Comrade Provash Ghosh, General Secretary, SUCI(C), issued the following statement on 14-05-2015 : —
The latest decision of the BJP government to ban employment of children below 14 in all kinds of commercial enterprises albeit with a caveat that children can work in farmlands, pursue family businesses, work in entertainment industry like advertisement, films and television serials and sports activities after school or in vacations, is a cunning ploy to grant backdoor legality to child labour. It will also increase informalization of labour and the stipulated ‘prohibitions’ could be merrily sidetracked by including matchbox making, carpet weaving and gem polishing industries within the definition of family enterprises and deny education to the girl child by making her stuck with household work.
Child labour which, though hitherto prohibited officially, is increasing at alarming proportion despite a frantic effort on the part of the authorities to peg down the figure through crafty manipulation and suppression of data. It cannot be otherwise because it is the oppressive capitalism which is breeding the bane of child labour. Parents incessantly pauperized by ruthless capitalist oppression push their young children into the labour market because they cannot feed their progenies. Also the employers of child labour find it extremely profitable because the little children are available either free or against payment of abysmally low wage and do not object to working long hours in extremely unhygienic conditions in sweatshops. In most of the cases, these children work like bonded labour. This cruel and gruelling exploitation of the children takes place in front of the very nose of the government—administration which remains either an indulgent onlooker or a passive bystander or at times covert accomplice to the crime in capitalist India.
Shrewd and sly as it is, the BJP government subserving sinister class interest of the ruling monopolists, has sought to justify its decision of selective exemption by alluding to the country’s social fabric and socio-economic conditions. But, the truth it has shielded is that besides breeding, child labour is nurtured and sustained by oppressive inhuman capitalism and total abolition of child labour is never possible so long as rotten corrupt capitalism is not overthrown, no matter how many laws are framed.
However, as child labour is contingent upon deteriorating economic condition of the parents and families, its proliferation can be put under some check if all democratic-minded conscientious people including honest child right activists join hands with all other sections of toiling people in building up powerful democratic movement based on the burning demands of life including the demand for bettering the economic condition of the impoverished and destitute families sending children to work out of pecuniary compulsion and ensure that such movements grow as conducive to anti-capitalist revolutionary movement.