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.Continue reading “Covid-19: Redrawn Borders, Redefined Lives – A Report”
Migrant laborers are not an anomaly in Indian society and almost everybody is aware of their existence and the work they do. However, it is the current socioeconomic and health crisis brought on by the pandemic Covid-19 which has amplified our focus on these otherwise ignored migrant laborers and the difficulties they have to face. Social media, news as well as public opinion has varied greatly on the issue but there seems to be a consensus on the fact that India probably saw a great many deaths of these laborers before an equal number of people died due to Covid-19. Due to the sudden lockdown of all transport systems, lack of information and a great amount of mismanagement on the part of the states as well as central authority – many of these laborers have had to undertake inter-state journeys on foot with all their belongings on their shoulders. This has been extensively captured and documented by the media which has then shaped public opinion. In such a context where these migrant laborers are suddenly under the spotlight, Ranabir Samaddar and Samita Sen spoke in a webinar titled ‘CoVid-19 : Public Health and the Sudden Visibility of Migrant Workers’, organized by CRG (as part of its webinar series #bordersofanepidemic). Sukanya Bhattacharya reports on the webinar organized on 12th June, 2020.Continue reading “Report on ‘CoVid-19 : Public Health and the Sudden Visibility of Migrant Workers’”
Santi Sarkar and Khoka Mali write about the tea gardens in North Bengal, and the migrations that enable them. This articles takes into consideration the disparity in wages, in the payment of provident funds of the tea garden employees and the need for subsistence that send people out of the tea gardens, those who are the children of already migrant workers.Continue reading “Once a migrant, always a migrant: The multiple passages of tea plantation workers of north-Bengal”
Samata Biswas writes about the social distance India maintains from its migrant workers, redrawing the borders that govern our lives. Continue reading “Bringing the border home: India Partition 2020”
Swati Bhattacharjee and Abhijnan Sarkar take stock of the situation of two groups of migrant workers in Kolkata, and try to assess what could be done for them.
Madhurilata Basu and Sibaji Pratim Basu undertake a survey of the experiences of migrant healthcare workers and politics of communalisation that constitutes India’s response to the novel Coronavirus.
As part of CRG’s publication on the Covid 19 pandemic and migrant workers, Ishita Dey writes about migrants who perform intimate labour, perceived as a threat, embodying fear of spreading contamination, facing new challenges of ostracization and social stigma. Continue reading “Social Distancing, “Touch-Me-Not” and the Migrant Worker”
Mohamed Shafeeq Karinkurayil reviews Deepak Unnikrishnan’s 2017 novel, Temporary People. Continue reading “Deepak Unnikrishnan’s Temporary People: a review”
Anuradha Bhasin is Executive Editor, Kashmir Times. She is a writer and a peace activist involved in campaigns for human rights’ violation victims in Kashmir, crimes against women as well as India-Pakistan friendship. Apala Kundu of CRG interviewed her in June 2018. The following is excerpted from it. Continue reading “‘There is a celebratory tone to all these human rights violations’: An Interview with Anuradha Bhasin”
On 30th July 2018, the government of Assam , a state in the Indian North-Est, published a National Register of Citizens. Of its residents, 4,000,000 people and counting did not find their names on the Register.
Amid fears about the fate of these people, the real and increasing concern around statelessness, the modalities of having separate citizenship registers within a federal structure, and the history of the Assam Accord: CRG sought to lay bare the issues at stake in a roundtable discussion.
Prof. Ranabir Samaddar, Distinguished Chair, Migration and Forced Migration Studies, was joined in a roundtable discussion by eminent journalist Mr. Subir Bhaumik, and Prof. Samir Das, Professor of Political Science at the University of Calcutta. Mr. Rajat Ray, senior journalist, moderated the discussion.