Answer & Enrich Your Learning:
Working Class Movements in India
The First phase: 1850s -1918
- The actions of the working class in the earliest stagewere sporadic and unorganised immature and hence were mostly ineffective.
- It is only from the late 19th century in Madras,and from the second decade of the twentieth century in Bombay that serious attempts were made for the formation of associations that could lead organised form of protests; though the Congress was formed in 1885, it seriously thought of organising the working class only in the early 1920s.
- The Working class in the country was organising struggles against capital much before the 1920s.
- In the last decades of the 19th century, there occurred strikes at Bombay,Kurla, Surat, Wardha, Ahmedabad and in other places; The strikes however were only sporadic,spontaneous, localised and short-lived and were caused by factors such as reduction in wages, imposition of fines, dismissal or reprimand of the worker.
- These actions and militancy, which they showed, helped in the development of class solidarity and consciousness, which was missing earlier.
Second phase- 1918 to independence:
- The unorganised movement of the workers took an organised form; trade unions were formed on modern lines.
- In several ways the decade of the 1920s is crucial in this regard.
- Firstly in the 1920sserious attempts were made by the Congress and the Communists to mobilise the working class and hence from then onwards henational movement established a connection with the working class.
- Secondly,it was in 1920 that the first attempt to form an all India organisation was made; in this decade, India witnessed a large number of strikes; the strikes were prolonged and well participated by the workers.
- The number of strikes and number of workers involved in these strikes went on increasing in the subsequent decades etc.