May Day in India – Workers organise in opposition to BJP government 

 On 1st May, Shramik Hakk Andolan, a trade union formed by New Socialist Alternative celebrated International Labor Day by organising a rally of workers. This is the third consecutive year that held a rally. Last year, we organised two rallies, one in the morning and another in the evening since the workers are spread out in different parts of the city. This year we decided to have one but at a central place in the city. Our objective was to have a united action and more importantly, to organise this in the central area of the city.

Notwithstanding the heatwave and considerable travelling distance, many workers participated in the rally. Prior to that, local workers’ committees organised various meetings to plan the rally. A committee at Warje prepared a board displaying all instruments used by construction workers. A committee at Kothrud organised an essay competition for workers’ children. Another one at Yerawada had been practising lezim (a kind of dance) for the rally.

May Day evening saw a vibrant rally with hundreds of workers shouting slogans and displaying various visuals. Apart from scores of red flags, we had placards with messages emphasising the central role played by labour and labourers in running the world around us. Some placards read: “We the construction workers build houses, buildings, highways, airports. We are the ones who run this country.” Others read: “We the industrial workers produce all the articles used by everyone around. We are the ones who run this country.” 

We also had cutouts of various other labourers, like sanitation workers and bus drivers. Although our members are construction workers, the rally represented the working class as a whole.

Workers enthusiastically participated in the rally. They performed the lezim dance at the very beginning of the rally giving it an upbeat start. Later our comrades presented a rap song written by us highlighting the significance of the class struggle.  They shouted various slogans upholding the legacy of May Day and also putting forward demands of workers. Comrade Sagar Savita Dhanraj, General Secretary of the union, called upon workers to further consolidate the class unity to defeat the divisive communal politics of the current regime. Comrade Youvraj, President of the union, citing the anti-working class character of the BJP government, impressed upon the need for a sustained fight against these forces even after elections. Workers resolved to unite to combat the BJP government. Representatives of a few other trade unions and left organisations also participated in the rally. We distributed 1200 leaflets en route. After around two hours of walking through the middle of the city, the rally came to an end.

Special financial appeal to all readers of

Support building alternative socialist media provides a unique analysis and perspective of world events. also plays a crucial role in building the struggle for socialism across all continents. Capitalism has failed! Assist us to build the fight-back and prepare for the stormy period of class struggles ahead.
Please make a donation to help us reach more readers and to widen our socialist campaigning work across the world.

Donate via Paypal

Liked this article? We need your support to improve our work. Please become a Patron! and support our work
Become a patron at Patreon!
May 2024