Thursday, September 29, 2011

“Laws” are not made for “Justice” – Observations of Tolstoy from Resurrection

In his last novel Resurrection (Published in 1899) Tolstoy presented his all observation of Russian society, and tried to expose every side of the Law, justice and morality of the “civil” people in a class society. And it is true, not only for Russia, but for all other class society of the whole world, and hold true for the capitalist society, which also rests of the property and class relations.
What he presented in the novel was, "“The upholding of class interests! I think the law is only an instrument for upholding the existing order of things beneficial to our class.”
In a very clear way he exposed that ground of every crime present in the structure of class based social system which commits perpetual violence on the masses of the people to protect property rights of few people.
It is a piece of work where Tolstoy had shown his hatred for the social culture and justice of a society based on the property ownership. At a place when he watched a poor worker died in the police custody, he says,
One could see what possibilities of a higher life had been destroyed in this man. The fine bones of his hands and shackled feet, the strong muscles of all his well proportioned limbs, showed what a beautiful, strong, agile human animal this had been. As an animal merely he had been a far more perfect one of his kind than the bay stallion, about the laming of which the fireman was so angry.
And then he added,
"Yet he had been done to death, and no one was sorry for him as a man, nor was any one sorry that so fine a working animal had perished.”
At a Place he clearly mentioned the partial and cheap conception of “justice” of a class society,
"It is usually imagined that a thief, a murderer, a spy, a prostitute, acknowledging his or her profession as evil, is ashamed of it. But the contrary is true. People whom fate and their sin-mistakes have placed in a certain position, however false that position may be, form a view of life in general which makes their position seem good and admissible. In order to keep up their view of life, these people instinctively keep to the circle of those people who share their views of life and their own place in it. This surprises us, where the persons concerned are thieves, bragging about their dexterity, prostitutes vaunting their depravity, or murderers boasting of their cruelty. This surprises us only because the circle, the atmosphere in which these people live, is limited, and we are outside it. But can we not observe the same phenomenon when the rich boast of their wealth, i.e., robbery; the commanders in the army pride themselves on victories, i.e., murder; and those in high places vaunt their power, i.e., violence? We do not see the perversion in the views of life held by these people, only because the circle formed by them is more extensive, and we ourselves are moving inside of it."
Tolstoy also criticized all show-offs done for the religious believes, and all misconceptions which are created by priest in society.
Now, we can also realize why Tolstoy in his last days of life had left his home and went away from alone, it must be the reason of the degenerated values of class society, which he was trying to expose, so that people will come to change them by changing self, and don’t themselves involve in those activities. But, that was not done, because that cannot happen, and 1905 Russian revolution was crushed by violent force. At last what happen with Tolstoy, it can be clearly seen from the novel Resurrection? Tolstoy at the end use his religious belief as opium to convince himself that if every individual left greed and dishonesty then everything wrong will disappear from the society. But, with these views he left everything which is material, collective and present in the social relations that direct the thoughts and views of every individual.
Among his entire observations of society, one thing is clear that if Tolstoy’s believe in God had been abolished and he had acquired the materialist world view then he must be a revolutionary.
It is a reason that on the death of Tolstoy, in 1910 Lenin has written, "Tolstoy the artist is known to an infinitesimal minority even in Russia. If his great works are really to be made the possession of all, a struggle must be waged against the system of society which condemns millions and scores, of millions to ignorance, benightedness, drudgery and poverty—a socialist revolution must be accomplished."
In India, most of the people are not aware of any classical literature, which are the mirror of the history, and if we left classical literature, we will see that Indians are not even get the literature of Premchand, which is at least the mirror of feudal and colonial India where capitalist relations were developing or thoughts of Bhagat Singh or Rahul Sankrityayan etc.

Friday, September 9, 2011

By Tolstoy: For NGO Supporter and Donators.. Who Resists the Change

""लोगों की आम भलाई करने की यह क्षमता, जिससे वह अपने को पूरी तरह वंचित अनुभव करता था, शायद गुण नहीं, बल्कि इसके विपरीत किसी चीज की कमी है -- नेकी, ईमानदारी, सद्भावनापूर्ण इच्छाओं तथा रूचियों की कमीं नहीं, बल्कि जीवन-शक्ति की कमीं, उस चीज की कमीं है, जिसे दिल कहते हैं, उस उत्प्रेरणा की कमीं है, जो आदमी को उसके सामने प्रस्तुत अपने जीवन-पथों में से एक को चुनने और उसी को चाहने के लिए विवश करती है। उसने इस बात को समझा कि आम भलाई का काम करने वाले, दूसरे बहुत से कार्यकर्ता भी इस सर्वकल्याण के प्यार की ओर दिल से नहीं खिंचे थे, बल्कि दिमाग़ी तर्क-वितर्क से एसा करना अच्छा समझते थे और केवल इसीलिए ऐसा करते थे। इस बात के अवलोकन से उसे इस अनुमान की और अधिक पुष्टि हो गई कि ये लोग सर्वकल्याण तथा आत्मा की अमरता के प्रश्न को शतरंज की एक बाज़ी या किसी नई मशीन की बहुत सुन्दर  बनावट से अधिर महत्व नहीं देते. . ." 
[पृ. - 246.4, तोलस्ताँय (Leo Tolstoy) के उपन्यास अन्ना करेनीना (Anna Karenina) से]

