Before I took over the charge from Nirmal Chaudhary as the Secretary, All India State Bank of India Staff Federation, he used to be the chief spokesman to represent the workforce in State Bank. He was an excellent negotiator. The issue of discussion was casual leave. The management was insisting that while applying for casual leave, the employees must give a valid reason with necessary details. There were arguments and counter arguments going on the topic between us and the management representatives for the whole day. The Bank’s representatives were still hell bent upon their stand. Nirmal Chaudhary, Nirmal Da, as we called him, got aggressive but maintaining his cool he put forth his view point like this: ‘Look, casual leave is defined as the one meant for special and unforeseen circumstances. Such circumstances, at times, may include certain most sensitive and highly vulnerable an area. Suppose, for instance, my wife has an illicit affair with some other man. Once I catch her in a compromising gesture with him constraining me to lose my cool with the result that I failed to attend my office. Next day when I join, I am asked to explain in detail the circumstances responsible for my absence. Why? What a hell of business you have to question me on my privacy? Why should I be forced to reveal to you the most delicate a situation that confronted me in my private life. Is it not the situation where mere mention of special and unforeseen circumstances in the casual leave application be treated as enough without asking for any further elaboration?’ Bank’s representatives had obviously to feel embarrassed, but had no option but to accept the position that there is no need to give any details when the employees apply for casual leave.
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