Old Video of Rail Workers in Kapurthala Revived As Recent Protest
The video is from 2019 of the Railway Coach Factory workers in Kapurthala, protesting against privatisation.
A video of a procession on the road has gone viral with the claim that railway workers have recently gathered in huge numbers to protest privatisation.
However, the video is from 2019, when workers at the Railway Coach Factory at Kapurthala had protested the privatisation of seven production factories.
The video has gone viral with claim:
“पूरे देश मे लगातार लाखों रेलवे कर्मचारी निजीकरण के खिलाफ आंदोलन कर रहे, लेकिन देश को पता ही नही है ... आपने किसी मीडिया में कुछ देखा क्या??? (sic)”
(Translation: In the country, millions of railway employees are continuously agitating against privatisation, but the country does not know. Did you see anything in any media?”)
A picture of the truck seen in the video was also shared by social media users, with the same claim.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
The video and the image are actually from 2019 when workers in Punjab’s Kapurthala carried out a protest against privatisation. Let’s look at the both of them one by one:
1. THE VIRAL VIDEO
A reverse image search of the keyframes of the video led us to the English daily, The Tribune’s YouTube channel which had uploaded the video on 9 July 2019.
The video is captioned, “Employees of Rail Coach factory hold protest rally against privatisation in Kapurthala.”
Further, a keyword search led us to an article by The Tribune from July 2019, which states that members of the Railway Coach Factory Sangharsh Committee had carried out a massive protest against the central government’s proposal to privatise seven production factories of railways in 100 days.
“It is the first step towards privatisation and RCF employees will not allow it. We are already taking up the issue with MPs from Punjab and if the Union government will go ahead, we shall not hesitate from halting trains as a last resort,” RCF Bachao Sangharsh Committee secretary Saravjeet Singh had then told The Times of India.
2. THE VIRAL IMAGE
A reverse image search of the viral image led us to a tweet by user Vinod, who had tweeted the image in response to a tweet by Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal on 18 July 2019.
Taking keywords from his caption, we found Cabinet Minister Nawab Malik’s tweet, dated 15 July 2019, with the caption:
“देश भर लाखों रेल कर्मियों का निजीकरण के खिलाफ आंदोलन मीडिया क्यों अनदेखा कर रहा है।
(Translation: “Why is the media ignoring the movement against privatisation of millions of railway workers across the country.”)
The caption is now being shared to claim that the protests are recent.
Further, the words “ कपूरथला” (Kapurthala) and “निजीकरण ” (Privatisation) can be seen on the banner, confirming that the image is from the same protest.
Trade Union Protests Against Privatisation of Railways
While the viral video is of an old incident, a protest was recently held against the central government’s move to allow private partnerships in railway projects in Ludhiana, Punjab.
Hindi Daily, Dainik Jagaran reported on 5 June, that members of the NRMU (Northern Railway Men’s Union), led by Amrit Singh, asserted that “every family connected to the railways is boycotting this decision of the government.”
In another rally on 11 August, central trade unions, including INTUC, AITUC, CTU and CITU , marched from Punjabi Bhavan to the mini-secretariat in Ludhiana, under the ‘Save India Day’ slogan. The speakers condemned the government for failing to take care of its workers and opposed its decision to allow privatisation in railways, reported The Times of India.
The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) had also organised a protest at the railway station in Vishakapatnam, on 17 July, The Hindu reported. According to CITU State president Ch. Narasinga Rao, “the BJP government has hastened the process of privatisation to benefit the corporate companies.”
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