Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Millions in India Join General Strike against Modi Government

Millions of workers in India have taken to the streets as part of a general strike against the government of Narendra Modi.

Facebook Twitter Share
Indian workers on general strike on March 28 against Modi government.

Millions of workers took to the streets in India today as part of a two-day general strike. The strike, which has shut down much of the country, was called in opposition to the government of Narendra Modi, an ultra-right wing Hindu nationalist who is currently attempting to privatize many of India’s publicly held assets. The strike, which is planned to continue until tomorrow, includes workers at India’s publicly held banks (a main target of Modi’s privatization), transport workers, and dozens of other workers in both private and public industries.

The strike was called by a joint forum that includes twelve country’s largest trade union federations, including the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) and the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), representing various sectors such as coal, steel, transportation, banking, postal, and telecommunications, to name a few. According to officials from AITUC, over 200 million workers, both in the formal and informal sectors, are expected to join the strike.

The strikers’ main demands are wide-reaching and include scrapping privatization plans and raising the minimum wage. The strikers are also protesting a new law that would give bosses more power over wages and hours and allow contract work, making the Indian working class even more precarious.  Other factors spurring workers to take to the streets include rising fuel prices (in large part a result of the war in Ukraine) and growing poverty — over 100 million people are estimated to have fallen into poverty in India in 2021. Strikers are also demanding income support from the government. 

This is not the first time workers have revolted against the Modi government. There were also general strikes in 2016, 2019, and 2020, with hundreds of millions of workers participating. Throughout 2020 and 2021, farmers across India waged a strike against new agricultural “reforms” from the Modi government. After almost a year on strike, the farmers won their key demands

The workers on strike today in India show both the level of public opposition to the far-right regime of Modi and the power of the united working class. Whole areas of India, including cities in the south and east of the country, have ground to a halt, especially due to disruptions in railways, public transit, and banking services.

While the Indian economy has “bounced back” after two years of the pandemic, a number of jobs have completely disappeared and unemployment exceeded 8 percent in December — a large number given the country’s population of 1.4 billion. The pandemic, however, didn’t bring about the current crisis — it only exacerbated the decaying conditions brought about by decades of attacks by neoliberalism, especially on public goods and services. The solution to the worsening conditions for the Modi regime, however, has not been to invest in and improve public goods and labor conditions. Instead, as servants of capital, they have used this as an opportunity to privatize national industries and deregulate all labor protections in order to guarantee the profits and prosperity of the big capitalists.

But as this strike in India shows, workers make the capitalist economy function, and it’s inspiring to see them grind the wheels of capitalism to a halt. To win their demands, they need to take the example of striking farmers and extend the strike indefinitely until they succeed. Their fight should moralize workers around the world.

Facebook Twitter Share

Ezra Brain

Ezra is a NYC based theatre artist and teacher.

Sou Mi

Sou Mi is an activist based in New York City.


Students in Sydney on March 25, 2022, during a protest highlighting inadequate progress to address climate change.

Australia’s Election and the Tasks for the Left: Interview with an Australian Socialist

Following Australia’s election which demonstrated a rejection of Scott Morrison’s anti-climate and anti-worker policies, we spoke with Red Flag writer Jerome Small for a socialist perspective on the political moment in Australia.

Left Voice

May 31, 2022

Japanese Residents Demand a Ban on U.S. Military Noise Pollution

A group of plaintiffs in the Japanese city of Iwakuni is ready to launch a lawsuit to ban flights from a local U.S. military base.

Sam Carliner

May 9, 2022
Trade unions protest during a nationwide strike demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his cabinet, blaming them for creating the country's worst economic crisis in decades, in front of the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on April 28, 2022

Millions in Sri Lanka Hold General Strike amid Historic Economic Crisis

Millions of workers in Sri Lanka held a general strike on Thursday that crippled the island nation. They should extend it indefinitely, ensuring that the working class doesn’t pay a cent for the country’s economic crisis.

Sou Mi

April 29, 2022

Protests Reach Fever Pitch in Sri Lanka Amid Historic Economic Crisis

In Sri Lanka, the government has imposed a state of emergency to control protests and mass anger over a deepening economic crisis that has led to debilitating shortages of food, fuel, and basic goods.

Sou Mi

April 2, 2022


Over 50 Migrants Found Dead in Texas. Biden Has Blood on His Hands.

The Biden Administration has maintained virtually all of Trump’s draconian and murderous immigration policies. Dozens have died in a trailer in Texas as a result.

Robert Belano

June 29, 2022

Feminists and Socialists across the World Mobilize in Solidarity with the Fight for Abortion Rights in the U.S.

Feminist and socialist organizations in France and Argentina staged protests over the weekend in solidarity with demonstrations in the United States against the overturn of Roe v. Wade and the attacks on bodily autonomy by the Right.

Left Voice

June 29, 2022

Teachers in NYC Pay Out of Pocket for Abortion. Healthcare Must be Accessible to All

The following is a speech by a public school teacher in NYC against the overturn of Roe v. Wade and in favor of abortion rights for all.


June 28, 2022

Thousands Protest against G7 Summit in Germany

The leaders of the seven most powerful imperialist countries are meeting in the Alps. These seven men stand for environmental destruction and militarism like no one else. That’s why protests were guaranteed.

Nathaniel Flakin

June 28, 2022