Academic journal article Labor Law Journal

Teachers V. Industrial Workmen in India: In Light of the A. Sundarambal Case Contrasted with the Laws of Some Developed Nations

Academic journal article Labor Law Journal

Teachers V. Industrial Workmen in India: In Light of the A. Sundarambal Case Contrasted with the Laws of Some Developed Nations

Article excerpt

PRABIR BHATTACHARYYA holds a B. Tech. in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, a M. Tech. in Computer Science from the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, and a L.L.B. from Delhi University. He has conducted extensive research in the signal processing aspects related to industrial process monitoring. The author's present objective and passion is to undertake meaningful research to help the disadvantaged and deprived.

The experience gathered from the books, though often valuable, is but of the nature of learning, whereas the experience gained from actual life is of the nature of wisdom.

Samuel Smiles'

1.Introduction

Though this paper discusses only one Indian judicial decision, it has significant global relevance. The world today has shrunk considerably, due to explosive advancements in almost every sphere of knowledge in the recent past. Businesses of the nations have expanded much beyond their own territorial limits, keeping pace with advancements in knowledge and opening of new frontiers of opportunities. India and China, because of their unique strength of population, have emerged not only as the largest markets for the developed nations, but also as the two largest suppliers of "cheap labor" to augment and save the industrial progress from stagnation and decay in the developed nations. Cross cultural understanding has assumed paramount significance in this context. The need to understand the Indian psyche and the Indian value system for sustaining global business in India could hardly be overemphasized.

Judicial decisions are vibrant and living reflections of the sociological principles and the general culture of a nation. A picture of an entire society could be grasped from a mere look at its judicial decisions. There could be no better and more trustworthy recorded images of the Indian mind and ethical values than those eternally imprinted in Indian judgments. It is, therefore, a must that all nations, aspiring commercial entry into the Indian market and exploitation of cheap Indian labor, first focus seriously on Indian judgments.

India contributes about a fifth of the world population. About 50% of them are engaged in industry,2 out of which more than 70% are labor. Without that four hundred million human beings being provided with the basic amenities of living, and their inherent interests being righteously and religiously protected, no nation of the world can attain and maintain its well-being. There are, therefore, high stakes of the world community in the well-being of Indian labor. Any judicial decision which adversely affects so many human lives, a large portion ofwhom is known to exist in some ofthe most pitiable conditions in existence even today, has probably the dimension of any of the existing human rights. Deficiency and perversion existing in the area of human rights and unfathomable inequalities ofwealth and prosperity in India are nakedly inhuman, even today. A global concern in this respect is, therefore, certainly justified. Moreover, the world concern in Indian judicial decisions is reflected in the salutary collation well known as the Bangalore Code of Judicial Conduct" and the very existence of the International Labor Organization (ILO). Industrial growth and well-being of labor, so far, have never been complimentary, at least on Indian soil.

Additionally, in recent times, there has been a constant demand from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB), to immediately alter the Indian labor legislations. "Indian labor law is archaic, and in dire need for immediate reform," thunders the IMF.4 One U.S.- based Indian Vice President of the World Bank even claims that by total surrender of all their well-being at the mercy of their Indian employers, Indian labor will do immense good to themselves.5 One is really puzzled: whether these agencies are speaking of Indian labor law on paper or the one which is actually in vogue. …

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