पान:कानोसा भारतातील मुस्लिम मनाचा.pdf/72

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या पानाचे मुद्रितशोधन झालेले नाही


Mahatma Gandhi popularised the idea of fasting or self-sacrificing as a way of protest. That method was misused by some of his so-called followers and made it a piece of mockery. English Educated Elite always considered fasting in protest as a matter of amusement. Later on the second generation activists took the idea of individual fasting to chainfasting and made it a matter of joke. Initially when the Sister of the Leader of the Mill owners (Anasuyaben) offered indefinite fasting on behalf of Workers' demands, it became a genuine holy war. How could brother eat food when his sister was having indefinite fast? It became a moral issue. A Mahatma alone could offer use of such method as it was nearer to Indian Tradition. English educated elite found it a foolish way. Common people, however, did not think so. Unichem has a factory at Roha. Late Vasantrao Khanolkar was a union Leader of workers at Roha. He had visited Japan and had seen this method of Black ribbons as a method of protest. I had established a practice of bilateral settlements in the Roha unit of Unichem from the beginning in 1976. This time the talks were not progressing. He asked the workers to continue working with black ribbons by way of protest. Manager at Roha at that time was Pedat Bardeskar; a motivated gentleman. He informed me on phone that such a black ribbon protest has started at Roha. I told him that it is a strike. Treat it as a strike and do whatever best you can do with immediate action, and settle the matter as if a strike is on. My colleagues at Mumbai were not so warm to this interpretation. They said, ignore not only black ribbons and even if the workers wear black shirts do not bother about it. They have no courage to go on strike and hence they have adopted this method of protest. Nothing needs to be done. I did not agree with this view. Our Roha Manager was a Christian he possibly could connect the black ribbons to the death of Industrial relations as in the family. He agreed with me and implemented my advice by completing the stalled negotiations. Without a break in the production three-year settlement was signed. Workers at Roha accepted and adopted this form of protest even in later years. Leadership like that of Vasantrao Khanolkar made a different beginning. A new way of protest was started and followed by workers. I was very happy and receptive to this new way of protest. I wrote about it in the Unichem Bulletin. I wrote about the novelty and positive approach and its efficacy. Whenever I had an opportunity to talk to the workers I mentioned this with words of praise as a pro-production protest. I thought that the Directors as employers who were owners of factories will also like this new approach. They used to talk with vehemence about strike as a destructive method as anti-production, blaming the workers and their leaders for such coercive methods. Vasantrao Khanolkar found a new nondestructive non-violent path. Bardeskar made the path broader by positive 67