This reproduction is from a letter written to a friend of mine RO Shah, a veteran trade union letter highlighing the scenario obtaining on pension in State Bank of India. Since the subject matter is of interest to employees in general in banking industructy, this reproduction may be of some importance to them.
It was heartening talking to you over phone the other day.I quite realize I have not been able to keep in contact with you for a long time –the reason being that I couldn’t spare necessary time for the purpose which ofcourse can’t be a pertinent excuse I know.
You have been fighting virtually a lone battle on an issue like pension which otherwise is a matter connected with thousands and thousands of people all over the country. Your voice clashes the deaf ears in the channels that count for the purupose and only continues to remain sans any response from any quarter. I stopped taking whatever interest I used to take initially for the simple reason that before it could prove to be result oriented it was likely to elicit misunderstandings only which situation I thought of avoiding as all my career I was most often most misunderstood a person on issues crucial and salient. I strongly felt and do feel the same way even on date that pension is an issue worth being pursued as potentially it is strong enough ingredients wise capable of generating necessary merit which the concerned authorities just can’t deny. Why the concerned authorities are themselves not taking necessary initiative is the question. Obviously why they should bother if the beneficiaries themselves are not showing the required interest. You will agree, as you yourself said earlier, that majority of pensioners find themselves well settled otherwise and they have no reason for any worry whether there is some increase in pension or it is not there. Those who are in the saddle are busy elsewhere, even pensioners organisatins in the circles and at the national level are confined to the level of just offering prayers for some thing to be showered on them and are not prepared to act as fighters. Fighting for a right cause is not a fancy, it is a spirit capable of not getting dithered with age or status. This spirit they lack, nay it is a sort of voluntary incapacitation on their part.
If Unions with serving employees holding the reins are unable to deliver the goods, why the Unions with ex employees in the helm of affairs as leaders of the pensioners Association/Federation can’t play a decisively worked out strategy is the question. The serving people holding the reins being indifferent, the pensioners union being incapable of moving the channels involved and the pensioners, the likely beneficiaries of whatever improvement that could be cultivated, being themselves not so keen, what the few like you ofcourse with tremendous amount of spirit and enormous zeal can do is again a question. A few others who can do some thing but can’t do any thing for the risk of getting misunderstood naturally possess no potential for any orientation of some result or the other. Sounds pessimistic but this is the scenario after all is obtaining. I wish I am wrong in my estimation and finally the efforts you are making are capable of bringing the desired results. My circle General Secretary told me just a day before that as per information given to him by the Federation, some thing tangible may emerge within 2/3 weeks time. It is always better to hope for the best and I too would like to fall in line with it for an imaginable satisfaction atleast. I obviously owe you an all out acknowledgement and appreciation for your efforts in the matter. All the best.