PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE ON THE EVE OF THE
63RD FOUNDATION DAY OF ITEF
A few days after the Federation day i.e. 10th February, 2015, we will be meeting in our all India Conference at Guwahati, the capital city of Assam. Due to the inevitability of retirement on superannuation, the President and Secretary General of the Federation will bow out for a young leadership to take over in this conference. Thus this message will be the last, which I can pen.
The 63rd birthday of our Federation comes in the wake of a new political dispensation taking over the governance of our country. The last general election saw a devastating defeat for all those who were even remotely associated with the UPA II Government. The aspiration of the people for a change reflected in the election verdict. The vast majority of the suffering Indians who were at the receiving end of the disastrous economic policies pursued by Dr. Manmohan Singh-Chidambaram combine decisively voted to oust the UPA out of power. The policies had hurt the common multitude of the country so much beyond their enduring capacity. They however, unfortunately, foresee a revolutionary change to be brought out by the new government in their palpably poor living conditions.
New phrases and terminologies are employed by the present government to sell the old concepts and policies. The Narendra Modi Government has decided to pursue the same neo-liberal policies, with much more intensity than the UPA II. Every decision or approach of the new Government spell out the intention of the vigorous pursuance of the same policies of the erstwhile Government. Unashamedly it repeats that the growth in GDP will bring about development and wipe out poverty. For the last two decades, the erstwhile rulers were stating the same. People, gullible as they are, believed their leaders.
Today, most of the Nations in the world be they democratic republics or despotic oligarchies, or totalitarian are controlled by global multinational corporate giants. None of them enjoy sovereign power and authority. They no longer have the right to intervene effectively either for themselves or for their countrymen. The rights, privileges earned by the people of democratic republics through bloody struggles and bitter battles remain pious wishes in the paper. The rulers be they elected through a democratic process of adult franchise or selected by inheritance are allowed to be in the seat of power for and only for the benefit of the giant corporations. If they chooseto serve the interest of these corporates, they are allowed to remain and enjoy power till the agonized people oust them. If not, they will be ousted out of power by fair or foul means by the same corporate who installed them in power.
In a democratic society it is said that the people are supreme. It is supposed to be their interest and their opinions that matter. The fourth estate or the media is expected to be the watchdogs. They have a great role in disseminating information and creating public opinion for public good. To have a true and constructive democratic society the media must be free and independent. Indian Print and electronic media as is the case with most of the Nations of the world are controlled, managed and manipulated by corporate houses. With the help of the neo-liberal proponents in the dominant political parties, they successfully propagates that the interest of the corporate is synonymous with the common interest of the public at large. Reliance Infotel, the great Indian corporate giant controls presently 27 multi-lingual TV channels in our country. They decide what must be the public opinion and whom to project and whom to denounce. We must not forget that Dr. Manmohan Singh was the darling of the corporate and corporate controlled media once and presently it is our present Prime Minister.
Resistance to corporate hegemony can only be organized by the working people and the trade union movement. Yeomen efforts were no doubt undertaken by the joint movement of the working class in our country. ITEF and its members were active participants in those struggles.
Immediately after the 6th CPC recommendations were implemented, ITEF could ensure that the Board set up a cadre restructuring committee. Our main concern was the depleted staff strength caused by the executive fiat issued by the NDA Government in 2000 whereby quite a number of posts in Group C and D were abolished. It is to the credit of our organizational strength that the Committee had a representative from ITEF and the proposal was almost fully agreed upon by the Government. The strength of the personnel in the Department registered a phenomenal increase on account of the cadre review and the consequent benefit flew in the form of accelerated career progression for our members. In quite a number of charges, the posts are still lying vacant for want of eligible candidates. While that is something on which we can be truly proud of, the acrimony created in the allocation of posts amongst various charges has no doubt weakened our organization. Let us hope that without further loss of time, we will be able to overcome the weakness and rebuild togetherness and militancy.
The National convention of the Central Government employees’ organizations participating in the JCM held at New Delhi on 11th December, 2014 has adopted a declaration, which has drawn the true picture of our polity and the politics behind the policies of the present rulers of the country. Battle lines are drawn. Let us march shoulder to shoulder with determination taking solace from the fact that no surrogate government can ever face the challenge from the working people.
I consider this must be the message we must imbibe for a very long time to come till perhaps a true democratic and secular society flourish in our country.
Ashok B Salunkhe