PhD candidate in Geography
Agrarian transitions and agrarian crisis in India
Rural labour relations
Employment issues of Women
Thesis title: Labour Tying Arrangements: An Enduring Aspect of Agrarian Capitalism in India?
Summary: My work is an attempt to explore the survival of tied labour in agriculture, the ways in which it is adapted, reinforced and embellished, and the manner in which it plays out within the larger structure of agrarian capitalism. These complexities emerge out of the interlocking transactions between land, labour and credit institutions that subsequently generate unfreedom. Interlocking transactions consist of institutions of social control and structures of power and privilege, seen to lie predominantly in the hands of rural elite. The hegemony of the state and the rural elite alter political action played out within everyday life and political practices. The most common manifestation of this is land acquisition and the subsequent eradication of the Indian peasantry, which in turn results in the restructuring of local governments. With emphasis on the female labour class within the two states of Tamil Nadu and West Bengal in India (both being the highest producers of paddy in the country and having historical instances of labour bondage), I try to unearth how politics and power structures at the local and state level are maintained and/or transformed through a mix of passivity and collective defiance of the labouring class.