Tuesday, July 5, 2011


A Legend’s Centenary year

The founder of the National Unions movement in the erstwhile P&T department late K.R enters the age of 100 on 08.08.2011. Though he breathed his last on 05-10-1995, his vision, his objectives and his ideologies on functioning of the National Unions are being carried out by thousands of his followers.

He joined the department in the year 1936 in the PMG’s office, Madras and he became member of the then All India Postal & RMS Union after he was transferred to Madras GPO sorting in the year 1937. From this period, he served the Trade Union movement in various capacities till his death.

His sacrifice to the T U movement was immeasurable.  During the all Central Govt. Employees strike in the year 1960, he was the General Secretary of AIPEU- Class III and he was arrested by the Govt. and lodged in Tihar Jail, Delhi. The Govt. had also placed him under suspension. Besides this, the Govt. had victimized many employees and office bearers of the Unions by placing them under suspension etc. The strike was withdrawn subsequently, but many were under suspension.  At that time he declared that he will not rejoin duty as long as victimized employees were taken by the department in service. He fulfilled this assurance and rejoined duty only on 29.3.1962 at T.Nagar P.O, Madras. He had also filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court of India against the ESMA (Essential Services Maintenance Act) promulgated by the Govt. of India to harass and victimize the striking employees. The Supreme Court quashed the ordnance of the Govt.

Late K.R founded three Unions initially viz. National Union of Postal Employees Class III, National Union of Postal Employees Postmen and Class IV and National Union of Extra Departmental Agents and the Govt. accorded recognition on 10-10-1968. The Govt was reluctant to accord recognition to a separate ED Employees union and the then Minister for Communications pleaded with K.R not to insist on a separate ED Union.  But K.R rejected this proposal and told him that he was not prepared to launch P III and Postmen Union and offered to withdraw the application. Then only the Govt. accorded recognition for a separate ED Union for ED employees.

Had he been alive, he would not have allowed the Govt./Dept. to issue an order to the effect that the GDS union cannot be an affiliate of a Federation.

After the formation of National Unions, he had struggled hard with the Govt. and other forces to safeguard the trade union democracy free from the control of any political party or forces. He had never made compromises with the Govt. on the objects and policies of the National Unions.  During the emergency period, Federal Congress was held at New Delhi in the year 1976.  There was tremendous pressure from the then Communications Minister late Dr.Shankar Dayal Sharma, to offer the post of the President of the Federation to a politician and who in turn will nominate the Secretary General of the Federation.  K.R flatly refused to yield to the threats and placed the proposal in the Federal Congress. The entire House in one voice rejected the demand. The house then elected its own members as office bearers of the Federation.  During the Janata Govt. rule, K.R was against the illegal and unlawful activities of the then Min. for Communications late Brij Lal Verma.  The then minister derecognized the FNPTO and took away the govt. accommodation throwing away all the records of the Federation and belongings of K.R in the street when K.R was out of Delhi during that time.  He bravely faced the situation and brought the atrocities and unlawful activities of the minister to the notice of the then Prime Minister Morarji Desai.  The PM gave a patient hearing, but he had done nothing to render justice in this regard.  It was then learnt that in the coalition govt., the PM has no control over his cabinet colleagues. K.R shifted the Federation office to Karolbagh in Newdelhi and functioned from a rental accommodation.  The Federation was recognized after the fall of Morarji Desai government and when late Charan Singh formed the new govt.

K.R was keen to have cordial relationship with International Trade Union centers and made the FNPTO as an affiliate of the PTTI. After some years, the PTTI amalgamated with the UNI and the Unions and Federation are now affiliated to the UNI.

His excellent submissions of proposals of the Postal Employees before the first to fifth pay commissions is a testimony to prove his brilliance on the Postal Problems.

What we are to day ---- we owe our thanks and gratefulness to K.R.

Yes, my dear colleagues, I appeal to you and all the Branches/Circles to celebrate the K.R centenary year along in a grand manner from 08-08-2011 for a year and engulf yourselves to the policies and ideologies mooted out by K.R and pledge ourselves for the growth of the National Movement in the years ahead!  You are advised to contact other unions affiliated to FNPO and if they agree, the celebrations may be held jointly.

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