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Workers are struggling for their right in the Maruti Suzuki's Manesar Plant

 Workers of Maruti Manesar are protesting against Lockout and Dictatorial Behavior of Management (since 29th Aug 2011), which is trying to force workers to sign an agreement for good conduct, which indirectly hijack every democratic right of workers to protest, to unite, to demand respected work conditions, and to maintain balance with the dictatorship of management. And it is a well planned step taken by management to detain workers from making Trade Union in Maruti Manesar Plant. [See previous strike detail of Jun 2011]
Management imposed struggle on workers, and now it is saying that it will not start work while bond will not be signed by all workers. According to present market report there is not much demand of automobiles, so company has planned to draw workers for a long struggle. (The Hindu, 8 Sep 2011)
Before going further, we can see a very brief view of the condition of workers explained well in following articles,
1. From Sunday Guardian [The workers have a number of grievances with the working conditions in the plant: they say too much salary is cut for unscheduled leave, that they have to request permission to use the bathroom, that Rs 700 is cut from their wages if they are late for a shift by even a few minutes, and that temporary employees do not have the rights they should be accorded. They see the new union as essential to look into these concerns. They argue that signing the Good Conduct bond will effectively render the union powerless, since it ensures that the employees cannot use the only resource at their disposal: collective protest.]  
2.  From Kafila ["In an eight hour working day, with a twenty minute lunch break (in a canteen that is a distance from the main plant) and a seven minute tea break, the respite from continuous control and speed (control over movements, speed of operations) that an average worker gets is something like three minutes........."]
While having all information regarding these conditions, still mainstream media is shouting about the "loss of production", about the "fear of people who are booking the cars," etc.; but it has left everything related to the problem of workers. Working conditions of workers are not better than slaves, who are indirectly forced to work within the law and order of the industry. These all workers produce the cars , which all are used by the people who belongs to the civil society, that "civil society", which was protesting against corruption, and who "believes" that this intense crude exploitation of the workers in many industries is not come in the category of corruption. According to these "civil society" people, shucking of the life of many workers, in almost every production industry, is not corruption, and so they don't take interest in it, because it is not a glamor driven struggle, it is not a struggle which conducted in the shadow of video cameras, news bans, international support of "honest" peoples, of film stars etc.!!
As a citizen of "democratic" nation, what should be done in the support of workers? As we all have seen that in the recent days, in Anti Corruption movement of Anna Hazare many of us have participated and supported it. Most of the people supported it because they have some hope to get a better life of people in the whole nation (as many supporters, at least, shared this view, I don’t say what was their real intentions!!); it means that civil society members wanted to help the oppressed masses who are widely exploited due to unemployment and worst working and life conditions in the whole nation. Now, many people who have supported anti-corruption movement with this motive can further go ahead for some better way to support these oppressed masses of the nation. If Lokpal Bill was supported for the betterment of the social conditions of the people, then demanding workers must be sported by all sections of the society, in much better way. And this exploitation with worst working conditions is not happening in only in one or two factories, but it is happening in almost every factory across the "democratic" nation which is developing on the hard work of these masses of workers.
For all people and "civil society" members, mostly who supported anti-corruption movement for Jan Lokpal Bill (and who mostly concern about development in the form of long highways, fuel price rise, road jam, black money etc.), should further go ahead and join the struggle of workers against exploitation, because Lokpal Law (as many supporters think!!) may have  some indirect impacts on the society in a long time in the future, but these demands of the workers will have immediate impact on their conditions, it will have positive social impact for a better future of the workers (who are majority of the society), their families, and future of all coming generations, not only in one factory, but in all other factories.
In Gurgaon and Manesar alone there are many industries, which are producing luxury products and all workers of  these factories are highly victimized with the fear-building attitude of management, which use hired bouncers, and criminals on the name of security.
Above all, we should ask all people that is not it an open dictatorship of few people on those who have nothing, and who are forced by their social economic conditions to work in these industries which are running to earn profit? Due to this thrust of profit workers mostly forced to do their work for 12 to 16 hours for 7 days in a week, so that they can earn as much, (not more than that!!) which can keep them alive. And all this is done with the violation of constitutional labor laws.
All of us should share the demands of the workers widely among everyone we know.

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