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Keywords:

  • living wage;
  • right to work;
  • Indian state;
  • caste values;
  • unorganized labor

Abstract

The question of what people are expected to live on raises many issues, foregrounding the rather metaphysical question of how people are viewed as people. To argue for the implementation of a really viable living wage one would have to argue against the dehumanization of bodies, of construction of personhoods that demean humans, and to visualize a change in worldview and perceptual categories. Living wage discussions on India must go beyond economies to address the cultural/cosmological factors that mark power relations and shape social categories, and this must be done against the backdrop of overpopulation and abject poverty.