Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
In the remaining part of the chapter we set down the conclusions to which we have been led by our review of past experience and our examination of the present position. It is a platitude that the prevention of industrial disputes is better than their cure, but there has been a tendency to overlook some of its implications. Public opinion naturally concentrates on the later stages of a dispute and especially on that final stage, the strike or lock-out. The prevalence of strikes affords an indication of the extent of unrest, but strikes are merely the symptom most evident to the public of underlying discontent. The attempt to deal with unrest must begin rather with the creation of an atmosphere unfavourable to disputes than with machinery for their settlement. It is precisely here, in our view, that Indian industrial organisation is weakest. We believe that an important factor at work in creating industrial unrest in India is the lack of contact which too often exists between employers and employed. There are employers who, by special efforts, have established reasonably close touch with their workers, but they are exceptional. In practically every centre and every industry1 the lack of contact and understanding is evident. In the interests of all concerned, we urge that every effort should be made to bridge the gulf. An immense amount of thought and toil has been devoted to surmounting the technical, financial and commercial difficulties in the way of industrial development in India. But it will fail to secure the results it deserves unless much more attention is given to the difficult sphere of human relationships. Weakness in this direction has already produced serious effects, and the outlook in some of the centres we visited was menacing. Unless a vigorous effort is made to effect an improvement, the development of large-scale industrial enterprise is likely to be difficult and precarious.