Class crystallization: Within reach of industrial workers in India?

Gopalakrishnan Karunanithi


Over the years, mostly non-communist union leaders in industries have been encouraging their caste workers to become members of their unions first, and subsequently members of their caste associations. However, their interest in developing workers’ class-consciousness is rather decreasing. In contrast, it is mainly communist union leaders who motivate the workers in their unions to defend their class interests through class action. Besides this, the management’s strategy of recognizing, consulting and seeking the support of the numerical majority of non-communist union leaders and keeping their counterparts in the numerical minority of communist unions away from these activities is nothing but a policy of ‘divide and rule’ that impedes the formation of workers unity and ultimately leads them to confrontation through ‘inter-union conflicts’. Moreover, external forces, especially some caste-based political parties, are keen on organizing their caste workers in unions affiliated to their parties in order to help them become union leaders which eventually results in ‘intra-union conflicts’. Such conflicts thwart the development of workers’ class-consciousness, thereby hindering the process of class crystallization.


Labor Union, Caste, Class, Class-consciousness, Class Crystallization

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ISSN: 2062-087X

DOI: 10.14267/issn.2062-087X