Friday, February 24, 2012


(New Series No. 264)

February 2012

Instead of saying that “Workers have occupied the factory,” it should be said that “Workers have removed the company and the government's occupation of the factory”: From June 4 to June 16, 2011, what workers did in the Maruti Suzuki Manesar factory is very significant. Then from October 7, what the workers did in Maruti Suzuki, Suzuki Engine, Suzuki Casting, Suzuki Motorcycle, Satyam Auto, Bajaj Motor, Endurance, Highlex, Lumex, Lumex D, Degania factories is even more significant. This is not a matter of populist rights. This was also not a strike. In Majdoor Samachar, we called it a worker's occupation of the factory. But to call what the workers did between June to October 2011 in IMT Manesar an occupation devalues its significance. And then to use the term “occupy” takes us in the wrong direction.

Our hierarchical, poor-rich, weak-strong, stratified society functions on the basis of occupations. Nowadays, companies and government are bent on not only occupying the earth but each thing, they are even competing with one another to occupy outer space. We want to remove the occupations over each thing. Occupation of cow, occupation of the bodies of humans, occupation of the earth, occupation of homes, occupation of water- occupation of the heart and mind... The ambition of occupation takes us to the edge of destruction. In this way, to term what workers did in IMT Manesar as occupation is to negate its essence and tantamount to crushing its possibilities. Maruti worker's discussions and reflections reveal that during October 7 to 14th when the company and government did not have control over the factory workers experienced life's happiness in a way that they had not even dreamt of before. That is why what IMT Manesar workers did is a starting point for the “removal of occupation.” In this context, the Occupy movement in America is actually about the push to remove factory and government occupations and it is because of this meaning that it is significant.

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