A case of complicity -Sevanti Ninan
How did unorganized labour become invisible?
Thanks to a humongous oversight on the part of the government, India’s unorganized labour has suddenly become a vivid, long-running story. Photographers walk with families undertaking unimaginable journeys. Reporters tail them in SUVs. Their faces and daily tragedies have dominated newspaper headlines and television news for two months running, something nobody would have ever thought possible. Since when did hyperventilating news channels focus on the travails of the poor?
But how did a segment of the population numbering at least 80 million, going by the government’s provisioning for them, become so invisible that the State did not plan for them while preparing for a nationwide lockdown? As Atul Sood, a professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, put in one of the many Zoom discussions taking place, “In the imagining of the so-called lockdown... there was no imagining of labour.” But the question is why?
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The Telegraph, 25 May, 2020, https://www.telegraphindia.com/opinion/coronavirus-lockdown-migrant-crisis-a-case-of-complicity-by-media/cid/1775517?ref=opinion_home-template