Nearly a third of India's total working population of around 46 crore has gone on strike on Friday, with trade unions around the country calling for a Bharat bandh to protest against what they call the anti-labour policies of the NDA Administration. Empty streets in many places demonstrate the extent of workers' participation.
In the video below, the head of a CITU (the labour union of the CPM) sub-committee in Sahibabad, Uttar Pradesh lists some of the demands of the workers. "Contractors should be stopped. Workers should be made permanent. Women should get equal compensation as men for the same work. Amount of gratuity should be increased and everyone should receive the delayed bonus."
Here, Jayanti Devi, a security guard at GIP Mall in Noida, NCR explains why she joined the strike.
The protests turned violent in some areas as demonstrators clashed with the police. And while Central Railway employees chose not to join the strike, protesters in Chennai staged a "rail roko".
However, in most cities, the strikes seem to have been conducted in orderly fashion with police protection.
The authorities took to social media to inform citizens that public transport was functioning as usual and roads remained open. However, in some parts of the country auto-rickshaws stayed off the roads. But offices and schools in most parts of the country remained open.
Meanwhile, users of social media, far removed from the plight of workers, poked fun at the nature of the bandh, as is the case each time one is called in the country.