The Unorganised Millions

Harasankar Adhikari

Political leaders (of particularly the political party in rule) of may claim that India has progressed enough and it is approaching from developing to developed country. It is their unrealistic hope and publicity. They claim it depending on urban beautification and modernisation. The overall development of the country is basically urban centric with IT sectors, high rise buildings, shopping malls and so forth. It has been mapped according to the prospects of Urbanite life style, consumerism and market economy. They are happy with this Urbanite development.

But political functionaries in rule never by-pass the reality that the majority of the population living in rural areas is typically in a difficult situation as usual. Lion part of the rural population is unorganised poor toilers.. They have to survive with less than minimal facilities of life. They are, of course, habituated with this, and they are more dependent on their fortune and omnipresent God. They rarely have faith in the government and democracy. Democracy has been imposed adversely on their minds. To them, democracy means some political leaders who are authoritarians and wealth makers use to battle politically for their better wealthy and healthy life, even for more than one generation. All the comforts of life are for the political leaders in any hierarchy of the political system. The poor labour masses have to live in hard times always. It is the real face in Indian democracy.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been disastrously affected the life and survival of unorganised poor working classes. They are now in harder time anytime before. Their pattern of job is always need-based and low paying without any security. They have lost their jobs. They have no savings to manage. They have no cash at all. Government doles are not enough for long runs. Even during this time, they are not getting private loan with high interest from the moneylenders in their locality. In fact, all of them are passing days with uncertain future. All of them (i.e. domestic workers, agricultural workers, and so forth) are locked in their own jobless area.
Transportation system (railways, bus and any other local mode of transport) has been paralysed so that they are unable to commute with job area where they usually work, especially the urban area which is the prime source of their different mode of jobs. Secondly, job areas where they use to work are locked because their employers are not ready to accept them, or they are in uncertain adverse condition for which they are trying to control their expenses.

Due to lack of easy transportation, farmers are not getting the proper price of their products. The traders, specifically middlemen are taking advantage of this situation. Government is indifferent and there is no policy to regulate the price of agricultural products. Farming communities or agriculture labourers have no alternative, and they are helpless because of their poor and insecure economic condition. The economy of the country is under control of middlemen and brokers everywhere. The farmers are always deprived of remunerative prices, no matter whether it is a BJP government or a Congress government. They are always exploited, and they never get proper price of their hard labour.

 The rural economy is in distress. About 3.5 million people had been applied for new job cards under MGNEGRA since April to May 2020. The government granted 1.5 million job cards. Unfortunately, half of them have been received in a mere 50 days of the current financial year. It is a situation of hand-to-mouth.

Last of all, they have right to vote! But they have no right to survive with basic amenities.

Vol. 53, No. 14, Oct 4 - 10, 2020