Bank employees’ strike

| Updated on December 02, 2014 Published on December 02, 2014

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Not satisfied with their one-day strike last month, 10-lakh strong bank employees are to repeat the same this week. Is there no law to exclude bank officers from going on strike or declare the strike illegal? The demands of the employees are too exorbitant to succeed through work-stoppage — 23 per cent increase in wages, five-day week, more staff, less working hours, and so on. And if this is a laundry list, why cripple the national economy by shirking work every now and then?

Unsurprisingly, such industrial action draws no public support. PSBs are seen as overstaffed and gossip-minded service providers who look upon customers as intruders in their pastime. Their true mindset is revealed in small town single-branch locations where monopoly of service makes bank personnel little despots. Before the management yields to their demands it should insist on enhancement of productivity, better customer service, fewer closed holidays, manpower reduction and organisational restructuring driven by technology-savvy personnel and systems.

YG Chouksey


False sense of security

‘Balancing risks and rewards in cricket’ by D Sampathkumar (December 2) is an engaging but long article belabouring the point. I do not agree that this is a black swan event. A key point seems to have been missed out. In my playing days, we wore no helmets and there was fear batting on matting wickets where the ball would rear up once in a way. This fear was instrumental in honing our technique. This fear is now taken away with helmets giving batsmen a false sense of security.

Phillip Hughes swayed into the line of a bouncer and continued with the hook shot even after he realised the ball was in his direction and not moving away. This was the result of a false sense of security provided by helmet. ICC would do well to analyse this point and get players to understand that the helmet is not the ultimate protection, good technique is.

DN Prahlad


Towards better banking

This refers to the report, ‘Centre invites suggestions from public to help improve banks’ performance’ (December 2). This is a welcome move and will give an opportunity to the enlightened public to share their views on the working of PSBs.

To make things easier and analysis quicker, the group entrusted with following up on improving services may get hold of a copy of the RBI governor’s speech at Anand, Gujarat, on November 25, and also start perusing articles/reports in the media on net interest margins, HR issues in PSBs, unclaimed deposits and ATM services.

MG Warrier


The move by the Centre to invite suggestions from the public on the improvement of PSBs is an innovative step. The first and foremost objective is how to control the menace of NPAs which is eroding the profits of PSBs; the ultimate victims are the employees who were denied an increase in salary because of this. It is not that the government does not know the root cause for this, it is not taking a serious look at the issue.


Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh

Devious ways

This is with reference to ‘Black is black’ by A Srinivas (December 2). As rightly pointed out, ‘black’ comes back as ‘white’ through FII, fictitious trade and FDI. Of all the illegal routes to smuggle it in, the most worrisome is the participatory note route where the investor has his/her true identity concealed.

Unfortunately, the problem is a true reflection of the basic, devious Indian character. The more one earns, the more the temptation to cheat. Unless our internal finance management is totally foolproof, with stringent punishment to offenders, it will be business as usual.

It is not that the menace of black money is confined to India. It is globally pervasive. The difference is that when a person is caught, the punishment meted out is very severe. So long as we refuse to keep our own house in order, black will simply remain black.

KP Prabhakaran Nair


Unfair to customers

It is atrocious on the part of the bank staff of the southern region to go a day’s strike suddenly. The bi-party agreement between the unions and the government calls for prior notice. The strike causes much inconvenience to customers and this will pave the way for account-holders to migrate to private banks. Such actions must be curtailed by enacting the ESMA and bringing out an ordinance empowering the government. to dismiss employees who dare to go on strike.

JR Kamath

Coonoor, Tamil Nadu

Land hoax

This refers to the article, “When the Greens go too far” by Narendar Pani (December 2). A question in the article is, is the shortage of industrial land as serious as it is made out to be? The answer is a clear no. When you look at the lands held by the industrial development authority of just five States — Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bengal — you will clearly see that argument of industrial land shortage is a hoax. Put together these five States have 2,50,000 acres of land, which is unallocated.

The Gujarat industrial development authority has around 1,30,000 acres of industrial land for allotment and it has allotted only 80,000 acres. Which means it has 50,000 acres of unallocated industrial land and this does not include the land allocated and unused by the company which got the allotment to develop industry in that land. These lands have been acquired by these State authorities over many years and they have not been used properly.

Of the 500,000 acres of land with these State governmnet authorities, 50 per cent is unallocated and we all are being fed by the hoax that there is a serious shortage of industrial land in this country and we need to have new legislation for land acquisition. These numbers are only for the five States and if we do a serious research of all other States we are sure to get a staggering number which will surprise everyone in this country.

Then there is the issue of land which was allotted and kept unused. This should be taken back and used for the intended purpose. Let the State and the Centre try hard and use the current land bank which is with the government to promote industry and not fall prey to the hoax that is being fed to them.

CR Arun


Worrisome Bill

Having read the Marriage Law (Amendment) Bill I am surprised to see the Modi sarkar following in the same old footsteps of the UPA. The known parliamentary process is not being followed, which is worrisome. A draft must be made available to the public and opinion should be sought before tabling it in the Lok Sabha. This Bill will surely affect millions of law-abiding citizens.

Srinivas Prasad


Maoist strike

It is a tragedy that 14 CRPF men were killed in an ambush by Maoists in Chhattisgarh. The situation in the ‘red corridor’ stretching through central and eastern India is far worse than the public are being led to believe. Motivated by political ideals and willing to make sacrifices, Maoists are in a league of their own. They do not exist in a vacuum, but in a social context that provides space for and requires the defence of neglected tribals and landless farmers suffering social and economic deprivation as well as political alienation. This should rule out the current strategy to rely on security offensives by para-military forces to crush the armed revolt by the Maoist ultras. The point is that it is a problem rooted in fundamental socio-economic and political causes, and not a law and order problem as such to be tackled by the police. Without tackling the root causes and the structural violence embedded in them at the political level, making the country Naxal-free is easier said than done.

In its mad rush for lop-sided development, lakhs of hectares forest are handed over to corporate giants for projects resulting in loss of livelihoods for indigenous forest dwellers. The denial of basic human rights to the marginalised and dispossessed makes resistance a duty. However noble a cause or a goal may be, the futility of violence cannot be denied. Hence the resistance must be nonviolent and peaceful to carry more moral weight. Despite its disagreements with their credo that political power flows through the barrel of a gun and their violent ways, the State should take the initiative for a dialogue with the Naxalites to find some common ground on tribal welfare and defuse the situation to the extent possible and avert bloodshed.

G David Milton

Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

Published on December 02, 2014
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