In order to understand the issues and problems associated with industrial relations, it is desirable to study its various evolutionary phases. Practically speaking, the growth of industrial relations in India is in no way different from that of other parts of the globe. The various stages of industrial relations progressed from primitive stage to factory or industrial capitalism stage. The emergence of tripartite consultative system and voluntary and statutory approach to industrial relations, immensely contributed to the growth of a particular system of industrial relations in our country. Also the fast changing technological development, industrial production techniques, and ideological values have brought forth in the industrial world a unique type of employer-employee relationship. For a proper theoretical perspective of industrial relations, it seems essential to have a historical review of industrial relations in India.
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS IN INDIA
India was greatly advanced in the field of industry and commerce in the past, as evidenced from its ancient literature. In ancient times, the highest occupation in our country was agriculture followed by trading. Manual services formed the third rung of occupation. Small manufacturers in their cottages, mostly on hereditary basis, carried on a large number of occupations. Ancient scriptures and laws of our country laid emphasis on the promotion and maintenance of peaceful relations between capital and labour. From the very early days, craftsmen and workers felt the necessity of being united. The utility of unions has been stated in Sukla Yajurveda Samhita, “if men are united, nothing can deter them.” Kautilyas’s Arthashastra gives a comprehensive picture of the organisation and functions of the social and political institutions of India and a good description of unions of employees, craftsmen or artisans. There were well-organised guilds, which worked according to their own byelaws for the...
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