October 15, 1979, Forty Years Ago: Mill Strike Off
Workers of the Ayodhya Textile Mill decided to call off their 110-day-old strike from the morning of October 15 following an agreement with the owner of the mill, the National Textile Corporation. Out of 24,000 striking workers of five textile mills in the national capital, about 3,100 belong to the Ayodhya mill. The remaining workers are employed in three mills of the DCM group and one mill of the Birlas. The action committee of the textile unions, which has been leading the agitation, said that the indefinite strike will continue in all the four mills till the managements accept its demands.
Prime Minister Charan Singh denied casteism charges levelled against him by Congress (I) and Janata leaders and said they themselves were perpetuating the division of society on the basis of birth. How could they accuse him of casteism when they preached a system which could not be got rid of except by change of religion, Singh asked while inaugurating the election campaign of the Lok Dal in Kaithal, Haryana. The PM offered to retire from politics if Indira Gandhi and the Janata Party leader, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, accepted his thesis that only those would be allowed to enter government service who married outside their “biradari”.
The Minister of State at the London home office, Timothy Raison, is visiting India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, this week to study how best he can control the inflow into Britain of those who claim that they have a right to come and stay here permanently as British citizens. Last week, at the Conservative Party annual convention at Blackpool, immigration became an emotive issue — the rightwingers vehemently demanded immediate stoppage of immigrants, especially South Asians, into Britain. They demanded that the “small” island of Britain be not overwhelmed by immigrants and that jobs be available to “our own people” only.