The Maruti July struggle : Where Caste meets Class oppression

Fact finding teams of New Wave New Delhi* have confirmed that the ‘murder’ of the executive at Maruti is in fact a lie and in all likelihood he died in an accidental fire. The factory at Manesar is now under lockout and workers are under threat of layoffs with plans of the plant being shifted to Gujarat.

The death of the executive has been highlighted by practically all news channels, however what was deliberately missed out in their coverage was the cause of the violence at the factory shop floor. Preceding the violent incident in July, a worker got into a brawl with the company’s casteist supervisor who repeatedly insulted the worker’s caste. After bearing this insult for long enough, his tolerance finally broke when he assaulted the supervisor. The Supervisor being of an upper caste background and the workers mostly lower caste. After this assault, the management had the worker fired from the company but no action was taken against the supervisor for his behavior.

The workers at Maruti’s Manesar plant rose in solidarity to defend their fellow compatriot during which the violence ensued. The company sought to tackle the workers with force and subdue them. A tactic which backfired and ended in getting the company’s HR executive killed. The present situation is still tense, with the factory being under lockout and the workers under threat of mass layoffs and unemployment.

What this incident shows :

The situation at Manesar shows in full the convergence of caste oppression and class oppression which is one of the central pillars of India’s proletarianization based economy. The workers at Maruti’s Manesar plant are one of the most exploited amongst organized workers, but consequently are also one of the most militant. They are a perfect example of caste oppression working to squeeze out exploitable workers from the countryside and force them into the urban industrial sphere, where they are taken as ready-to-exploit labor force.

The worker’s fight for better working conditions and freedom of organization at Maruti, goes hand in hand with the fight against caste divisions and caste oppression in the countryside. The convergence of oppression must be replied thus, with a convergence of militant struggle against the twin pillars of caste and class oppression in India.

Urgent need of solidarity:

Most unions have de facto abandoned the cause of the Manesar workers and anti-caste organizations have been conspicuous by their silence. This has allowed the thoroughly pro-bourgeois and pro-upper caste news media to distort facts to its own liking and paint the workers of Maruti as arch villains ‘hurting India’s growth’. The workers at Manesar face the unfettered vengeance of the Maruti management and of the Haryana state government. At this juncture the most criminal betrayal would be to leave them in this fight alone.

All progressive and revolutionary forces across the country, committed to the cause of the working class and its oppressed brethren in the countryside, must unite with the workers at Maruti in this struggle against the oppressive treatment on part of the Maruti management.

*[ press statement of New Wave Delhi ]


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