Prabhu Mohapatra: A Genealogy of Labour Regulation in India: The Career of the Employment Contract

12.07.2022, Vortrag, online

12 July 2022 (5.30pm)

Prabhu Mohapatra (Delhi)
A Genealogy of Labour Regulation in India: The Career of the Employment Contract

When was the employment contract introduced in India? This is a perfectly reasonable question, given that 93 per cent of the 50 million strong workforce in India is officially classed as ‘informal labour’, and that the much hyped Labour Codes, which have yet to be implemented, are more a mere assemblage of the fragments and ruins of the once vaunted Formal Employment Contract than coherent pieces of ‘code’. Despite this, the story of the forging of the Formal Employment Contract in the first decades of the twentieth century, of its tortuous career and eventual dismantling over the next hundred years may give us a clue to the persistent paradoxes of India’s labouring landscape. My presentation will examine how the employment contract came into being in India, and how it was transformed and destroyed over the last century.

Prabhu Mohapatra is Professor of Modern Indian History at the University of Delhi, where he teaches economic history, labour history, and global history of servitude to Masters students. He researches and supervises research on the history of long-distance migration, the history of education, the history of informality, and labour law. He has held appointments at the Humboldt University of Berlin, the University of Göttingen, the École normale supérieure, Cachan, the University of Amsterdam, Yale University, and the University of Cambridge.

This lecture will take place as a hybrid event at the German Historical Institute London and online via Zoom. In order to register for this event, please follow this link to Eventbrite.