Ever since the BJP came to power, it has been accused by the opposition and other parties of adopting policies which are against the poor and working classes of the country. Activists affiliated to various NGOs have also been vocal against the implications of the center’s policies on environment and rights of workers. But the latest crisis for the Modi government is spearheaded by a very unlikely opponent — the RSS itself.
The Bhartiya Majdoor Sangh(BMS), which is an affiliate of the RSS, has decided to join trade unions around the nation to protest against the economic policies of the Modi regime and the amendments in labour laws. The organizing secretary of the BMS, KC Mishra said that if Modi cannot give anything to laborers, he should at least not snatch away what they have.
Mishra is the senior most among 22 pracharaks of the RSS deputed to the BMS. Mishra came out bluntly against Modi and said that the PM does not really understand what poverty is.
He said that the poverty Modi saw in western India is not as bad as the situations in the east where the standard of life is much lower. Mishra also said that while the UPA government was at times cautious of trade unions, the Modi regime is not even ready to talk. The decision by the BMS comes after repeated letters to the Prime Minister failed to fetch any response.
The BMS says that it stands against policies of disinvestment and Make in India as they will involve amendments to labor laws which may leave laborers vulnerable to exploitation. Their view is that only useless laws should be amended but those crucial for protection of rights of workers should be preserved.
Mishra put Make in India in the same category as policies of successive governments since globalization in 1991 which he terms conspiracies. The RSS veteran said that such “conspiracies” have already destroyed micro, small and medium enterprises. The unions are planning to declare a nationwide strike against the amendments in labour laws and the land bill which is already facing a lot of heat.
Policies such as the land bill and now this dissent among the trade unions seem to add fuel to accusations of the Modi regime being on one side with industrialists and ignoring the working class. The U-turn on FDI in multi-brand retail has also invited widespread criticism.
The move by the BMS comes as one in a series of confrontations between the BJP and the RSS. While the BJP is focusing on a more growth oriented agenda that facilitates industrialization, the RSS is concerned about sticking to the roots and prioritizing workers rights.
The new policies by the Modi government seem to be creating friction between the BJP and its ideological ally which has been seen as the major driving force behind Narendra Modi’s campaign to become the Prime Minister. This appears to be the outcome of unfulfilled expectations that the RSS had from their favored candidate.