A setback

Sir, — The Supreme Court verdict on the Tamil Nadu Government employees' strike has dealt a severe blow to the organised labour movement in India. It is often alleged that the trade unions resort to indiscriminate strikes making unjust demands, holding Government offices and other establishments to ransom. This is not wholly true and a line needs to be drawn to demarcate political and apolitical strikes. The misuse of the strike by trade unions for political reasons is condemnable; but the scope of misuse of this verdict by Governments is much more and will have far-reaching ill-effects on the democratic fabric of our nation.

V. Venkatesh, Thanjavur, T.N.

Sir, — The judgment hits at the very tenet of the Constitution. Strike is the lifeline of any worker. It is his only weapon against subjugation and exploitation.

Abdul Khan, Dharwad, Karnataka

Sir, — The ruling would have been welcomed by all if it had spelt out equally vociferously the obligations of the employers. It has permitted without consequences the unjust actions of the employer in one stroke. If a blatantly unjust action is initiated by the employer, and there is no established scheme for redress of grievances and impartial disposal, what consequence should the employer bear?

Kumar. S., California, U.S.

Sir, — The verdict will have a tremendous impact if it is used for banning `bandhs' called by political parties. The recent Mumbai `bandh,' which prevented the poor from earning their livelihood, benefited only those who had set off the blast, in that they succeeded in paralysing the economy and bringing life to a standstill.

M. S. Menon, Bangalore

Sir, — The Court has not only upheld the rule of law but has kept itself attuned to the unmistakable mood of the vast majority of common people who cannot even dream of the many privileges the organised sector enjoys by way of employment.

G. Jagannathan, Dharmapuri, T.N.