I am pleased to read the article posted on the internet on April 29, 2011 on the issue of the Air India pilots strike that the CGPI fully supports the just struggle of the Air India pilots. The article presents a nuanced and non-demagogical view of the strike and the reasons why it is taking place.
The common perception is that it is the workers who are responsible for the strike and for causing hardship to the public. The present case illustrates that far from this being the case; the workers have endured unbearable harassment and iniquitous treatment over the years, and have been forced into the strike.
The Delhi High Court ordered the striking pilots back to work by declaring the strike illegal, and is initiating contempt proceedings since its order was not obeyed. It has remarked that if its orders are not obeyed, then it would lead to anarchy and a discrediting of the institution, and then everyone would do as they liked. Why does not the Court also ask this of the management, and in particular of the MD, Mr. Arvind Jadhav? The latter has now been named in several allegations amounting to corruption of the worst sort, including those listed in the article, and more recently in the sale of valuable land to private players.
The fact that the Courts do not do this shows what their class character is and where their decisions normally lie. The claim that there will be anarchy is a bourgeois line, where the state is expected to maintain law and order so that maximum plunder and loot of the exchequer and the working millions may take place. Can the Courts guarantee that if there is indeed law and order, then the hungry will be fed, the unclothed will be clothed, the uneducated will be educated?
Such being the case, the working masses must realize that the right to strike is an important tool in their armoury in the waging of class struggle. It must be used with utmost precaution and with the intent of advancing the movement towards a stage when the working people being to take charge of running the matters of society. The present case is one where there has been an igniting of class consciousness, with the pilots realizing that they are not different from any other working person. Such being the case, one must greet the events with enthusiasm and wish them great success in meeting their objectives listed in the article. A victory will advance the cause of the working people and I join the CGPI in extending support to the striking workers.