Which historiography..In search of the Unknown worker.

Prashant Bhatt's notes

Just as every country has a tomb for the unknown soldier, every country should have a tomb for the unknown worker.  As part of exploring “Everyday history” to understand reality of working people in terms of their concrete lived experiences, we examined the theme of peasant consciousness. On the occasion of Naxalbari day-(25th May is observed as Naxalabari day by  revolutionaries in India)  a landmark in peasant struggles in India. The issue of consciousness of peasants took us into the issues of historiography. In this three part blog series we will discuss different issues relating to effects of colonialism on peasant struggles, lessons we can draw. This is especially relevant in the context of today’s Arab Spring where we saw in Libya how the genuine people’s struggle for freedom had a much altered dynamics due to protracted bombing by NATO.

To see articles relating to ground level view from…

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Reflections on our Republic Day

Prashant Bhatt's notes

As we finished our weekly multidisciplinary meeting on The Republic day of India (which is also Australia Day) I asked the meaning of “Proletariat” to one of the participants.

Being a non-native English speaker he did not know the meaning of this word.

What does Republic Day of India mean to the millions of Diaspora?

How is their experience common with proletarians? The Collins dictionary defines “proletariat” as the class of  Wage earners esp industrial workers in a capitalist society whose only possession of significant material value is their labour.In ancient Rome it referred to the lowest class of citizens.

On telling this meaning, my friend immediately identified himself as a ‘proletariat’ (with a few smiles) as he has nothing of significant material value except his labour. Maybe, on a later day, we will sit together and tease out the differences and similarities between “subalterns” and “refugees

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