This was the time when my functional boundaries were vast enough to attract sabotage from within nor my immediate colleagues had any bargainable temptation falling prey to evil designs with reference to power and position in the organisation. For them,” Rome” was important -it was not a commodity to be compromised for petty gains -their commitments to the Circle and the leadership was chaste enough to drive away an aggressor-It a Lilliput or a monster.
After I took over as acting secretary followed subsequently by my election as President, AISBISF. I took it as a mission. inter.alia. to see that different representatives from different Circle Unions are given due patronage in times of need with a view to securing them the desired confidence as I never wanted them to suffer like I did on many an occasion while pursuing different organisational issues.
An emergency meeting of the All India State Bank of India Staff Federation was held on the 15th August’ 1975 at Tourist Hotel. New Delhi. Grave situation alarmingly telling the very instance of trade union movement in the Country was elaborately discussed. My suggestion to valiantly counter the threats of the Government’ Bank by quitting the service to exclusively look after trade union work safeguarding the workers interest did not find favour with others in the meeting Decisions taken however included that the directions of the Government of India to pin down the leaders of different Unions to desk be defied.
What followed was a painful amazement. The very stalwarts. who had tabled the proposal as a compromise to my proposal of quitting the service to serve the members. were the firsts to rush back to their place of work to join their duties as “Obedient servants” of the bank. Another instance or utter chagrin that followed was the once a rival union from Andhra Pradesh which was granted entry to fold of the Federation only some time back hurriedly fell into the lap of INTUC as their affiliate unhesitatingly taking cudgels against All India State Bank of India Staff Federation (AISBISF). such move against AISBISF/ employees through their Government was obviously to secure strength only to INTUC. This sabotage dragged Federation to a situation compelling it to have an affiliation with the IN TUC itself.
Sticking to whatever decision was taken in the said meeting at New Delhi. I had to suffer the loss of wages for several months and the wrath of my seniors then in the organisation who instead of extending due recognition to the service I was rendering involving sacrifice after sacrifice chose to remark as if my efforts were directed to appease the people. Appeasement was never my approach but a certain amount of satisfaction I did draw when I saw beaming faces of the aggrieved members and their families on cases decided in their favour bringing them back to service in the Bank. A mental setback that continued haunting me several years thereafter was that possibly I was on an island where convenience-based flexibilities and not a committed mission counted. Whether I was fluttering my wings in vain to flow the Ganges into the Thames was the question hitting my mind often. My mental faculties had a clash on the point as to how like a stupid I was trying to assume the role of Hamlet trying to right a world that was without joints. No, I was convinced within myself, it was not utopian on my part to go by the convictions and commitments, if not as a matter of the Ten Commandments, at least as a matter of routine ethics on earth -an ethics relating to good or bad, right or wrong. maybe, it sounds like I am trying to talk good of myself on certain self-acquired parameters but here again let facts and not the individual(s) be a basis.