The Bengal Income Tax Association (BITA), precursor of the Income Tax Employees Federation, Bengal Circle, Gr.C (ITEF Bengal Circle Gr.C) was born on the 5th day of May, 1921 through a Convention of theIncome Tax Employees held at the Metcalfe Hall, Calcutta. The convention, as per the prevailing practice of those days was presided over by Mr. Blandy, the then head of the I.T. Department. The Convention elected Comrade Nakuleswar Nandy, as the Secretary of the nascent Organization. The convention also elected Comrades Hari Charan Ganguly, Abani Charan Chatterjee, Bhupendra Nath Mitra and a few others as members of the Executive Committee. Shri Bipin Chandra Pal, of famous trio “Lal, Bal, Pal.”,a Great Orator and leading freedom fighter was elected as the first President of the BITA. It was also the time the working class movement in the country was taking shape with the formation of All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) in the year 1920 in the wake of the formation of the first Working Class State, the USSR in 1917. It may not be out of place to mention that BITA was the second Trade Union Organisation in a Central Govt. Department, the first one being `The Provincial Postal and RMS Organisation formed in 1920 under the dynamic leadership of Babu Tarapada Mukherjee, illustrious leader of the Postal employees. During those days participating trade union activity was extremely difficult in the face of the high-handed attitude of the authorities who frequently persecuted the leaders and workers. The activities had to be restricted to the submitting mass petitions and memorandum to the authorities highlighting grievances of the employees in the politest possible language. By the end of the 1940 with the emphatic victory of Soviet Union over the fascism and with India getting Independence, a new situation emerged both nationally and internationally. A good number of well educated youths entered into the service of I.T. Department and elsewhere in other government offices. imbued with spirit of anti-imperialism, socialism and democracy they infused a new spurt of life to the old organization which was becoming moribund, incapable of keeping pace with the challenge of the time. A new bunch of leaders emerged to take up the cudgel of struggle. They changed the face of the Organization, and converted BITA into a conscious, vibrant and militant organization from a drab outfit. Income Tax, being a provincial subject in the early nineteenth century, the Unions also came to the fore at provincial and regional levels. It was in 1949, many years after the Income Tax became a Central subject, and the idea for formation of an All India Federation was first mooted. Some leaders succeeded in holding a preliminary convention at Nagpur on 10th Feb, 1953. A collective effort of Com.Rajarathnam and other comrades fructified and the ITEF (called then as ITNGSF) was born. The first conference of the Federation was held at Kolkata in the year 1955. Quite a number dedicated, committed and erudite comrades nurtured this organization in those formative days, prominent among them were Com.Manishi Nath Ghosh, Com.Puspendu Sen, Com.G.S.Gnyanam, Com.Pathik Banerjee, Com.K.N.Nayagam, Com.Asoke Mukherjee and Com.Benutosh Guha. Under their able leaderships the organization fought many a battle both on departmental as well as common issue. Indefinite Strikes of 1960 and 1974 including one day token strike of 1968 were glorious and historic struggles in the annals of BITA. Never in the history of any civilized nation, were such repressive measures resorted to suppress a trade union activity as it happened in the country in 1974. The strike was followed by the national Emergency. West Bengal witnessed the reign of terror. Many comrades of CGEs in W.B were arrested and detained. Com.Puspendu Sen and Com.Samir Banerjee the prominent leaders of BITA were among those arrested and incarcerated The Income Tax Employees Federation (called as ITEF) is the only Service Association in Income Tax Department today to represent all most cent percent non-gazetted employees. Unlike its name suggests, it is presently a unitary organization. The federal set up was changed into a unitary one to conform to the requirements and stipulations of the CCS(RSA) Rules, 1993. The unity of Tax employees assiduously built over the years through struggles, sacrifices and stewardship of sincere and able comrades. The collective leadership that emerged from the sustained struggles steered the ITEF to become a mighty trade union organization amongst the Central Govt. employees. They remained in the reckoning of the organizational functioning for about 30 years continuously. In 1994, taking advantage of the promulgation of the new Recognition Rules, complete unity was brought about among the non-gazetted employees of Tax India. The ITEF as well as our Circle integrated itself with the common movement of the working class in the country especially in the struggles against the neo-liberal economic policies enunciated of the Govt. of India in 1991. Our organisation participated in all the strike action organized by the Sponsoring Committee of Trade Unions since 1991. Its achievements had been the product of the endeavour collectively made by its members. Our organization has suffered immensely when its unity was disrupted. The fundamental responsibility of each of its member is to strive to preserve the unity of its members at all costs and which we were carried out with utmost sincerity. In the process our organization became most powerful organization of the Non-Gazetted employees of the Department and the Department as well as the Ministry of Finance could never ignore our organization in the policy forsmulation in subsequent years. Today’s ITEF Bengal Circle Gr.C is yester day’s BITA, determined and able to keep aloft the banners stranded over by the fore runners. .
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