The Deadly Fever: A people’s history of the influenza epidemic in India

Hardeep Dhillon of Harvard University in this TheIndiaForum article narrates the people’s history of the 1918 pandemic:

The history of influenza serves as a reminder of how Indians and individuals across the Global South have long experienced the ravages of epidemics. Stories like those of Ram Singh Thind express how marginalised peoples across the globe made meaning from the devastation as they struggled for survival. Recovering their experiences opens a vital portal to explicate the historical genealogies of the global inequities in public health care that haunt the world today.

In the final lines of his poem, Thind noted his aspirations for the future. “I clasp my hands and pray before my guru for the peace of our nation.” A century on, his prayer for healing in the midst of intense suffering and protest continues to resonate.


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