Friday, February 29, 2008

Smoking Buddha is Ok But CPM will you please stop Smoking us

The West Bengal environment department may have banned smoking in public places, but last week Yahoo News Reported how  CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee merrily forgot the order, walkingimage in to a realty expo, where he exhorted realtors to go green, with a cigarette in his  hand. Guess it was a matter of creative freedom, to use a filmstar’s imageexcuse. In any case, the CM does two double packs of 555 daily. In fact, when the PWD put up notices along the walls of Writers Building declaring the corridors a no-smoking zone, the ministers’ chambers, including the CM’s, were spared. 

I can understand CPM Leaders breaking Laws as Laws are meant for Low Life Minions like us. But what happened to their avowed hatred for MNC Companies? 555 is famous brand from the British American Tobacco Company (BAT). Also, Why is Buddha not smoking Dinesh Beedi which CPM owns in  Kerala?

That brings me to interesting topic of CPM Run Kerala Dinesh Beedi.

Think Communism and Keralites immediately recall that legendary cocktail of black tea, beedi and parippuvada which powered generations of comrades. Yet, the beedi workers who formed a vital force that propped up the Communist movement are now an unwanted lot. The CPM-run Kerala Dinesh Beedi (KDB) which used to employ thousands of workers and brought respectability to the trade is today facing an existential crisis.

The 36-year old Kerala Dinesh Beedi (KDB) located in Kannur District of Kerala was brain child of CPI (M). It is still run and Managed by CPI(M).  However, as a sign of changing times CPI (M) emphasis is shifting from traditional industries where hundreds of thousands of workers are reeling under pressure and many on the verge of collapse to to the hi-tech IT park/Amusement water theme facilities/AC auditorium/super speciality hospitals/ resorts/hypermarket etc.

CPM central committee member M A Baby tried to Justify this move by saying

"It is part of the party’s policy to utilise resources in the capitalist system for the benefit of the downtrodden”

He even tried to explain it Ideologically

"The party views it as a dialectical relationship between struggle and compromise in the path to revolution"

What ever it means....

As the survival of the KDB was very much in doubt, the management(run by CPI(M)) decided to introduce austerity measures such as job cuts, freeze on bonus and gratuity etc.  The management sought the reduction of the production cost considerably by cutting working days to three a week {from six}. Disgruntled by the prevailing confusion and tensions, the workers of the KDB recently took to agitational path and blockaded the society's headquarters in Kannur - a rare event in party- controlled institutions. The also tookout a march to the KDB depot in Pinarayi, home turf of CPM State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, in protest against the party’s neglect of their plight.

The CPM washes its hands off the Dinesh Beedi workers controversy saying some anti-party activists were behind the campaign to tarnish the party’s image whereas the beedi workers’ crisis was driven by market forces. 

I still fail to understand why is Rs 4000 Crores rich CPM NOT Bailing out Kerala Dinesh Beedi. Afterall, we have heard several times CPM demanding Bailout of Sick Public Sector units. Why is CPM not using same yardstick in its own premises?




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