Skip to main content

Rajasthan legislations impressively move from schemes to laws, ensure rights of people

Rights, not revdi: A civil note on media conference on Rajasthan model for social security and social justice:
The Suchna Evum Rozgar Adhikar Abhiyan (SR Abhiyan) and the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) welcome the progressive legislations passed by the Rajasthan Government this year, in line with its commitment towards guaranteeing comprehensive social security for all in the state. Civil society organizations have been at the forefront of leading public campaigns for the passage of these laws, and consider it a significant development for democracy that the Rajasthan Government has responded to these assertions. These include:
  1. Rajasthan Minimum Guaranteed Income Act, 2023: The legislation doubles the minimum pension to Rs 1000 per month for all elderly, widowed and disabled, with an inbuilt guaranteed annual increment of 15% per year. The law has an enhanced entitlement of 25 days per rural family for work under MGNREGA, and an entitlement of 125 days of work under an urban employment programme. Rajasthan is the first state in the country to pass such a legislation.
  2. Rajasthan Platform Based Gig Workers (Registration and Welfare) Act, 2023: This Act will ensure registration of platform based gig workers in the country; Introduction of a dedicated welfare cess fee on each bill generated by the aggregator to the customer. The fee collected from individual transactions will be credited to a social security fund which shall be used towards financing schemes meant for the welfare of platform-based gig workers and setting up of a tripartite board with the representation of aggregators, worker organizations and Government tasked with the powers to register platform-based gig workers in the State, notify and administer social security schemes for them and monitor the implementation of the Act. Rajasthan is the first State in the country to pass such a legislation
  3. Rajasthan State Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Development Fund (Planning, Allocation and Utilization of Financial Resources) Act 2022: A dedicated fund of Rupees 1000 crores will be available for spending towards economic and social empowerment of SC and ST families and improving the physical infrastructure of villages and towns where SC and ST communities live
  4. Right to Healthcare: All residents of Rajasthan will have a right to free medical treatment in all Government hospitals in the State. When people are facing a life threatening illness or injury, they can go to any hospital with more than 50 beds and avail medical care free of cost.
The above are in addition to a series of other policies for empowering women (through subsidized bus travel), children (enhancement in mid-day meal), performing communities (minimum employment of 100 days), orphaned children (enhanced social security of guardians), exam aspirants, the homeless (a dedicated policy for identification and welfare), nomadic communities (a dedicated policy for identification and welfare) etc. The comprehensive social security framework guaranteed by the State with ensured budget provisioning will cater to a wide range of vulnerable and historically marginalized communities.
The SR Abhiyan organized a press conference in New Delhi on 26 July 2023 to celebrate the victory of workers in the state. The panelists included Prabhat Patnaik (Jawaharlal Nehru University), Nikhil Dey (Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan), Naveen Gautam (Global Forum of Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent), Kavita Srivastava (People's Union for Civil Liberties ) and Shaikh Salauddin (Indian Federation of App-Based Transport Workers).
At the press conference, Nikhil Dey highlighted the process of pre-budget and more importantly, post-budget consultations held by the Rajasthan government with more than 2000 members of civil society organisations in Rajasthan. He also reiterated the importance of involving entitlement-holders in the process of planning, designing, implementing and monitoring government welfare policies.
Prabhat Patnaik said that the “Rajasthan legislations are very impressive as they have moved from schemes to laws to secure rights of the people in Rajasthan” and that “these legislations are a step forward in the direction of ensuring fundamental economic rights for the people of India”. In response to the ongoing debates around “freebies / revadis”, he underscored the importance of ensuring minimum entitlements with regard to health, education, and food being fundamental to the participatory democracy and added that calling such rights based laws “freebies” are “anti-democratic and anti-poor”.
Shaik Salauddin underscored the importance of inbuilt accountability and transparency measures within the law around ensuring social security for the gig and platform-based workers in Rajasthan and said that the “tripartite board has given gig and platform-based workers an opportunity for collective bargaining with the aggregators who otherwise would not even acknowledge them as their workers”.
This is a strong response to the discourse being pushed by the BJP equating welfare rights to "revadis" and "freebies". We welcome the progressive steps taken by the Rajasthan Government to honour its obligations towards guaranteeing the implementation of the Directive Principles of State Policy and hope that such a model of development grounded in social justice and inclusivity will serve as a beacon for the rest of the country.



