Dalit movements and the meanings of labour in India
Oxford University Press, 1993 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 354 pages
Labour conditions and the disadvantage suffered by those of low social-status (Dalits) are two issues of great academic importance and pressing practical concern in India. Dalits have been caught up in different modes of work; this book brings new perspectives to bear on the change, including those of Dalits themselves. It reflects on the social and economic disabilities against which Dalits have campaigned, particularly the link between occupation and inherited status. This book traces aspects of the story of labour from the eighteenth century to the present day, assessing the degrees of continuity with past practice, and whether the 'modern' assumptions about work, its separation from other aspects of daily life, its 'commoditization' and its 'class' implications have often been reflected in Indian experience. The essays propose a number of general points on how ideological and religious ferment accompanies economic change, and also treat particularities that resonate against entrenched social conditions and attitudes. Two main definitions of 'movement' are intended - migration and protest. As a whole the book forms a comparative study of the concepts of labour and of social hierarchy. Among the central questions are whether current scholarly terminology is appropriate to South Asia, and in what ways there are distinctive 'Indian' characteristics. Included are an extensive critical essay by the editor, and eleven illustrative papers by established or younger scholars. David Washbrook and Michael Anderson provide a framework in terms of pre-colornal conditions and colonial law; Crispin Bates and Marina Carter, Arjan de Haan, and Dagmar Engels discuss labour migration; Dilip Menon, Nandini Gooptu and Valerian Rodrigues examine religious movements among Dalits; Nigel Crook shows some present-day consequences of 'modern' work amidst long-standing inequalities of social and ritual standing. The result is a collection of very high quality and importance, diverse in subject, rich in echoes and contrasts. It contributes to a new direction in its field, and has much to offer to scholars of several disciplines, and to all those eager to understand more of India's past and prospects.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Ideological Origins of Labour Law
the Struggle for Indias Jharkhand
Rethinking Female Participation in Tribal Labour
6 other sections not shown
Acchutanand adivasi Agrarian agricultural Ambedkar areas argued Assam B.R. Ambedkar Bengal bhakti bhikkhu Bihar Bombay bondage Brahmans British Buddha Buddhism Calcutta capital capitalist cent Chamars Chota Nagpur colonial context contract cultivation culture dalits Delhi Dhamma district Durgapur economic emigration employed employers employment example factory festivals forest groups Hinduism History Ibid ideology India industry Jharkhand jute mills kamias Kanpur labour force land large number legislation lower castes Madras Malabar ment migration mines moral movement Nayar nineteenth century notion official organisation Orissa pariah peasants Peter Robb plantations planters political practices Prakash production RCLI recruitment regulation relations religion religious Report ritual role rural Santal sardars Scheduled sector shrines slavery social society South Asia status steel towns Studies temple tharavadu tion Titagh No.2 Tiyya traditional tribal unfree labour untouchables urban village wages weavers women workers workforce worship