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Gherao, meaning "encirclement", is a word which denotes a tactic used by labour activists and union leaders in India; it is similar to picketing. Usually, a group of people would surround a politician or a government building until their demands are met, or answers given.[1] This principle was introduced as a formal means of protest in the labour sector by Subodh Banerjee, the PWD and Labor Minister in the 1967 and 1969 United Front Governments of West Bengal, respectively.[2][3]

Owing to its popularity, the word “gherao” was added to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary in 2004. Page 598 has the entry: “Gherao: n (pl. gheraos). Indian; a protest in which workers prevent employers leaving a place of work until demands are met; Origin: From Hindi” and Subodh Banerjee was referred to as the Gherao minister.[4]

Gherao was being used by farmers against government buildings in the 2020–2021 Indian farmers' protest.[5]

See also


  1. ^ Bandyopadhyay, Ritajyoti (2022). Streets in Motion: The Making of Infrastructure, Property, and Political Culture in Twentieth-century Calcutta. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781009109208. ISBN 9781009109208. S2CID 250200020.
  2. ^ Dasgupta, Surajit Kumar; Dāśagupta, Surajit̲a (December 19, 1992). West Bengal's Jyoti Basu: A Political Profile Page 27. Gian Publishing House. ISBN 9788121204200 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ "Populist Governance". Archived from the original on 2009-04-18. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
  4. ^ "A Defiant Rebel - Mainstream Weekly".
  5. ^ Talwar, Gaurav (8 December 2020). "Farm protests: AAP holds protest march to gherao CM's office, stopped by police | Dehradun News - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
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