[WSMDiscuss] Link to the book on "Book-COVID-19 and migrant workers" in India

Madhuresh Kumar kmadhuresh at gmail.com
Tue Apr 14 15:11:31 CEST 2020

Sharing with you all the link of the book titled, "Borders of an Epidemic:
Covid-19 and the Migrant Workers", edited by Prof Ranabir Samaddar. This
online publication by Calcutta Rresearch Group highlights the ethical and
political implications of the epidemic – particularly for India’s migrant
workers. This book is written as the crisis unfolds with no end in sight.
The book has been uploaded on CRG website. Please find the link

As migrant labourers from different parts of India trekked back hundreds of
kilometres carrying their scanty belongings and dragging their hungry and
thirsty children in the scorching heat of the plains of India to reach home
in central or eastern parts of the country after the sudden announcement by
the government of a complete lockdown of the country amid the spectre of
Corona virus, questions were raised as to whether this ordeal could have
been avoided through adequate arrangements of food and safe shelter for the
workers at the places of their stay in the host cities and places of work.
The employers of the migrant workers closed shop. The workers were also
driven out of their rented shelters on the ground that they would not be
able to pay the rent. Their paltry savings also were to dwindle soon. The
fear of hunger forced the workers to opt for unimaginable journeys of
hundreds of kilometres as all modes of transport had been suddenly closed
down. Their choice was between the devil and the deep sea, between
starvation and pandemic. India had not witnessed anything like this mass
migration across the plains of the country without food or a night’s place
of stay for sleep since the days of the Partition of the subcontinent.

Yet while scenes of migrant workers walking in long processions caught the
cameras of the journalists, it still requires to be asked: What lay behind
these long marches? How do caste, race, gender, and other fault lines
operate in governmental strategies to cope with a virus epidemic? If the
fight against an epidemic has been compared with a war, what are the forces
of power at play in this war against the pandemic? What indeed explains the
sudden visibility of the migrant workers in the time of a public health

India is in a complete lock down mode. This online publication by the
Calcutta Research Group is based on contemporary reflections by
journalists, social scientists and social activists, legal practitioners,
and thinkers, which highlight the ethical and political implications of the
epidemic in India – particularly for India’s migrant workers. This book is
written as the crisis unfolds with no end in sight. It is a tract of the


*National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)*
WhatsApp + Phone : (+91) 98 1890 5316 / +33 769 49 8891
email : kmadhuresh at gmail.com | Twitter / Skype @kmadhuresh
www.napm-india.org | www.inanantiqueland.wordpress.com

Fleig, Elina, Kumar, Madhuresh, Weber Juergen (eds.) *(2013)* *Speak Up!
Sozialer Aufbruch und Widerstand in Indien*(English Title: Social Movements
and Resistance in India*)* Assoziation A : Berlin.
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