Gherao, meaning "encirclement", is a word originally from Hindi. It 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. This principle was introduced as a formal means of protest in the labour sector by Subodh Banarjee, the PWD and Labor Minister in the 1967 and 1969 United Front Governments of West Bengal, respectively.[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 Banarjee was referred to as the Gherao minister.[4] In usage, the past tense of the verb, gheraoed, is more common.

See also