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

Articles by Shashi Bhushan UpadhyaySubscribe to Shashi Bhushan Upadhyay

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.

Communalism and Working Class-Riot of 1893 in Bombay City

Riot of 1893 in Bombay City Shashi Bhushan Upadhyay The participation of social, religious or occupational groups in communal riots raises the problem of the concerned group's integration into the communal polity. In the context of the working class it has been argued that workers have been equally, if not more, responsible for adding to the dynamics of communal politics. This view has been questioned by some scholars and the idea of 'levels of consciousness' has been introduced to explain the apparent ease with which workers participating in workers' struggles have broken into communal riots soon thereafter This paper studies the 1893 communal riot in Bombay and argues that while the workers, the majority of them being Marathas, were involved, in the riot on the Hindu side, this did not lead to the development of a long-term communal consciousness among them.
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