Post 19th March 2016, the entire jewellery industry is clearly divided into two parts – one who supports GJF/GJEPC/IBJA decision to call off the strike and other brigade who clearly not in the mood to relent and continue to strike, as of today.
At present, North and West India have continued with their protest against excise duty and the stores are still closed. Initially, CWJA, Kolkata supported GJF and opened stores on 21st March but later they have gone back to protest. Even in Zaveri Bazaar in Mumbai, IBJA supporters want the stores to remain open while the ones who are opposing them want to continue to protest.
Part of the industry, which is against calling off strike, has decided to abandon present associations as they feel betrayed by them. Associations being the voice of the industry shouldn’t have called off strike. They should have at least confided in the industry before taking such a drastic decision, say a lot of jewellers.
The nation-wide strike has also put a question mark on the leaderships of the associations like GJF, GJEPC and IBJA who are the voices of the industry. In all this, the major brunt has been borne by IBJA President Mohit Khamboj as he has been criticized and is being questioned over his intentions. Industry wants GJF and other associations to accept their mistake and support their struggle.
In all this, not big but small-time jewellers/artisans are certainly losing their livelihood.
Will there be a leader/association that would bring the warring parties together? Is it right to hold the government at ransom by striking and put livelihoods of many at stake? May sense prevail soon!