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

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Translating Marx: Mavali, Dalit and the Makin of Mumbai's Working Class, 1928-1935

Examining the Marathi translation of The Communist Manifesto published in 1931 and situating it in the socio-historical context of workers' movements in Mumbai in the 1920s and 1930s, this paper argues that the so-called subordinated classes engaged with it and created a workers' public that was in conversation with the elite public sphere. But it holds that the vernacular version had to navigate the structures of language and a social structure in which caste was an important feature to make itself comprehensible to other intellectuals, trade union leaders and workers. It was in this process that its strategy of obscuring caste subjectivities and creating a new identity of class found its greatest success and also its ultimate failure.

Worker Politics, Trade Unions and the Shiv Sena?s Rise in Central Bombay

The Shiv Sena's rise from the 1960s was assisted in large part by its ability to effectively channel emotions based on identity. It was the mill areas of central Bombay that formed the battleground for different political parties as they fought for representation of the class that had played a key role in shaping the city's destiny. Whereas the actions of the left parties were limited to the workplace, the Sena, through its shakhas, ensconced itself in the neighbourhood and rather than radical worker concerns took up emotive issues relating to livelihood and identity that played up the image of the deprived Maharashtrian.
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