India: 250 Million Workers Strike against Modi's Economic Policy (VIDEO)World | January 9, 2020, Thursday // 09:06| views
Nearly 250 million workers strike in India in protest of Modi's economic policies, AFP reported.
Banking and other sectors of the economy across India have suffered damage as millions of workers strike in protest against the economic policies of the Hindu nationalist government, especially against the planned sale of several state-owned companies, including Air India.
The widespread protest was directed against what unions called right-wing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "anti-worker and people policy".
Protesters took to the streets of New Delhi and several major cities, responding to a call for a strike by 10 workers' unions. They directed public anger at the recent privatization of public companies and natural resources in the country and demanded an increase in the minimum wage and pensions.
Farmers and students have participated in some of the protests called for by the 10 trade unions, which have more than 250 million members.
Bus and train services and state-owned banks have borne the brunt of the national strike, which took place despite government warnings of "consequences" for everyone involved. Some of the workers at state-owned oil and coal companies also joined the strike.
Police say more than 150 people have been arrested.
The protesters chanted slogans against the new government's Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which opponents claimed was anti-Muslim and sparked protests and demonstrations. More than 25 people have been killed in the December 11 protests. The increasing unrest in universities has led to intense social tensions.
Opposition parties supported the strikers.
Unions have said hundreds of thousands of workers will lose their jobs if the government continues to sell state-owned companies.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government recently recapitalized banks and offered tax incentives to local companies. But these steps have not yet increased the percentage of investment, according to figures released by the government's National Statistical Office. In May last year, government data showed that unemployment in the country had reached 6.1% - the highest level in 45 years. .
#India: An estimated 250 million people flooded the streets for a general strike protesting PM Modi's right-wing social & economic policies.— Minh Ngo (@minhtngo) January 8, 2020
Endorsed by unions of farmers, workers & students, today's strike was the largest in Indian history.#BharatBandh2020 pic.twitter.com/E7haSLiROO