Crucial to revisit roots, embrace core Hindu principles: love, compassion, harmony

A note on religious leaders'  Satya Dharam Samvad in Haridwar: *** In a groundbreaking gathering, more than 25 religious leaders including Swamis, Acharyas, Pujaris, Gurus, and Sadhvis from all over India convened to discuss the tenets of Hinduism on September 16th, 2023, in Haridwar, to discuss and discern the current trajectory of Hinduism. This brand new initiative, the Satya Dharam Samvad, was inspired to organize its first assembly in response to the December 2021 Dharma Sansad, where hate speech and calls for violence against the Muslim community contravened the essential principles of Hinduism. Religion is being used to incite riots among Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, etc. In the face of such hatred, Swami Raghavendra felt that something meaningful should be done in the present climate. 

Commodification of road accident deaths: The hidden health hazard of motonormativity

By Chandra Vikash*  Jahnavi Kandula, an Indian student from Andhra Pradesh, studying in America was killed in a road accident by a police motor car in January 2023. Now, 8 months after the accident, a bodycam video of Daniel Orderer, who is the vice president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, has gone viral on social media. He was laughing at her death and saying that “she was 26 years old, anyway… she had limited value… just give her $11,000 (ie Rs 9.13 lakh)”.

Maoist tendency of mechanically adhering to Chinese path ignores Indian conditions

By Harsh Thakor  The C.P.I. (Maoist) formed in 2004 with merger of the C.P.I. (M.L) Peoples War and the Maoist Communist Centre has demonstrated courage in intensity compared to any great revolutionary struggle in the history of the world. It leads the largest armed movement of a Peoples Guerrilla Army in the world today and proved themselves as the true torch bearers of the Indian Communist movement.

We need to resurrect Neruda, give birth to poets of his kind amidst neofascist rampage

By Harsh Thakor  On 23rd September we commemorate the 50th death anniversary of Pablo Neruda, whose contribution to revolutionary poetry was path breaking. Pablo Neruda’s poetry manifested the spiritual essence of revolutionary poetry and how poetry was a weapon for a revolutionary struggle. The story of his life illustrated the spiritual transformation undergone a human being to transform him into a revolutionary and how environment shapes the lie of revolutionary.

Understanding universe, time, space: A crucial, unresolved question before humanity

By Prof Sudhanshu Tripathi*  A crucial question before humanity, still unresolved, is to comprehend the true nature and expanse of Time and Space in Universe. If both are indeed limitless, there is no question then to go beyond them. Because both Time and Space are indeed the two key determinants in this mundane world which define the very expanse of the life period of all living organisms and non-living entities and their relative spatial area producing mental and extra-mental consciousness. 

Abrogation of Art 370: Increasing alienation, relentless repression, simmering conflict

One year after the abrogation by the Central Government of Art. 370 in Kashmir, what is the situation in the Valley. Have the promises of peace, normalcy and development been realised? What is the current status in the Valley? Here is a detailed note by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties , “Jammu & Kashmir: One Year after Abrogation of Art. 370: Increasing Alienation, Relentless Repression, Simmering Conflict”:

Informal efforts to help children of remote Bundelkhand village unable to go to school

By Bharat Dogra  Rajaram Ka Purva is a remote rural hamlet in Banda district of Uttar Pradesh inhabited by the poorest of the poor. Almost none of the children in this hamlet are able to go to school. The reasons relate to poverty, distance of the nearest school as well as the unsafe path to school.

2024 elections in India: An agenda for justice, peace, democracy and environment

By Bharat Dogra  As debates leading up to 2024 union elections in India preceded by some important state assembly become intense, it is not enough to talk about election alignments among various political parties and their seat adjustments; the questions relating to the most important priorities and a future agenda based on justice, equality, peace, environment protection and democracy must get the most importance.

Job opportunity in unexplored territory... to bulldoze hurdles on way to Akhand Aryavart

By Abdul Puncharwala*  Baba and Mama the Jai-Veeru Jodi of Shuddh desi politics bring an excellent opportunity of employment to all the bright matriculate drop-outs busy with their Insta and YouTube reels. Keep your phones aside for a moment and read this advert carefully. It is going to change your life forever.

By undermining Dravidian politics, can Tamil Nadu regain glory of Kamaraj governance?

By NS Venkataraman*  For over fifty years now, Tamil Nadu has been ruled by two Dravidian parties namely DMK and AIADMK alternately. Before the Dravidian party came to power, Tamil Nadu was ruled by the congress party and had experienced the golden rule by K. Kamaraj who was succeeded by Bhaktavatsalam for a short period.