLS ECHOING NATIONAL SENTIMENTS
With the emergence on the national plane, BMS has introduced new national symbols on the labour field. BMS ki Kya Pahachan? “Tyag, Tapasya aur Balidan”. This is the message of BMS to its activists. BMS preached that its activists should suffer more so that workers will prosper. That is the reason why BMS chose saffron flag as its symbol of super sacrifice. It is a matter of pride that the large number of dedicated activists who sacrificed their lives while working in the organisation are the source of inspiration to the present band of activists and future generations of workers. The BMS symbol of Industrial wheel and human fist with ‘bali’ is characteristically Bharatiya. Real stress is on the opposable human thumb the special characteristic of human beings. Integral humanism constitute the ideological basis BMS.
- BMS insists on NON-POLITICAL GENUINE TRADE JNION movement. BMS do not believe in political trade unionism. Because very often the political trade union leaders tend to compromise the workers interest for their political ends. BMS insists that every action of the trade union should be guided by the workers merest alone and nothing else.
- BMS advocates that the spirit of nationalism is the foundation of trade union movement. The slogans “Bharat Mata-ki Jia’, ‘Shrama-hi Anradhana (Work is worship), “Deshke hit-me Karenge Kam (we shall work in the interest of the Nation) are manifestation of the spirit of nationalism.
- BMS believes in creative activities and not in destruction. It insists that ‘Vishwakarma Jayanti”, which falls on 17th September every year, should be celebrated as National Labour Day, because Vishwakarma represents an ideal labour.
- BMS propounds the idea that Bonus is a deferred wage and it should be paid to all. This concept has been accepted by the government and the government employees are now getting bonus.
- The communists always held that ownership of industry can be only in two forms- one, privatization and the other nationalization. it was BMS which said that other than the above referred two, there are many forms of ownership viz. co-operatisation, municipalisation, labourisation, self employment etc.
- BMS demands “National Income Policy” instead of National wage policy”. BMS demands that the ratio of Minimum and Maximum income should be fixed to 1:10
- BMS wants the nation to keep pace with the world but holds that the western pattern should not be followed blindly. It says that must develop our own technology according to our needs. Foreign technology should be adopted, adapted or rejected as per the needs and interests of the nation. That is why BMS opposes indiscriminate computerization. BMS was the first Central Trade Union organization to demand National Technological policy and the Round table Conference of all Economic Interest Groups to formulate “Economic policy of the country”.
- BMS wants ‘workers to unite the world’. BMS do not believe in the conservative approach of “workers of the world unite” expounded by the communists.
- BMS stands for Responsive Co-operatione. BMS will co-operate with any democratically elected government if the government pursues the policies in the interest of labour and will oppose the government if it adopts anti labour policies. The same is the case with managements.
- BMS considers trade union movement as a medium of Nation Building activity and not mere bread butter providing apparatus to the workers.
- BMS do not believe in class struggle. BMS rejects the idea of two distinct camps of haves & have-nots and class struggle theory advocated by communists BMS insists that the whole Nation is one unit and all the inhabitants within it are but the limbs of the body called Nation. The interest of the people cannot he mutually conflicting. It is mutually complimentary.
- BMS insists that workers interest, industry, and interest and nation’s interest go together and move in the same direction.
- BMS believes in the concept of Nationalise the labour, Labourize the industry and Industrialize the Nation.
PROGRESSIVE GROWTH OF BMS MEMBERSHIP
|UNION STARTED WITH OUT ANY MEMBERSHIP|
|2011||CLAIMED MEMBERSHIP IS 1,71,46,646|