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

Navyug GillSubscribe to Navyug Gill

Essential before the Pandemic

As thousands of migrant labourers struggle to return to their homes, government officials have sought to keep them in place with promises of safety and support, and through brute force. Beyond containing the spread of the virus, preventing migrants from returning is based on the need to maintain the availability of labour for the economy once it reopens. Using the example of the upcoming harvest and planting season in Punjab, both the demand and disregard for the category “labourer” through the politics of identity, capitalism and colonial rule is traced. What this pandemic reveals, therefore, is not only the importance of the hitherto unimportant, but the ideology embedded within the language of everyday life.
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