Chennai Feb 23rd
Prakash Karat, Gen Sec of Communist Party of India (Marxist), released the book authored by late ‘Dilip’ Veeraraghavan on the history of the earliest working class movement in India. ‘The Making of the Madras Working Class’, is a product of Veeraraghavan’s phd research and traces with depth and accuracy the rise of the Madras Labour Union, the struggles of the working class of Madras, preceding and succeeding this formation and also the histories of the important trade union leaders of this time. It presents to scholars of Indian history, valuable insights into very important period in India’s labour history.
©2013 Veeraraghavan Memorial Trust
First Published: 2013 by Left Word Books
Price Rs 750
Introducing the book and its production, Professor A.R Venkatachalapathy, detailed the academic value of this work and the immense effort that was put into its production by Veeraraghavan, who was visually challenged. S. S Kannan, who runs the Karl Marx Library, and was closely associated with Veeraraghavan during his PhD research, discussed how this young scholar amassed him with his thirst for reading/listening and his ability to remembers minute details with ease. Prakash Karat, who confessed to have been the anonymous reviewer of this book for left word, said that he was very happy to have had the honour of releasing this book as it was a seminal work on the first organized working class movement in India. He also narrated his own association with some of the leaders who were the primary sources for the book. Karat highlighted how even though this book was written about an entirely different epoch, some of the issues that challenge unionization remain a continuing thread that links the discourse in this book with the present day struggles of the working class. Reflecting upon the challenges that present day unions face, be it the multi-structural nature of our society that plays a very divisive role within working class organizations, or the practice of management sponsored unions that render radical unions difficult to organize and sustain.
The book is published by Left Word Books and is priced Rs 750. It is available at Bharathi Pathakalayam, Teynampet