Online book discussion “Borders of an Epidemic: COVID-19 and Migrant Workers in India”

With Ranabir Samaddar (editor, Calcutta Research Group), Ritajyoti Bandhyopadhyay (author,
IISER Mohali), Ravi Ahuja and Camille Buat (both CeMIS)

Thursday 30 April 2020, 4pm German time / 7:30pm Indian time

CeMIS and the Centre for Global Migratiun Studies at Göttingen University

After the sudden announcement by the Indian government of a complete lockdown aimed at arresting the spread of the novel coronavirus, migrant labourers from different parts of India trekked back hundreds of kilometres to reach home. While scenes of migrant workers walking in long processions caught the cameras of the journalists, the collection of essays brought out by the Calcutta Research Group takes a look at what lies behind the long marches. How do caste, race, gender, and other fault lines operate in governmental strategies to cope with a virus epidemic? If the fight against an epidemic has been compared with a war, what are the forces of power at play in this war against the pandemic? What indeed explains the sudden visibility of the migrant workers in the time of a public health crisis?