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

Articles by Ranabir SamaddarSubscribe to Ranabir Samaddar

A Festival of Politics

West Bengal’s polity has evolved to confront the sovereignty of singular truths by embracing plurality and populism.

Migrant and the Neo-liberal City

The neo-liberal envisioning of cities and the accompanying hyper-commodification of land and new forms of social marginalisation have increased precarity among migrant labour, severely impairing their ability to negotiate the city space and society at large. This set of four studies, conducted in Mumbai and Kolkata, brings to the fore the relationship between labour and urban space, the fundamental problematic in the emergence of the neo-liberal city. Though playing a critical role in the neo-liberal restructuring of urban space, the migrants have been targeted by state agencies and sections of civil society, who find it difficult to accommodate them within the physical, social, political and cultural spaces of the city.

West Bengal Elections

Engaging with the change that has actually taken place in the political sphere of West Bengal, it is argued that the results of the assembly elections point to the subalternisation of politics in the face of the opposition's hollow campaign to restore democracy.

Human Migration as Crisis of Europe

Europe achieved continental unifi cation through economic means, liberal constitutionalism and a currency union. It set goals of peace and security that encourage everyone to be liberal with unfettered freedom to access the market, and, on the other hand, allow the European Union to follow interventionist policies near abroad. The consequences of the union are to be found in Europe's restrictive and contradictory policies and programmes relating to immigration and refugee protection. The European migration crisis originates from this contradiction.

Forty Years After

Even as one of the most distinctive aspects of the Great Railway Strike of 1974 was the autonomy of the rank and file, the significance of the struggle had much to do with the nature of the times. The country was in the midst of a general political crisis; even sections of the peasantry were in revolt. Despite these favourable circumstances, and the expression of solidarity from the industrial working class, the National Coordination Committee for Railwaymen's Struggle was not resolute and decisive enough, as much as the situation demanded, and in this respect it failed the rank and file. In the absence of a political vanguard, the uprising was left without a determined subject.

Returning to the Histories of the Late 19th and Early 20th Century Immigration

The late 19th and early 20th centuries were a period of globalisation when migration controls were put in place. As at present, then too, control of migrant labour was not the concern of governments alone. Employers, recruitment agents, labour brokers in sending and receiving countries, lawyers, courts, training institutes, moneylenders and other credit agencies, smugglers and a wide variety of intermediaries sought to gain from the transnational flow of workers. If the earlier period of globalisation marked by industrial capitalism called for massive supply of labour forming its underbelly, the present globalisation marked by unprecedented financialisation of capital and other resources calls for similar supply of labour forming the underbelly of the beast today.

New Fault Line in Conflict?

This article offers an analysis of the structure of women's emergence as the subject of peace - factors that bind, facilitate, and influence their participation in peace building and reconstruction processes in north-east India. What factors and structures facilitate and constrain women's emergence as public actors in the time of peace building, particularly when peace building is dominated by governmental policies and visions marked by neo-liberal developmentalism? Can we get a sense of the structure of women's emergence as the subject of peace through a careful analysis of how women have been doing in the region in the last 20 years?

Citizenship: Norm, Institution and the Contests

Citizenship and Its Discontents: An Indian History by Niraja Gopal Jayal; Permanent Black, 2013; pp 366, Rs 795.

Whatever Has Happened to Caste in West Bengal?

Taking the discussion in EPW on caste in West Bengal further, a comment on the mobilisation and autonomy of the lower-caste movement post-Partition, the reduced scope for the lower castes to develop a hegemonic politics or strategy, and the importance of a bahujan samaj in this context.

The Legal Imagination for the Struggle for Rights

Tools of Justice: Non-discrimination and the Indian Constitution by Kalpana Kannabiran (New Delhi: Routledge), 2012, pp xiv + 505, Rs 995.

What Is Postcolonial Predicament?

Dialectics is at the heart of the postcolonial predicament in three main ways: the postcolonial imprint on knowledge formation, the salience of primitive accumulation even when the postcolony develops, and the emergence of a "precariat" and immaterial labour. In the light of the postcolonial reality, this essay calls for a return to the study of contradictions, which sits at the heart of dialectics.


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