Sunday, October 11, 2015


Front Page, Faridabad Majdoor Samachar
June 2015, New Series #324

“Thoughts of a Few Temporary Workers”, front page of the April 2015 issue of FMS, has generated many conversations. A group of factory workers called from Nagpur praising the workers’ words and ideas. We hear a Bangla translation has been published. An art student associated with ‘Gulf Labour’ feels it’s expedient that there be, and has promised, an English translation. Reading it, people who work in, or have worked in, factories have felt an electric excitement. To one friend these workers exemplify the highest form of expression of being a worker in the world today. Another said they have posed the most expansive and universal condition of being a worker in the present. And, not unexpectedly, political groups have reached out to the Majdoor Library to condemn the workers’ words and actions.

This excitement, so much support, strong opposition, together. Why? It’s a response to the vibrant and expressive confidence of these workers. This confidence comes from their expansive capacities. These capacities are both qualities and wagers. Here’s a beginning list:

- Capacity to describe
- Capacity to evaluate, interpret, analyse
- Capacity to use memory tools

- Capacity to gather resources
- Capacity to build a shared resource base
- Capacity to act, take decisions

- Capacity to de-operationalise and disrupt settled assumptions of distinctions between speaker and listener
- Capacity to puncture pompousness
- Capacity, and courage, to interrupt and talk back

- Capacity for taking flexible, egoless steps
- Capacity to take these steps with a measure of ones strength
- Capacity to make adjustments when there are errors, and stay open to new experiments
- Capacity to take steps as person, team, group, gathering, network

- Capacity for simplicity and intensity, straightforwardness and complexity
- Capacity of generosity for sources of ideas and resources
- Capacity to soak in a diversity of suggestions and a range of advice
- Capacity for listening to everyone yet acting according to own reading of situations

- Capacity to sharply recognize stakes
- Capacity for patient analysis
- Capacity to read signs, make the hidden apparent, read the inscrutable, hoodwink the deceit

- Capacity to act, and be active through and across workspaces, everywhere
- Capacity to be expressive in, and have presence in, an entire region

- Capacity for communal luxury, collective joy
- “What is it that workers want?”
Capacity to increase the heat and keep this riddle smoldering.

No comments:

Post a Comment