With the railway strike in India now more than a week old, Mrs. Gandhi's government?
With the railway strike in India now more than a week old, Mrs. Gandhi's government is showing no sign of relenting in its fight against the strikers. Some 20,000 trade unionists and railway workers have been arrested since the strike began on the 8th May, and the government has said it will not negotiate until the stoppage is called off.
At the strike moved into its seventh day on Tuesday (14th May), a call for a general strike in support of the railway men went out from more than 150 other trade unions throughout the country. On Wednesday (15th May), the call was reported to have evoked a mixed response. But services were reduced to a minimum in Delphi, Bombay and Calcutta, adding to the difficulties caused by the rail strike, but apart from disrupting travel, the strike has not had any serious effect on the daily life of the capital Delhi.
Fresh vegetables are brought to the city every day and on Tuesday there were still plenty for sale in the streets.
Coal stocks for the city's power houses are estimated to be sufficient to last for another ten days, and the unions have exempted electricity and other vital serivices for their strike.
The rail unions are demanding more pay, but the government has resisted their claim on the grounds that it would trigger off another round of inflationary wage claims.