ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

MigrationSubscribe to Migration

Migrant Crisis in Kerala

The Kerala government is under pressure to enforce action to deal with the rising migrant population in the state after the arrest of a migrant labourer as the suspect of rape and murder of Jisha, a Dalit law student. Keeping track of the migrant population in the absence of an identification database would violate the constitutional provisions of the right to work. By launching an insurance scheme to incentivise migrants to voluntarily register themselves, the government is planning to track migrant workers. Profiling by the state, even under the garb of welfare schemes, will further justify the existing middle-class ire against domestic and regional migrant labour.

Child Malnutrition in Rajasthan

Remote parts of southern Rajasthan such as Udaipur, Dungarpur, Banswara and Rajsamand are characterised by a predominance of tribal groups and a high prevalence of unskilled, male, seasonal outmigration. A study conducted in these parts in 2014 shows high levels of malnutrition among children in this region. It also discusses how socio-economic characteristics translate into severe resource limitations at the household level, primarily in the availability of nutritious food. Mothers are faced by time and energy constraints in providing adequate care to young ones, especially in migrant households. Normalisation of malnutrition in community perception, rooted in the structural deprivations experienced by these communities, further entrenches the problem. The study argues that implementing local solutions and adopting strategic policy reforms can offset these constraints to child nutrition in such tribal areas.

Contextualising Transnationalism

Scholars following the transnational turn in migration studies have stressed the way in which connections that migrants maintain across nation state boundaries affect their daily lives and subjectivities in the place of settlement. By doing so, the influence of the local context on transnational ties is sometimes overlooked. Based on five months of fieldwork amongst the Gujarati Hindu community of Cape Town, the cases presented in this paper show that local particularities inherently affect global processes. It suggests a reconceptualisation of transnational connections that emphasises the influence of the local and historical context of migration and argues that the regionalised migration trajectories and the manifestation of the history of apartheid in the local context have significantly affected the way in which transnational ties with India are maintained by this community.

Street Dwelling and City Space

This article tracks the life and work of the migrant female waste pickers in Kolkata. A few recent works have pursued the question of NGO-isation and unionisation among them at length. However, none of these works emphasise or discuss the spatial dimension of the dwelling places of this occupation group. The relationship between the contingencies of their occupation and the question of social reproduction is also explored here.

Recycling the Urban

The paper explores the interfaces of urbanisation, settlement practices, and issues of labour migration and displacement in contemporary Kolkata. It starts with interrogating a historical narrative of urbanisation and zoning practices in the city in the 1960s and picks out few threads which still seem relevant in studies of contemporary modes of urbanisation. It studies in some detail the practice of "thika tenancy" in the Kolkata slums--the most prominent site of habitation of the migrant workers in the city. It challenges the hypothesis of the "bypass model" of urbanisation in Kolkata and introduces the concept of "urban recycling," which facilitates a continuous juxtaposition of displacement and accumulation of human and other resources as part of the urbanisation process.

Homeless Migrants in Mumbai

Based on empirical work in Mumbai, this article enquires into experiences of homelessness of migrants to the city. It tries to locate these experiences within the larger processes of the neo-liberal envisioning of Mumbai as a global city, the ever-growing informalisation of labour, and displacement and inadequate resettlement of people, resulting in restricted access to affordable housing, services, workspaces and social welfare. The analyses expose how the homeless migrants perpetually suffer from the condition of suspended citizenship, lead their everyday domestic life under public gaze, face violence and also confront civil society's increasing assertion for rights over public spaces.

Sleepless in Mumbai

The anti-migrant political environment in the city of Mumbai has created a confused sociopolitical and economic environment, where the migrant worker, essential to manufacturing and service provision, is able to find work, but is unwelcome in terms of occupying physical, social, political and cultural spaces in the city. The paper attempts to bring this contradiction to the fore through a study of elderly migrant labour employed in the private security provision industry. From the study it becomes apparent that the reality of the lives of workers is shaped by factors beyond work and wages. Their living conditions, inability to cope with any exigency, including illness or death, the atomised lives that they lead in the city in comparison to the villages, and absence of social security or access to quality welfare services force these workers and their families to live in precarious conditions.

Migration, Bachelorhood and Discontent among the Patidars

Juxtaposing data collected in the 1950s with data from 2013, this paper describes some of the consequences of a crisis of agriculture in India as a crisis of values and aspirations. Among a relatively prosperous Patidar community in western India, agriculture continues to be economically remunerative while farmers are considered poor. Instead, the ability to secure a job away from land, to move out of the village and possibly overseas have come to constitute new markers of status in a traditionally competitive society. The paper departs from common representations of the caste as an upwardly mobile and successful group, and focuses instead on the discontent and on those who try to achieve the new values of the caste, but fail. As a consequence of failure it shows how Patidars recur to what, from an outsider's point of view, may seem paradoxical: in order to "move up" and participate in the culture and economy of the caste, they have to "move down." In this respect, the paper also contributes to understanding the unevenness of India's growth and the contrary trends that work both to strengthen and weaken caste identity.

Importance of Landowning Non-cultivating Households

There is an increasing importance of landowning households that do not cultivate and a significant presence of urban households owning rural land, which constrains the growth of the agrarian economy, as such households have low incentives to invest in agriculture, and tend to use land for residential purposes, reducing the cropped area. Agricultural labour households tend to lease in land and become cultivators.

'Mediterranean Graveyard'

The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe by Romain Puertolas, translated by Sam Taylor, New York: Alfred A Knopf, 2015; pp 320, ₹1,387, hardcover.

Dalit Question in the Upcoming West Bengal Assembly Elections

Suppressed for long, autonomous Dalit politics is finding its voice in West Bengal through the organisational strength of the Matua Mahasangha. This article takes a look at the recent developments in this organisation and how it is projecting Dalit demands in the run-up to the coming legislative assembly elections in the state.

Tribal Migrant Women as Domestic Workers in Mumbai

Focusing on female migrant domestic workers from Jharkhand, this article looks at their lives before and after migration. Jharkhand witnesses heavy migration and mobility to cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, especially female migration. Girls and young women coming from marginalised communities migrate through different means and organisations like placement agencies, religious institutions or with the help of friends or relatives. Most of them get into the unorganised sector such as domestic work. Lack of social security measures continues to be a major challenge and a source of distress for these workers.

Pages

Back to Top