Thursday, January 15, 2009


This refers to the TOI editorial “ Over A Barrel” (Jan 10).

First of all we appreciate your concern about the crisis in right way andwould like to provide some more facts.

It is believed, Judiciary is for justice and media is to bring the facts topublic. As all of us know, the country has just undergone the historicstrike by officers of Oil PSU lasting for 3 days for the first time andthrashed by Govt by imposing ESMA/NSA/ARMY as Brahmastra when it becameuncontrollable on 3rd day.

Though the strike in any form is not a good thing at all and simply causesinconvenience to general public and must be avoided particularly byeducated officers committed to national growth. The biggest question is whythey went on strike. In this strike, there was no slogan/Dharna/damage topublic property and so it was not basically a strike rather abstaining fromwork as they were ignored for many years. It looked as they were novice andwere neither professional striker nor opportunist negotiator otherwise theycould have called off strike when Petroleum minister happened to be kindenough to visit Indian Oil colony late night on 08.01.2009.

CJI had once told that incapable judge to retire and so incapable Govt. machinery must also retire who could not negotiate with officers andmisrepresented the facts to public through news channel. It is the clearmisuse of sovereignty of MEDIA broadcasting one-sidedly and inapt handling.It shows how fair is media and how corrects are their news over which wenormally rely. Instead of making efforts for negotiation, Govt was busy inrepeated announcement of price cut and diverting the issue.

For the information of public, the entry-level officer even does not get 1/3rd salary of what was portrayed in TV. Govt. should not make merry of it, as it is a DEATH of democracy. Striking officers should have also been listened equally. If technocrats will not be respected, there will be moreBRAIN DRAINS. It was a total inept handling of crisis by both sides.

It is PSU who has supplied oil to every nook and corner of the country beat any losses when crude price was soaring high at $145 and even more. Atthat time private sector closed their pump started exporting oil to mintmoney. Where was ESMA/NSA and DESHBHAKTI at that time as Zee TV called themDESHDROHI? Does the Zee TV know the meaning of it? Where goes ESMA/NSA/ARMYwhen political party called strike damaging country in much largermagnitude and harassing general public? They are educated and they respectthe law of land and so when army was directed and Govt had nothing beyondthat and country was in trouble, most probably they called off strike andany way calling strike off was not a matter of SHAME rather a PRIDE.

What Govt could not do, they did by calling off strike and avoided confrontation and arrest? As we know, they are supplying fuel uninterruptedly to every point of the country at whatever profit/loss, theyfought Kargil helping Army shoulder to shoulder, they shared pain withpeople during Tsunami, Bhuj earthquake, Bihar worst flood etc but neverportrayed in news as they feel all these part of their duties. These are national obligation without any credit. Do we think, officers educated fromtop institution of India and working in NAVRATNA company still do not knowthe value of their duties and meaning of lifeline energy source?

Does the public know the fact that their salary was last revised in 1997for 10 years? Does the public know they are still getting salary based onthe scale fixed in 1997? Is it fair anyway or do they not deserve revisedpay even after 12 years and that too Govt delaying for last 2 years underthe clutches of bureaucracy? How much period is minimum for Govt to take adecision for the cause of educated officers? They called off strike becausethey are educated. Had workers called the strike, Govt would never imposeESMA so easily as they are their vote banks. And why Govt. is interferingin wage settlement for executives only?

Basically Oil has become a political game in our country and nothing else. Why their Board of directors was not empowered to decide the pay package of executive also in the same way as it is being done for non-executives whoare 4 times in number having larger financial impact? Had other PSU joinedin strike, situation could have been worse. Why CMDs of PSU have been threatened for exit as per news when they have no power to decide anythingrelated to wages for executive. Media must go into depth and find the facts with figures with all sincerity and honesty looking both sides of the coin. The tireless effort made by the chairman of IndianOil in getting the Stike called off is extraordinarily appreciable.

Zee TV portraying educated officers, as “DESHDROHI”is indeed deplorable. It is felt that Zeenetwork is an insane media institute. Should we take that educated officers have no FREEDOM OF SPEECH in democratic society and have no family obligation besides NATION? These officers work even in remotest part of country for 10 to 16 hours a day. Nation is first and so strike was called off but it could have been calledmuch earlier also. The patience of educated officers for two long years must be appreciated and Govt. must have acted in time to avoid suchsituation. It looks presently like the whole fiasco was created to make aplatform for private sector as an alternate fuel station as crude price hasalready come down to $40 and profit can be made at HOME by private sectorand exporting may not be so profitable now. Why private sector does notconstruct fuel station in Leh Ladhakh whereas Oil PSU feels pride asservice to nation?

It is requested sincerely from core of the heart that the media is havingequally greater role like Oil PSU and must introspect about their dutiesand make efforts to find the facts and make public aware as partnerchannel. Media having important role in nation building as ours and exposethose responsible for recent turmoil created by some of the bureaucratsjust to assuage their ego instead of blaming officers only and claiming victory. Confrontation in all sorts must be avoided to build our nation infuture. It is a lesson learnt for both and both must act to their duties sincerely.

With the facts cited above one can understand the reason of strike and whoblackmailed whom. Moreover, salary of Oil PSU officers should be more thanthe counterpart in private sector due difficult working condition andcommitment to NATION.


BN Thakur

Sr. Manager (E), PDO

M- 9416010680

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