“This is my first book, but not my last,” exclaims Assistant
Professor of History, Dr. Aniruddha Bose. His new book Class
Conflict and Modernization in India: The Raj and the Calcutta Waterfront
(1860-1910), examines the shift from sailing ships to steamers, and the issues
between management and labor during this time.
“I found that most people thought that management pushed modernization
and updated equipment, but in fact it was the labor force that demanded a more efficient
way to accomplish their tasks,” recalls Dr. Bose.
The book, now available on Amazon.com and Barnes and
Noble, draws on primary source material including government documents and
newspaper records. Dr. Bose demonstrates how the implementation of modern techniques in India worsened
class conflict, and he highlights the important part played by labor in the shaping
of the port’s modernization. The books publisher, Routledge, suggests Class Conflict and Modernization in India places this history in a comparative context. Dr. Bose highlights the interconnected nature of port and port labor histories. The book 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 laborers resisted through
acts of everyday resistance and organized strikes. Dr. Bose plans to write additional
books examining Indian labor practices and is planning a trip to India in 2018.