Once in five years we (Indians) are reminded by the Government of India that we are living in a world highest democracy. Rest of the period we are again reminded of a contradiction idea that we are living in one of the feudal society, where public opinions are created by the politicians and the worst part is the News Medias work as a mouth piece of the feudal government. The land we live in is a Paradise for the Tata’s, Ambani, and other business man, and it is a hell for the Dalits, Muslims, Adivasis and other subaltern groups.
Recently I happened to travel by one of the Meeru Cabs in Hyderabad, India. While interactive with the driver I came to know many shocking details of the life they live in. Meer cabs are available in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, and Hyderabad. Basically these cabs were introduced to operate to and fro the airport. Later this expanded to all walks of life, such as people use these cabs as Taxis too. The owner of the Meeru cab is Mr. Neeragi Gupta, ofcourse there are many owners depending upon their shares on the cabs. In Delhi there are around 1,000/ cabs, Hyderabad 800/, Bangalore 1000/ and Mumbai 1,500/- these are the approximate cars I am quoting. By the way we should not forget that there are many companies operating cab services too.
Each cab is monitored by radio and satellite for almost 80 kilometers surroundings. Driver of the each cab is the temporary ‘owner’ of it, 24/7 the cab would be his. There is a computerized system in the car which would track the passengers destination and the cab near to the destination and send messages to it asking there is a pickup nearby interested please inform. The first person who chooses would be the luckly to get his food. Nothing is compulsion but he has to pay every day Rs.900/- to his office excluding to this he has to pay for the petrol and the remaining amount he earn is his. If he drives the cab for 18 hours a day he would be getting Rs. 1000/- or Rs.500/- for him. And the maintenance of the car is done by the office but any accident happens the owner would spend 50% and the Driver 50% of the expenses. Recently they have introduced a system like any person want to be a driver of a Cab should deposit Rs. 10,000/- as a security deposit. The Driver can take leave but he has to pay Rs. 900 as a rental. In case he take a leave for a week then he should write to the office and request them to provide a leave. The office would provide him leave by taking the car back from the driver and if the driver doesn’t return after a week, then he would be treated as a new comer by asking him to go for a medical test and attend the class for a week and then he would be provided a job there.
With the above information we can clearly understand the company is overlapping the rules of daily wages norms fixed by the Indian government or the working hours. There are no holidays for the Driver. The CPI, CITU claim they are working for the people and fighting for the rights of labour. Where have they gone. While saying this I just remember of Arunthathi Roy’s book “listening to Grass Hoppers” I quote from the book
“The era of Privatization and Structural Adjustment accelerated that process at a mind-numbing speed.”