Migration, Racism and the Corona Virus pandemic

Omen Achom writes of his long experience of racism, brought to a head during the Coronavirus pandemic. originally from Manipur, Omen stayed with his friend in a Telangana village to pass the lockdown peacefully, before returning home.

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Covid-19: Redrawn Borders, Redefined Lives – A Report

 On 8th July 2020, the Calcutta Research Group (CRG), in collaboration with the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung   and Institute of Human Sciences, Vienna, organised a webinar which sought to address the sudden visibility of India’s migrant workers and questions regarding borders, inequality, public health and care. Keeping in mind that the coronavirus pandemic has emerged not simply as a public health and economic crisis but also as one that has thrown migrant workers into deep turmoil, the webinar sought to interrogate issues of movement, sovereignty, governance, and borders between people, societies and states. Annesha Saha reports.

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Report on the Webinar: ‘Migrants, Morality, Middle Class and Pandemic’ by Rakesh M. Krishnan

The current pandemic and the consequent travesty that the migrant labourers have had to face has generated an unprecedented response from Indian society. Most of the middle and upper class had come out on social media to contribute to the growing discussion about the plight of the labourers. However, most of these responses are short-lived, individual and singular in nature. The speaker Rakesh M. Krishnan put up a comparative picture where on one hand, middle class people share news articles about the labourer’s death and right after that, share pictures of some delicacy they have cooked along with the rest of their family in their protected homes. This dichotomy has existed for a long time in society but has probably become even more apparent in the present context. Hence, the narrative of ‘3Ms’ – migrants, morality and middle class in the backdrop of a pandemic that Krishnan builds is an important narrative which is bound to be uncomfortable but is also necessary. Sukanya Bhattacharya reports on the webinar organized by Christ University Trivandrum on 22nd June, 2020.

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