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

A+| A| A-

Role of Indian Worker in Early Phase of Industrialisation-A Critique of Established View, with Special Reference to Tata Iron and Steel Co, 1910-30

of Industrialisation A Critique of Established View, with Special Reference to Tata Iron and Steel Co, 1910-30 Satyabrata Datta Accounts of the Indian worker in the early phase of the country's industrialisation proceed on the assumption of the low level of his technical skill and industrial efficiency. Now, the question of skill/lack of skill or efficiency/ inefficiency of Indian labour involves both theoretical and empirical considerations. None of the accounts of the early Indian industrial worker, however, bases its arguments on a clear theoretical position. At the same time, a critical enquiry into the TISCO workers' performance calls into question also the empirical validity of this view of Indian labour This paper is in two parts. In the first part, attempts are made to problematise certain theoretical issues. Apart from showing the theoretical inadequacies of the established view of Indian labour, the author focuses on the discussion around the theme of skill/efficiency. In the second part of the paper, the empirical fallacies in the established view of the Indian worker are taken up. The author discusses how in this view illiteracy and the alleged low level of skill of the Indian worker are seen as interdependent. Also taken up for consideration are the ideological motivations that shaped the established view of labour as well as the question of the comparative efficiency of Indian and Western labour.

To read the full text Login

Get instant access

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

₹826for India

$50for overseas users


(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Back to Top