Labour, Capital, and the Congress: Delhi Cloth Mills, 1928-38

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History (CMC)

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The history of industrial labour in India is particularly interesting because it highlights the influence of three accompanying and inter-related processes: the beginnings of industrialisation, the workings of a colonial government, and the growth of a nationalist movement. The following is a case study of the workers of the Delhi Cloth Mills, Delhi, which is organised around these themes: the condition of workers in a colonial and early industrial setting, and their interaction with a burgeoning nationalist movement. The period 1928-1938 is chosen because an initial survey of the secondary literature on the DCM gave a picture of growth on every front: production, sales, profits; and at the same time spoke of excellent labour relations, unusual labour welfare schemes, and a general atmosphere of industrial peace. That both the expansion and the industrial peace should have occurred during the Depression prompts an enquiry, and as it turns out, gives additional insight into the three key themes outlined above.


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© 1989 SAGE Publications

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