Migration, Workers and Fundamental Freedoms: Pandemic Vulnerabilities and States of Exception in India.
New Delhi: Routledge, 2021. Edited by Asha Hans, Kalpana Kannabiran, Manoranjan Mohanty and Pushpendra.
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a mass exodus of India’s migrant
workers from the cities back to the villages. This book explores the social conditions and concerns around health, labour, migration, and gender that
were thrown up as a result of this forced migration.
The book examines the failings of the public health systems and the state response to address the humanitarian crisis which unfolded in the middle of the pandemic. It highlights how the pandemic-lockdown disproportionately affected marginalised social groups – Dalits and the Adivasi communities, women and Muslim workers. The book reflects on the socio-economic vulnerabilities of migrant workers, their rights to
dignity, questions around citizenship, and the need for robust systems of democratic and constitutional accountability. The chapters also critically
look at the gendered vulnerabilities of women and non-cis persons in both public and private spaces, the exacerbation of social stratification and
prejudices, incidents of intimidation by the administration and the police forces, and proposed labour reforms which might create greater insecurities
for migrant workers.
This important and timely book will be of great interest to researchers and students of sociology, public policy, development studies, gender studies, labour and economics, and law.