Police in Bathinda, a city in Indian Punjab locked teachers into their headquarters in order to prevent them from taking part in a legitimate protest for labour rights this week, provoking outrage amongst the teachers. 

Teachers in the area are still protesting for the regularisation of their contracts.  Union leaders say no new contracts have been issued since 2011, yet thousands of teachers have passed the exam which entitles them to teach. To make matters worse, teachers have to pay to take the exam, generating income for the state, which tempts them with a promise of permanent contracts which then fail to materialise. This means that once again in February their contracts will be terminated, and those who are taken on will only earn $75 a month.

Earlier this year, teachers protesting over the same issues in Bathinda jumped into a canal to escape the brutality of the police, who charged them with lathis. Many were arrested, including several union leaders.

Meanwhile corporate reformers continue to blame the teachers of India for the perceived failure of public schools, promote privatisation as the solution and collude in the trashing of  state education.

The determined struggles of teachers in India for justice and for the defence of public education go almost completely unreported outside the country, leaving those advocating corporate reform a blank canvas on which to paint their lies.