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Lessons for UFBU and Aam Banker from 2014 Elections




Rajesh Goyal 

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The Lok Sabha elections 2014 are over.  A great event has come to an end – a happy ending for BJP and their supporters.   Congress has got the worst drubbing since independence and is still licking their wounds and trying to retrieve whatever is left after their house has been swept by the great tsunami.  Every victory or disaster brings few lessons which if not learnt will result in either losing opportunities for future victories or will result in similar losses in future.  Although, all political analysts and pandits are gleefully busy in giving their own perspectives for the final results thrown by Indian Aam Adami.

I too thought of analyzing the results from the perspective of Aam Banker based on their plight since 10th BPS has already overdue for a long time now.   The results seem to have thrown all the constituents of UFBU into disarray and they are so shell shocked that hardly any one of them have spoken a word about the whole event.    The Hindi proverb “saap soongh lena” appears to be true for the current situation.   They are fumbling for words so as to address their cadre inspite of the fact that as per their own circular, the negotiation meeting has been due since 15th April, 2014.  Inspite of this meeting already delayed by over 45 days,  the Hindi proverb “saap soongh lena".

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I am of the view that following events of last few years have led to debacle of Congress and rise of BJP :-

(a)  CWG Scam amounting to Rs 8000 crores;  2G Scam amounting to Rs 1.76 lakh crores, Coal Scam amounting to Rs 1.85 lakh crores, brought the issue of corruption to the front row, and poor, middle class and rich class were astonished to see the level of corruption, which was beyond their comprehension.

(b)  Anna Hazare alongwith Arvind Kejriwal led the movement against corruption, which appealed to the common man specially in northern India and soon movement brought to the fore the simmering anger among the Aam Adami.  This resulted in massive demonstrations across many States;

(c)  Alongside, Baba Ramdev started his own movement against black money, which received a huge support from his supporters and he was able to successfully arrange large rallies.

(d)  Congress which had become corrupt and had no leaders who had ground level knowledge, was extremely arrogant and leaders like Kapil Sibal, Manish Tiwari, Digvijay Singh, used all means to suppress above movements with all their Government machinery and media.   They were able to do so successfully, but these movements resulted in (a) Ramedev vowing that he will throw Congress out of power in 2014;  (b) Arvind Kejriwal taking a plunge into politics as no Congress leader responded to his 8 day fast. 

(e)  Arvind Kejriwal did great ground work to raise these issues on social media immediately after he was forced to break his fast.   Lot of youngsters took the movements forward through social media.   Although ultimately he could not win many seats, yet he and his team had created sufficient awareness and prepared ground work for rise of a leader.  

(f)   At this stage, Modi was nominated as the PM candidate.  With the kind of high energy in him and high level of motivation, he raised his new team (minus the old and tired leaders)  which worked round the clock for next few months.   Soon people realized that it is only NaMo who has a chance to win sufficient number of seats to form a stable government.   This eliminated all chances of anybody else, let it be RaGa or AK, and ensured the victory of BJP.  Another reason for NaMo victory was the choking of corporate funding to Congress and diverting the same to BJP as corporate saw their future in BJP rather than Congress.


The above is only broad analysis and there were number of other issues which helped in this change of Government at the center.  We can draw some of the parallels of what ailed India before the elections and what is the status of bankers vis a vis UFBU.

(a)  There is nothing spectacular to show by UFBU leaders for the last two decades for the serving employees.   Their salary vis a vis central government employees have declined during last 20 years or so.   During this period central government employees have also got 5 days week whereas UFBU has miserably failed impress upon either government or IBA for allowing banking sector too have 5 days week;

(b)  The monthly subscriptions have undergone massive increase without any corresponding increase in the facilities allowed to their cadre;

(c)  Like Congress is carrying the baggage of Gandhi family, majority of the unions in banking sector are carrying the baggage of communist parties, who have completely become irrelevant and have no national leader.   Both of them  are undergoing slow death.  Their death will certainly result in the death of the organizations who have drawn their blood / strength from the main body;

(d)  After the defeat of the Congress, some people in the cadre have called Rahul as “Joker”, whereas others have termed him as MD of a circus and others around Rahul as Jokers.    I will not be off the track if I say that by Aam banker has similar feelings for UFBU leaders, but they do not have the courage to say so as many other in Congress are not able to say.

All the above shows that UFBU needs to rethink about their status.   I have been time and again writing that they need to do few things which are out of box and not on the lines I have been easily predicting.   The best recent example was by our new PM, Narendra Modi, when he called SAARC heads of States.  He stunned everybody including the enemies of India.   They were left with no choice but to fall in line.   With one stroke, Modi was able to achieve what Congress would have taken 3 to 5 years to plan as to how to call Pakistan Prime Minister or Sri Lank President in view of the domestic compulsions.   Now once they have visited and local parties have made hue and cry, Modi is free from pressures to start talks with their neighbors.   We are likely to see such more out of box things.   Whether these will be successful or not, only future will tell, but it is certain that at least hope has been generated.   Like our Aaam Admi, our Aaam Banker too is depressed and is fed up with UFBU circulars which are ambiguous, and threats issued to IBA or GoI which everybody knows do not carry any convictions.  There is need to uplift the mood of the bankers.


I do not have any hope that UFBU is likely to mend its ways in near future.  Thus, now bankers too have their own lessons to be learnt from Elections 2014.  

(a) There is a need to throw out, what bankers call retired and tired union leaders.   At the first available opportunity they should enmass ensure that a new union is put in the saddle;

(b) In case Aam Banker is not satisfied with the working of the present leadership, they have option to stop their monthly subscription and if no improvement takes place in one quarter, they may resign from the unions. They can announce that if an honourable settlement is concluded, they will rejoin and pay all the arrears, but if it is believe their expectations, they should force for fresh elections.

I know the above are easier said then done, but it is not impossible.   As an Indian, we have shown that when a 125 year old party becomes too arrogant, we can throw it out and bring it to its knees.   Similarly, this can be done by bankers too. 

We at are creating awareness and it is the Aam Banker that they have to find out  new leaders who are honest and dedicated to the welfare of the cadre.    He should be preferably amongst the serving class.


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