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

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Cotton Mill Workers in Bombay, 1875 to 1918-Conditions of Work and Life

Conditions of Work and Life Shashi Bhushan Upadhyay On the basis of evidence from contemporary sources, this paper attempts to capture the domestic and workplace environment of the early cotton mill workers in Bombay city. The long hours of work in the mills exhausted the workers both physically and mentally The physical environment of their homes was no better; neglected by the authorities and exploited by private builders, the workers lived in ill-lighted, ill-ventilated dens in largely undeveloped, undrained areas. To find solace from this hard life of labour the workers often resorted to alcohol drinking. The regular intake of alcohol coupled with their hard work in the mills and the polluted atmosphere both at home and in the mills weakened their resistance and made them easy prey to various diseases, the lack of organised labour activity during the period under study was also attributable to the grim daily routine of the workers.

New Technology in Indian Manufacturing-An Evaluation of Introduction of CNC Machines

An Evaluation of Introduction of CNC Machines Bagaram Tulpule Ramesh C Datta Introduction of new technology raises issues related to loss of direct control, changes in job content and responsibility, job displacement redundancy and redeployment, retraining, etc, which are extremely important in realising benefits from the new technology. It is necessary, therefore, to examine the economic context in which new technology is bought, with what aspirations it is adopted, the purposes management attaches to it, the groups involved in the process of decision-making, etc This paper reports on a study which attempts to evaluate the introduction of microelectronics-based technology, viz, computer numerically controlled machines, in three companies in the manufacturing sector.

Working Class Consciousness

Working Class Consciousness Amiya Kumar Bagchi Rethinking Working Class History: Bengal 1890-1940 by Dipesh Chakrabarty; Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1989; pp xix + 245, $ 35.00.

Representing Labour in Old Mysore-Kolar Gold Fields Strike of 1930

Kolar Gold Fields Strike of 1930 Janaki Nair The historiography of the Indian working class has been exercised by question of indigenous elites 'represen- ting' stibaltern classes in colonial and post-colonial India. The 21-day general strike in princely Mysore's Kolar Gold Fields in 1930 reveals an incomplete hegemony process of outside organisations and ideology and constitutes a historical moment when the forces contesting each other to represent workers achieved a degree of unanimity on the question of who should speak for the working class. This study of the strike seeks to show why the dialectic of leaders and the led' need not be the dialectic that the historian of the working class should accept.

Biotech and Third World

Biotech and Third World Satish Jha The Gene Hunters: Bio-technology and the Scramble for Seeds by Calcstous Juma; Zed Books, London and Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1989; pp xiv+288, price not stated.

Political Economy of Penetration of Colonialism-into Indian Hinterlands

Political Economy of Penetration of Colonialism into Indian Hinterlands IN the last few decades there has been a welcome movement away in Indian historiography from the rather positivist abstractions of purist economic history to the study of political regions in either a total sense or from the once-orthodox outlook of interpersonal discourse or interest-group lobbying in the determination of state policy. Locales, outlooks, and people are coming back centre-stage, in place of merely abstractions about economic structure or general ideas and abstract ideology. In this trend, it is useful to find books presenting a corpus of hard data on particular regions or people from the comparative and contrasting analysis of which, more general postulates about the total history of the region can be drawn.

Developing Countries Narrowing Options

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Trade and Development Report 1989; Geneva, September UNCTAD must have celebrated its twenty- fifth birthday on a subdued note.3 Its role in influencing cither patterns of international trade and finance or multilateral negotiations has never been so limited. The earlier uniqueness of its position as the only international economic institution with a near universal membership has been eroded by the entry of some socialist states and the proposed entry of others into institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF. And, unlike these bodies, it Jacks the clout that cornes from the ability to disburse resources. Given its increasing impotence in terms of influencing events, the UNCTAD Secretariat has set itself the more limited task of providing a forum for discussion and debate, analysing trends and directions in the world economy, and assessing the efficacy and viability of different attempts at open economy macro- management, This year's Trade and Development Report (hereafter TDR) is one step in this direction. It is an important document which merits consideration from those concerned with economic stra' ,gies in developing countries.

A Celebration of the Gandhian Alternative

Bhikhu Parekh: Colonialism, Tradition and Reform: An Analysis of Gandhi's Political Discourse, Sage Publications, New Delhi, 1989 pp 288; and Gandhi's Political Philosophy: A Critical Examination, Macmilian, London,

Transformation and Travail in Chinese Society

Transforming China's Economy in the Eighties (Volume I: The Rural Sector, Welfare and Employment; Volume II: Manpower, Industry and the Urban Economy) edited by Stephan Feuchtwang, Athar Hussian and Thierry Pairault; Zed Books, London, and Oxford University Press, India, 1988; Rs 325 (set of two volumes).

Food Subsidies In Search of Cost-Effectiveness

Food Subsidies: In Search of Cost-Effectiveness Ashok Gulati Food Subsidies in Developing Countries: Costs, Benefits and Policy Options edited by Per Pinstrup-Andersen; published for the International Food Policy Research Institute, USA, by the Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1988; pp xvii + 374.

Soviet Economic Reform-Uneasy Struggle between Efficiency and Equity

Soviet Economic Reform Uneasy Struggle between Efficiency and Equity Samuel Paul MIKHAIL GORBACHEV'S 'radical economic reform' has spawned a wide ranging debate about the future of communism. Some western observers see the vindication of the capitalist path in Gorbachev's swing towards the market system. Conservative Marxists consider his initiative a betrayal of the revolution. Economists and political scientists alike have assessed the nature and risks of the new reform and speculated on the prospects for communism should his bold initiative fail. Some believe that if the Soviet Union does not soon embrace radical change, it is condemned to being indefinitely a second rate power with a third rate economy.1 A number of learned books have appeared in recent months on the new Soviet economic reform.2 Among these, Reforming the Soviet Economy (A Hewett (ed), Brookings Institution, Washington DC, 1988) stands out both for its incisive analysis of the issues and the historical perspective and balance it provides on the Soviet predicament. He offers an analytical framework within which economic reforms can be assessed and begins with a perceptive account of the strengths and weaknesses of the Soviet economy. There is a detailed analysis of the reforms of the post-Stalin era (by Krushchev, Kosygin and Brezhnev) which set the stage for the current reform. Gorbachev's reform and broad strategy are discussed against this historical backdrop. Hewett concludes the book with an assessment of the prospects of the reform and its likely impact and implications for the Soviet Union and the rest of the world.


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