Narayan Meghaji Lokhande


Narayan Meghaji Lokhande (1848–1897) was the father of trade union movement in India.[1] He is remembered not only for ameliorating the working conditions of textile mill-hands in the 19th century but also for his courageous initiatives on caste and communal issues.[2] Apart from this he was also awarded the title of Rao Bahadur in 1895 for his work during riots between Hindus and Muslims. "Justice of peace" was awarded with great respect to him by the then British Indian Government. The Government of India issued a postage stamp with his photograph in 2005.

Narayan Meghaji Lokhande
Lokhande on a 2005 stamp of Maharashtra
Died9 February 1897
Mumbai, India
MovementTrade Union Movement in India

Social contribution Edit

Narayan Meghaji Lokhande was a prominent colleague of Mahatma Jotirao Phule. He was born in a Mali family from Kanhersar in Pune district.[3] He had been educated up to high school. His wife's name was Gopikabai and had a son named Gopinath. He learned of the Satyashodhak movement early enough to become a member in its second year in 1874.[4]

Lokhande is acclaimed as the Father of the Trade Union Movement in India. From 1880 onwards he took over the management of Deenbandhu which was published from Mumbai. At this time he also quit his job as head clerk in a cotton mill in Mumbai and founded Millhands' Association, devoting himself fully to social service.[4]

Along with Lokhande, Phule also addressed the meetings of the textile workers in Bombay. It is significant that before Phule and his colleagues Krishnarao Bhalekar and Lokhande tried to organise the peasants and the workers, no such attempt was made by any organisation to redress their grievances.[5] Lokhande started the first labour association in India — 'Bombay Mill Hands Association'.[6]

Some of the rights mill workers got because of N M Lokhande were:[7]

  • Mill workers should get a weekly holiday on Sunday.
  • In the afternoon, workers should be entitled to half-hour recess.
  • The mill should start working from 6:30 in the morning and close by sunset.
  • The salaries of the workers should be given by the 15th of every month.

He was awarded the title of Rao Bahudur by the British Raj. He established 'Mumbai Kamgar Sangh'.

References Edit

  1. ^ Pandit, Nalini (1997). "Narayan Meghaji Lokhande: The Father of Trade Union Movement in India". Economic and Political Weekly. 32 (7): 327–329. ISSN 0012-9976. JSTOR 4405089.
  2. ^ Pandit, Nalini (1997). "Narayan Meghaji Lokhande: The Father of Trade Union Movement in India". Economic and Political Weekly. 32 (7): 327–329. JSTOR 4405089.
  3. ^ "लोखंडे, नारायण मेघाजी". 4 July 2019.
  4. ^ a b Omvedt, Gail (2011). Cultural Revolt in a Colonial Society: The Non-Brahman Movement in Western India. New Delhi: Manohar. pp. 292–293. ISBN 978-81-7304-927-9.
  5. ^ "Mahatma Jotirao Govindrao Pule". Bahujan Samaj Party India.
  6. ^ Reddy, R.Jayaprakash (2004). Labour Legislation. New Delhi: APH Publishing Corporation. p. 34. ISBN 8176486264.
  7. ^ Sarkar, Aditya (2018). Trouble at the Mill: Factory Law and the Emergence of the Labour Question in Late Nineteenth-Century Bombay. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0199093298.