De-skilling in Handloom Sector A study of the handloom Weavers of Varanasi district, Uttar Pradesh in India

This paper examines the effect of capitalist control and technological changes in the handloom industry of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. The Karl Marx and Harry Braverman’s concept of deskilling is one of the consequences of the capitalistic control and technological changes and it studied theoretically and empirically in the field area. Deskilling is a feature of the labour process theory and it is a process that gives rise to alienation of labour. The handloom industry of Varanasi is dominated by the system of monopoly capitalism where Merchant/Master weaver/Gaddidar controls over the labour process. The ‘logic’ of capitalist production requires the constant transformation of the techniques of producing. This involves increasing mechanization and automation and as a corollary, the displacement of skills. In Varanasi, such mechanization and automation has taken place. As a result the artisan becomes deskilled and loss of job from the traditional handloom industry.