Land of unions and associations

Flights Of Fantasy

[ M Panging Pao ]

India has numerous organisations, associations and unions. Many of these organisations are doing good work for society in diverse fields like education, medical aid, relief & rehabilitation, preservation, child care, destitute, refugees, etc, and thus contributing to peace, progress and development. Many of these organisations are world renowned, while some are doing good work and remaining unsung in the shadows.

Similarly, Arunachal Pradesh also has numerous unions and organisations spread across all corners of the state. Many of these organisations or unions are doing genuine work for society and thus are important pillars in the growth of the state. However, there are many organisations or unions formed with ulterior agendas of achieving material gains or as indirect pressure groups aimed at certain officials or individuals. Many people feel that ‘Orunasol’ has too many unions and associations.

There are many ‘interesting’ unions/associations: Unemployed Workers Union, Unemployed Engineers Union, Arunachal Unemployed Union, Pro Dam Union, Anti Dam Union, Tata Sumo Union, Anti-Corruption Sena, Save Arunachal Union, Tribal Rural Panchayati Restoration Committee, Commercial Building Owners Association, etc.

It appears that small groups of persons get together and form unions or associations at the drop of a hat to act as pressure groups on government, officials, and organisations. Some of these unions/associations are used by bigger players as political weapons to achieve political goals. Once formed, these groups resort to protests, dharnas and use social media to exert pressure on the government, officials, and individuals. Many of these groups are not registered and do not have any legal sanctity.

On the other hand, a few of these groups have been successful in putting checks and balances on errant officials and in curbing government overreach/excesses. A few groups have forced the government or officials to withdraw/abrogate erroneous/illegal policies. Thus, public pressure through these groups has helped in development and evolvement of a healthy society. Without these groups, there could have been many cases of government overreach or excesses.

Too many unions or associations are a narrative of parallel system of governance with its own economic implications. Huge expenditures are involved in the formation and execution of activities of unions or associations; dharnas and protests also involve expenditures. Most protests/dharnas end with negotiations and compromises from both sides. It is alleged that these negotiations and compromises include payouts and thus these unions/associations become part of the economic chain in government. Many feel that these unions or associations leverage on malpractices by government, officials, and organisations to extract material retribution. It may not be wrong to say that many unions or associations thrive on malpractices, graft and wrongdoings by the government, officials, and organisations.

It seems that these numerous unions or associations will remain in Orunasol in the near future also. Orunasol is a land of khushi-khushi… likewise, it may not be wrong to say that Orunasol is also a land of unions and associations. Do you agree? (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)