In the days of the British Raj Calcutta was a great port city. Thousands of men, women, and children worked there, loading and unloading valuable cargoes that sustained the regional economy, and contributed significantly to world trade. In the second half of the nineteenth century, in response to a shift from sailing ships to steamers, port authorities in Calcutta began work on a massive modernization project.
This book is the first study of port labor in colonial Calcutta and British India. Drawing on primary source material, including government documents and newspaper records, the author demonstrates how the modernization process worsened class conflict and highlights the important part played by labor in the shaping of the port’s modernization. Class Conflict and Modernization in India places this history in a comparative context, highlighting the interconnected nature of port and port labor histories. It examines how the port’s modernization affected the port workforce and the port’s managers, as well as the impact on class formation that emerged as labourers resisted through acts of everyday resistance and organized strikes.
A detailed study of state power, technological change, and class conflict, this book will be of interest to academics of modern Indian history, labour history and the history of science and technology.
Revolving round the affluent and upper middle class milieu of the urbanized society, the characters of this novel are all pawns in the game of life. Tossing up and down through their profits and losses, accomplishments and failures, love and hatred, desire and denial, they all pass through this enigma of life.
The truth they discover is life is nothing but a Venn Diagram an array of intersecting circles of relations, which includes its slices, but never its whole. We believe erroneously in relationships. We have an elusive image of our existence. Only a few chosen can comprehend that our life is nothing but a part of a greater nullity. The ultimate truth is that we live alone in our ‘home’ in solitude and die alone in it.
In the light and darkness of the maze, we know as past and present, they seem to throw the two characters in this novel into their own subconscious, and titillate them to play the game of love in surreal time.