English, Labour, Society
Conditions of Work and Political Consciousness
Migration is a central part of Indian society today—to the extent that Shah and Harriss-White (2011) identify it as one of the fundamental features of the country’s political economy. Estimates for how many people migrate vary very widely, and there is no reliable national official data on those who do so. Estimates range from one crore to five crore people who migrate seasonally, and as for those who migrate for longer periods, there is no data at all.
However, despite the importance of migration to India’s economy, and an increasing number of studies and media reports, the debate around migration in the country has remained conceptually impoverished. Outside of purely academic analyses and discussions among the political left, the ‘mainstream’ discussion around migration looks at the issue in three primary ways.