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Professor Jane Chapman THE ORIGINS OF A PUBLIC VOICE FOR MARGINALISED WORKERS AND ANTI-COLONIALISM IN FRENCH INDIA, 1935-37.

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Presentation on theme: "Professor Jane Chapman THE ORIGINS OF A PUBLIC VOICE FOR MARGINALISED WORKERS AND ANTI-COLONIALISM IN FRENCH INDIA, 1935-37."— Presentation transcript:

1 Professor Jane Chapman THE ORIGINS OF A PUBLIC VOICE FOR MARGINALISED WORKERS AND ANTI-COLONIALISM IN FRENCH INDIA,

2 exotic b and w Comptoirs des Indes

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4 Photocopy map Indian ‘ les establissemnets

5 post card rice fields

6 Pondicherry - Seaside from Gandhi Tidal towards the North

7 FRENCH INDIA: 1947 independence in British India 1954 French territories ceded to Union of Indian States ‘de facto’ 1962 Treaty of Accession ratified by Assembly ‘de jure’

8 1906 CHAMBER DEBATE: 14 hour day with female wages of 25 centimes per day Children aged 8 working 11 hours for 5 centimes per day No health and safety regulations, working temperatures of 47C and dust

9 TEXTILE CONFLICTS: first illegal textile strike – increase of half an anna per day strike failed lock-out and sackings, supported by colonial administration and corrupt Gaebelé ruling party and dynasty workers still doing a 12 hour day (10 hours and higher wages in Madras) 1935 – mill managers earning 20 to 40,000 francs a month, workers 20 to 60 francs a week

10 Photocopy front page of Sri Soudjanarandajani – crop before ‘le premier avion a Pondicherry

11 photocopy Band W paper – grainy portrait of poet Bharati

12 Bharati St today

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16 Swandanthiram First edition copy

17 Swandanthiram today

18 USB – PIC colour photo of pickets today

19 Photocopy headed paper of Mahajana Sabha party 9Highlight first underlined sentence, crop after line ending with nila Justice nila

20 Subbiah : ‘Only Frenchmen and the privileged few had 50 per cent of our state and they dominated power in all these so-called democratic institutions. Therefore we demanded suffrage to all people over 21, including women’

21 photocopy censored Soudandiram newspaper

22 photocopy Telegram from Paris to all colonies (highlight ‘saisir a leur arrive territoire totalite exemplaires numero signale’, slit screen with article itself, headlines and strap-lines- see other copy of 22 for better quality)

23 photocopy 2 ads split screen - Champagne Mercier next to Tamil writing and ‘Belle Poitrine’ in Sri Soudanarandjani

24 Subbiah: ‘Women workers were posted from the mill gates extending to the working class villages. When the blacklegs were taken to the mills, women volunteers approached them and persuaded them not to betray and disrupt the strike. Some of the women volunteers were armed with broom sticks, raised up as a symbol of their protest…’

25 J Nehru: ‘Here were these women, women of the upper or middle classes, leading sheltered lives in their homes – peasant women, working-class women – pouring out in their tens of thousands in defiance of government order and police lathi. It was not only that display of courage and daring, but what was even more surprising was the organisational power they showed’ (1946:23).

26 Swandanthiram -30 July commemorations –paper copy

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29 photocopy letter British consulate – general to Fr Governor (highlight last 4 lines of first para – ‘elle croit……refuseraient de les croire’)

30 Subbiah : ‘ I was back again in Pondicherry. Such was the distinctive change that I beheld among the people who were standing in an organised manner like a huge disciplined army....I came across thousands of women workers standing in two parallel rows in an orderly manner. The more I advanced towards the town, I caught sight of milling crowds as if the whole of Pondicherry territory was mobilised. What did it show ? ….the unprecedented resurgence of the people...for national emancipation from the colonial yoke.’

31 SIGNIFICANCE: illuminates the relationship between press, economics and ideology in a colonial context importance of economic factors in rise of nationalist movements Way press used is connected to basic civil, political and economic rights

32 OTHER SCHOLARSHIP : Supports Chafer and Sackur (1999, 2002) Challenges Spivak (1988), Said (1978) and Bhabha (1983) Study of press problematizes post colonial theory, but supports post-Gramsci’ist concept of counter hegemony – e.g. 1..Louis Althusser (1969), Theodor Adorno (1970) 2. for minority communications Downing (1984, 2001); Murdock ( 2000) ; Cottle,) 2000).


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