36 minutes | Sep 16th 2020

When Plague Hit Bombay (Chatroom 2)

SHOWNOTES: Chatroom 2 Bombay as Plague City feat. Tarangini Sriraman   We visit Bombay Presidency at the turn of the 20th century. The port city was a major economic hub, so, when rats onboard ships from Hong Kong carried bubonic plague into Bombay in August 1896, the British Raj reacted vehemently to tamp it down. There were a multitude of experiences of the plague and disease control, often delineated by class and caste. Maybe you’ve noticed this with Covid19, too? Cities were divided into white town — the colonial enclave — and black towns — for Indians. And when plague hit, the authorities destroyed houses, precipitating a housing crisis.  We discuss some of these themes with Tarangini Sriraman, a historian at Azim Premji University in Bangalore. Guests Tarangini Sriraman Resources Transcript References Time Stamps 03:00 – Earliest forms of ID used in India 04:00 – Before plague, there was famine 06:41 – What Bombay was like 09:45 – White vs. Black town 14:13 – Epidemic Diseases Act was set up 22:11 – Caste and experience of disease 29:19 – Will government power last? Or will people find ways to subvert it?  Sign up for updates   EMAIL References Tarangini. 2018. In Pursuit of Proof: A History of Identification Documents in India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
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