Struggling For Nation Building
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The book is a brief account of the histor yof the All India Bank Officers’ Confederation, India’s largest bank officers’ union. It outlines the strategies and organisational forms that were used to develop a militant trade unoion of white collar workers, who largely belong to the managerial and supervisory class. The documentation of the struggles of the association present an illustration about the ways in which a working class consciousness can be developed among the so called ‘middle class’ wokers. The book shows that the development of such a consciousness is important not only for the bank officers themselves, but also for other working class movements that have received support from the bank officers in their fight for their legitimate rights. The second aspect brought out by this book is regarding the role of the bank officers in advocating models of inclusive banking and defending public sector banks against disinvestment. In this sense the struggles of the bank officers are not only for the betterment of their own working conditions, but also for the establishment of an egalitarian public banking system. Hence the Confederation forms an important part of the larger fight against exclusionary neo-liberal economic policies. From this perspective, the history recounted here provides important lessons for the ways in which workers of all classes can unite together against corporate capital.
Archana Prasad is Professor at the Centre for Informal Sector and Labour Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She is the author of Red Flag of the Warlis: History of an Ongoing Struggle (201&), Against Ecological Romanticism: Verrier Elwin and the Making of an Anti-Modern Tribal Identity (2011), and Environmentalism and the Left: Contemporary Debate and Future Agendas (2004).
Sarika Chaudhary is an independent researcher based in Delhi. She completed her MA in Development and Labour Studies from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi in 2017. She has previously contributed to research projects documenting the oral histories of the Worli Adivasis and the employment, working and livelihood conditions of migrant workers from Bihar in the Informal Sector in the National Capital Reigon. For years she has been an activist in the Left Students’ movement in Delhi.
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