n.'jlt seems, time has come again for T.L.A. to play its historical role in the trade-union movement and ultimately protecting the interests of the weaker sections, of the society, without jeopardising the democratic frame work of our society. There are a number of reasons why it can and should be done.
First, the Janata Party has committed itself to Gandhian idea of Decentralization of power. Broadly, it would mean more and more power in the hands of people at the administrative level. Local administrative units will be strengthened. It also means that a pluralist society, with increasing number of power centres outside the Government will be created. Trade Unions that are committed to democracy and parliamentary form of Government can also be such centres of powei. Secondly they should be independent of party affiliations They should not allow themselves to be used as tools of any political party. They should be independent of them to protect their own stability and freedom to act in the best interest of the woiking class. It does not mean that they keep away from political • participation. Whenever, election takes place they can recommend which parties and which candidates to elect. They can also influence the thinking and working of the political parties inside and outside the panliament and: state legislatures, without sharing power with them.
Secondly, the trade unions will also have to accept self-imposed discipline, for preserving the civil liberties they enjoy After all, they are part of a community and community interest or public interest, will have to be of paramount importance in their operations. Desperation on their part can lead to loss of freedom for themselves and the community as a whole, as has been experienced by us during the emergency. Trade unions, while evolving their policies, strategists and programmes will have to give top priority to national interest as can be expected of all other groups and sections. Though, they are basically sectional organisation, they must attach due importance to the national interest. If they are independent of political parties, they will be able to perform this role post, effectively. They will be able to draw attention of the public, whenever pqlitjical parties, in and out of power, try to undermine public interest for theii narrow partisan interests.
Thirdly, the concept of industrial democracy or workers participation iij management, has been accepted by the Government. The problem is how to make it real and effective and workable. Here also the prime need is of equipping the working class for participation. As a preparation for managing an industrjaj unit. they can be deeply and seriously involved in managing the provident fund, Health and Insurance Scheme and Welfare Boards. The workers should also be involved more and more in managing their unions. Today, management of union does require professional approach. If it can be taken seriqus, management of union, is as educative and satisfying to the workers as joint management councils. It is highly desirable that these organisations should be decentralized and workers and the management are invited to manage them.