International Labour day

International Workers Day observed every year on May 1st. It is also known as “Labour Day” which celebrates the spirit of labourers and the day to pay tribute to the Labourers. Labour Day is a day of celebration for labourers and the working classes that is promoted by the international labour movement, socialists, communists or anarchists. The date was chosen for International Workers’ Day by the Second International, a pan-national organization of socialist and communist political parties, to commemorate the Haymarket affair, in which labour unions in the United States of America decided to go on a strike with the demand that workers should not be allowed to work more than 8 hours a day. This strike was followed by a bomb blast in Chicago’s Haymarket Square on the 4th May 1886 which led to the death of several people and police officers more than 100 people were injured in the blast.

In 1904, the International Socialist Conference in Amsterdam, the Sixth Conference of the Second International, called on “all Social Democratic Party organisations and trade unions of all countries to demonstrate energetically on the First of May for the legal establishment of the 8-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace.” Being a traditional European spring celebration, May Day is a national public holiday in several European countries. The date is currently celebrated specifically as “Labour Day” or “International Workers’ Day” in the majority of countries. Some countries celebrate a Labour Day on other dates significant to them, such as the United States, which celebrates Labor Day on the first Monday of September.

International Labour day celebration

Celebrations in India

In India, the first labour day was celebrated in 1923 which is organised in Chennai by Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan. This was the first time when the red flag was used in India. Labour Day in India is celebrated as Antarrashtriya Shramik Diwas. The holiday is tied to labour movements for communist and socialist political parties. It is known as “Kamgar Din” in Hindi,”Karmikara Dinacharane” in Kannada, “Kamgar Divas” in Marathi and “Uzhaipalar dhinam” in Tamil. In North India, and “Thozhilaali Dinam” in Kerala, Labour Day is mostly not given its previous importance as a holiday now. And today around India, organisations and trade unions arrange pageants, children enter contests so they can understand the importance of fairness for workers, and political leaders make speeches. The Labour Kisan party has introduced May Day celebrations in Madras. Comrade Singaravelar presided over the meeting. A resolution was passed stating that the government should declare May Day as a holiday. The president of the party explained the non-violent principles of the party. There was a request for financial aid. It was emphasised that workers of the world must unite to achieve independence.

Today, the world is celebrating Labour day, in India, many political leaders along with Prime Minister of India saluted and acknowledged workers for their work. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that “Today, on Labour Day we salute the determination & hard work of countless workers who play a big role in India’s progress. Shrameva Jayate!”

Lieutenant Governor of Pondicherry “Kiren Bedi” tweeted, with the message that ” The economic output from these sectors is contributed by none other than the labourers who work in agriculture fields, mines, factories and commercial establishments. So, on the ocassion of May Day, let us dedicate ourselves to appreciate the dignity of labour and call upon the youth of the country to become skilled workforce in whatever field they may choose or desire to contribute.”