Bhopal: Employee unions have been targeted by the government on the social media platform X, which prompted Former Chief Minister Kamal Nath to state, “By terminating the registration of unions of 12 lakhs employees and pensioners of MP, the BJP government yet again exposes its anti-employee and autocratic side”.

These unions have been registered to operate for over fifty years, while others have over thirty years. Scrapping of registration of the following unions means that they will be barred from conducting correspondence between them and the government for employees and pensioners. It stifles the employees’ voice, is autocratic, and is detrimental to democracy and human rights. From the facts presented in the case, it is clear that the government wants to control its employees and make sure no one stands up against this control they are putting on them. This is a deep conspiracy, indeed.

However, citizens’ rights are undeniably fundamental in a democracy, especially recognition of the right to association, freedom of speech and presentation of bargaining grievances. Through the crude and unilateral act of canceling the registration of established union organizations, the government is thus violating this right and risking the democratic structure of the state. Thus, the government as representative of the state power, must respect employees’ and pensioners’ rights and negotiate with their representatives with maximum mutual understanding.

Moreover, the timing of this action makes it critical since it raises the issue of government motives. Considering the stakes included the employees’ well-being and pension entitlements, a constructive discussion carries much more potency than threats and repression.

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