Recent workers’ struggles in India prompt us to examine the concept of autonomy more closely. Movements in the Gurgaon-Manesar region have consciously or unconsciously addressed the reality of the social factory and have combined mobilizations from below and mass initiative with the need to formulate an appropriate strategy and effective set of tactics.
The following is an account and reflection on a recent episode in working class history that has created something of a stir, not least within the working class itself. It has spawned diverse interpretations in the form of reports by left-wing political parties and other civil society organisations,and coverage by the electronic and print media, including detailed accounts and analyses in a workers’ broadsheet called Faridabad Majdoor Samachar (FMS). This account draws primarily on FMS and conversations with persons associated with it.