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The fragrance of the blood, sweat of the workers!

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By: Azhar-U-Din

Karl Marx, once said, “All the workers of the world unite; they have nothing to lose except their chains.” This revolutionary quote acts as a rallying cry, igniting enthusiasm in the veins of labours throughout history. All the stuff on the earth’s surface that makes life possible is wholly and solely dependent on labour.

Labour modifies all raw materials for final use- the food we consume on plates is only possible because of labour. The plate itself is the result of labour. Air-conditioned rooms and sofas, on which capitalists and business tycoons discuss labour exploitation, are also creations of labour. Even a single needle is the creation of the proletariat. It is the tailor who gives the real shape to humans, making them eligible for the processes of socialization and distinguishing them from the rest of the animal world.

The capitalist world leaves no stone unturned in its cruelty against the labour class. It sucks their blood in industries, treating them as bonded slaves. The surplus value that makes the rich richer is generated through the muscle power of labour. Tall skyscrapers, roads, highways, and buildings are tagged and inaugurated by capitalists, despite the funds they provide originating from the sweat and blood of labour. Nevertheless, labour is never found at their inaugurations or opening ceremonies.

Marx believed that labour reproduces more children forattaining better economic prospects in future. But in this attempt, he himself throwshis children into the trap of capitalist exploitation. Thus, the cycle of exploitation of the bourgeoisie over the proletariat continues, and generations of labour remain without education, facing the challenges of hunger, deteriorating health conditions, poor dwelling facilities, less or no amenities and little opportunities that can make their lives better.

It is important to note that in contemporary times, not only uneducated labour is exploited, but educated minds also suffer the same fate. Big MNCs and IT companies also exploit young minds. Moreover, in private schools, there is the worst form of exploitation of young teachers. On average, the owner of these institutions pays them just ten thousand rupees per month, and these poor fellows are supposed to teach more than four classes per day.

Even the government does not refrain from exploiting young educated brains. Contractual and vocational teachers working in different government schools, colleges, and universities are also exploited. Paying them a salary of ten thousand to twenty-eight thousand rupees is a big assault on their degrees and the midnight oil they burned during their studies. Most permanent teachers and other non-teaching staff, who lack qualifications and are outdated, draw salaries of above fifty thousand rupees.

Why does the government treat these two working groups under the same educational roofs differently? One is highly paid and valued, even though they are not eligible for it. On the other side, those working in these educational institutions having good qualifications and other modern skills are treated like slaves and bonded labour compared to their counterparts?

There is an urgent need to revive and ban this entire system of exploitation in industries, MNCs, private schools, colleges, and even government educational institutions. Everybody facing any form of exploitation should raise voice against this tyranny and oppression. We all must embody the basic essence of Marx’s quotation mentioned at the beginning of this write-up. We literally have to break the chains of bondage and slavery. Even if it costs every drop of our blood, we have to spend it because we have to free our future generations from this cycle of injustice and autocracy.

Finally, the government should also revise its policies. At the very least, it must make a clear-cut difference between its policies and those of capitalists. It must treat everybody the same andensure equality- creating a society where everyone lives with honour and respect, having all the basic necessities and facilities necessary for growth and development.

The writer is a Research Scholar, Dept. of Geography, Vidyanagri, Kalina, University of Mumbai, Maharashtra. [email protected]

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