Com. Omprakash Gupta – The Tallest Personality of P&T Movement
Com. Omprakash Gupta ji dedicated his life to Trade union movement. He was born on 8th April, 1922 and expired on 06-01- 2013. This 2019 April 8th we celebrate his 98th Birth Day. We remember and salute the great legend. Com. O.P. Gupta was born in a big family with 2 sisters and 5 brothers to the parents Shri Ramlal and Smt. Sona Devi at Kernal. After completion of primary education at Karnal, he studied higher education at Multan and Lahore. Shri I.K. Gujral, Ex-Prime Minister was his senior.
At the age of 24 years, he entered in to the arena of Trade union movement on the behest of Com. Dange and Com. Dada Ghosh. He worked in Army head quarters, but he was dismissed from Army after some time on the suspicion that he was abetting the “quit India movement” during1942 and forming underground cells. He was invited to the profession of a teacher to a school conducted for political prisoners at Jallianwalla Bagh by none other than Com. Surjeet who then became the General Secretary of CPIM. Com. Gupta collected donations from various people and helped to conduct that school. He rejoined college and pursued his master degree. Com. Janak was Secretary of our union Branch at Delhi at that time. She was hailed from an area now belonging to Pakistan. She was also arrested during 1949 strike call and Gupta was sent to 14 months imprisonment. Their Comradeship led them to their marriage, which was initially opposed by Janak’s mother on the ground that Gupta was professional unionist.
His first initiation in the trade union movement was his merger resolution for UPTW. He never practiced the question of unity as a mere tactical step. But actualized it with deep commitment and with greater vision of settling the impossible. OPG adopted Gandhian techniques in the day today trade union affairs. He always believes in negotiations and fighting for settlement of crucial issues of workers. Hunger fast and non-cooperation were his famous tools to mobilise workers and to make the Govt to come to terms. His tolerance was not comparable. He was a visionary and unparallel leader.
NFPTE born on 24.11.1954. Com. O.P. Gupta was elected continuously as Secretary General in Federal Councils held at Bengalore (1978), Cochin (1980) and at Bombay (1983). After 32 years of functioning since the realignment conference on 24th Nov, 1954, NFPTE bifurcated in two federations NFTE, NFPE in the Federal council held at Calcutta in March,1986. Com. OPG elected as Secretary General of NFTE and RMS unions. He was deeply committed for the up-liftment of oppressed suppressed and down trodden workers. Thousands of casual laboures were regularized in one stroke due to ceaseless endeavor of Com. Gupta. Not only this the casual labourers after three years of service with 240 days in a year got the status of TSM and were made eligible to promotion to Telecom Mechanic Cadre. Due to his untiring efforts the Telecom Mechanic Cadre came into existence. And almost one lakh employees i.e. RM’s, TMs and group ‘D’ were appointed as Telecom Mechanic. The base instinct of “No discrimination” was his main motive force that engineered leveling group ‘D’ and ‘C’ matters of holidays, medical facilities and weekly off. His thought of restructuring scheme, The Cadres of TTA and Sr. TOA also came into existence for elevation of Technicians and allied Cadres viz. Clerks, operators and telegraphists etc.
He was the author of the concept of automatic promotion (OTBP, BCR, Grade IV) and through this concept lakhs of central Govt employees benefited. He compared IAS promotion policy for getting promotion to Group C and Group D. Here also he applied no discrimination concept only. It is an idea that he derived from our Indian constitution. At the time of corportarisation, Com. Gupta’s role was memorable in the history of trade union movement. To built up unity in achieving Job Security, Pension and Financial viability are unique. The job security so secured in BSNL for absorbed DOT staff that even dismissed employees are entitled for Govt pension. We feel very proud of Com. OPG, who always stood forefront of all the struggles taken place in DOT/BSNL. The NFTE BSNL will undoubtedly follow the legacy, ideals and path left by our departed “Rahnuma” and will act as “Unifier” to protect BSNL and the future of the employees. This will be the befitting rememberance to the Gratest leader.
Com. O.P. Gupta – Symbol of unity, struggle and settlement
May His Glory Glow For Ever!