A sudden announcement was made by the government on 24 March 2020 of a complete lockdown of the country, due to the spectre of Coronavirus. India’s Migrant Workers and the Pandemic was being written as the crisis was unfolding with no end in sight. Migrant workers from different parts of India had no choice but to trek 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.
How did caste, race, gender, and other fault lines operate in this governmental strategy to cope with a virus epidemic?
The eight papers in this collection, highlight the ethical and political implications of the epidemic—particularly for India’s migrant workers. What were the forces of power at play in this war against the epidemic? What measures could have been taken and need to be taken now?
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Table of Contents
General Introduction: The Shiver of the Pandemic
PART I: ANALYSES
1. Corona Virus and the World-Economy: The Old is Dead, the New Can’t be Born 2. Covid-19 and Gender Transgressions 3. Covid-19 Jurisprudence: Triadic Ethical Framework and the Faultlines of Constitutional Governance 4. Economic Implications of Covid-19 Pandemic: Migration, Informality, Postcolonial Capitalist Development 5. Corona Pandemic, Sudden Visibility of Migrant Workers, and the Indian Economy 6. Between Homes; Without Homes: Migration, Circularity and Domesticity
PART II: REPORTS: THE LOCKDOWN EXPERIENCE/TRACTS OF TIME
Report I: Hunger, Humiliation, and Death: Perils of Migrant Workers in the Time of Covid-19
Report II: Insecurity and Fear Travel as Labour Travels in the Time of Pandemic
Report III: The Return of Bihari Migrants after the Covid-19 Lockdown
Report IV: The Sudden Visibility of Sangram Tudu
Report V: Glimpses of Life in the Time of Corona
Report VI: Migrant Workers and the Ethics of Care during a Pandemic
Report VII: Social Distancing, “Touch-Me-Not” and the Migrant Worker
Report VIII: Bringing the Border Home: Indian Partition 2020
Report IX: Counting and Accounting for Those on the Long Walk Home
Report X: How One State Can Learn from Another – Migrant Workers in Kolkata
Ritajyoti Bandyopadhyay works at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at IISER, Mohali.
Paula Banerjee, best known for her work on women in borderlands and women and forced migration, is the President of International Association for Studies in Forced Migration. She is a faculty member of the Department of South and Southeast.
Ranabir Samaddar holds the Distinguished Chair in Migration and Forced Migration Studies, Calcutta Research Group, and is a political thinker and one of the foremost theorists in the field of migration and forced migration studies.