With the motto “Nationalise the Labour, Labourise the Industry and Industrialise the Nation” Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh was established on the occasion of the 99th birth anniversary of veteran freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak, in Bhopal on 23rd July 1955. Dattopant Thengadi, who was one of the most vociferous proponents of Swadeshi and Aatmnirbhar Bharat founded Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh. BMS, whose roots lie in nationalism, did not formed because of split of any existing trade union organisations. So, it was responsibility on the shoulder of the founder of BMS to build the organisational structure from the grass root level. It started from zero having no trade union, no membership, no activist (karyakarta), no office and no fund.
With the effort of revered Dattopant Thengadi and under the guidance of Shri Golwalkar, BMS sprung up all over the country. Only after 12 years of its formation, in 1967 the first all India Conference of BMS was held in Delhi, in which the initial national executive was elected. At that time it had 2,36,902 members. Shri Thengadi ji was elected General Secretary and Shri Ram Naresh ji as its first President. From there onwards, there was no looking back. In 1984, BMS was declared second largest labour union by central government after the membership verification of all major Central Labour Organisations and it was declared first largest trade union in year 1996 by Ministry of labour, Government of India.
BMS has nationalistic outlook, constructive approach and the conviction that class concept is myth. The nationalistic approach of BMS makes it ideologically different from the rest of the Central Trade Union Organisations in India. Bharatiya culture forms the ideological basis of the BMS which looks upon life as an integrated whole. It admits that there is diversity and plurality in life, but always attempts to discover the unity in diversity. It believes in the Deen Dayal Upadhaya’s idea of ‘integral humanism’ which is the central thought of Bhartiya culture.
Unlike some left leaning ideologies like Marxist and Socialist, BMS do not see labour problem as a class conflict. The class conflict would lead to disintegration of society. BMS do not believe that labour problems are sectional and related to labour class only but to the whole society. Labour class is integral part of Bhartiya social structure. To protect and promote the interest of labour class is the responsibility of entire nation. BMS is not opposed to class struggle based on hatred and hostility only, but it has also struggled against the evil forces of inequality, injustice and exploitation.
BMS’s objective gives the glance of Dattopant Thengadi’s idea of ‘Third Way’. The main aim of the BMS is to achieve national prosperity and eradicate poverty. BMS neither over-emphasises the importance of production like capitalism nor does it focus much on the importance of distribution like socialism. But with the idea of ‘maximum production and equitable distribution’, BMS lays equal stress on both.
BMS works to eradicate economic inequality but it is not leftist and it do not believe in the concept of Marx but it is not rightist. It is purely nationalist and has accepted the principle of genuine trade unionism. It is an organisation for the workers, by the workers and of the workers within the framework of national interest.
Author Introduction : I am Abhijeet Kumar Bhatt. I did my llb from Delhi university and currently pursuing my llm from NUSRL Ranchi.