This book is the second publication originating from the conference Legacy of Slavery and Indentured Labour: Past, present and future, which was organised in June 2013, by the Institute of Graduate Studies and Research (IGSR), Anton de Kom University of Suriname. The articles are grouped in four sections. Section one concentrates on indenture in the Caribbean and the IndianOcean and includes four diverse, but inter-related chapters and contributions. These reveal some newly- emerging, impressive trends in the study of indenture, essentially departing from the over used neo-slave scholarship. Not only are new concepts explored and analysed, but this section also raises unavoidable questions on previously published studies on indenture. Section two shows that there are many areas that need to be re-examined and explored in the study of indenture. The chapters in this section re-examine personal narratives of indentured labourers, the continuous connection between the Caribbean and India as well as education and Christianization of Indians in Trinidad. The result is impressive. The analysis of personal accounts or voices of indentured servants themselves certainly provides an alternative perception to archival information written mostly by the organizers of indenture. Section three in this volume focuses on ethnicity and politics. In segmented societies like Suriname, Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago institutional politics and political mobilization are mainly ethnically based. In Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana this has led to ethnic and political tensions. These themes are explored in these three articles. Section four addresses health, medicine and spirituality – themes which, until recently, have received little attention. The first article examines the historical impact of colonialism through indentureship, on the health, health alternatives and health preferences of Indo-Trinidadians, from the period between 1845 to the present. The second examines the use of protective talismans by Indian indentured labourers and their descendants. Little or no psychological research has been done on the spiritual world of Indian immigrants, enslaved Africans and their respective descendants, with special reference to the use of talismans.
Historical and Contemporary Aspects of Migration and Diaspora
Author: Maurits S. Hassankhan,Lomarsh Roopnarine,Hans Ramsoedh
150 Years of Indians in Trinidad
Author: Mahin Gosine,Noor Kumar Mahabir,Dipak Malik
Category: East Indians
This book is the first publication originating from the conference Legacy of Slavery and Indentured Labour: Past, Present and Future, which was organised in June 2013, by the Institute of Graduate Studies and Research (IGSR), Anton de Kom University of Suriname.
Historical and Contemporary Issues in Suriname and the Caribbean
Author: Maurits S. Hassankhan,Lomarsh Roopnarine,Cheryl White,Radica Mahase
Category: Social Science
This book is the third publication originating from the conference Legacy of Slavery and Indentured Labour: Past, present and future, which was organised in June 2013 by the Institute of Graduate Studies and Research (IGSR), Anton de Kom University of Suriname.
Past and Present
Author: Maurits S. Hassankhan,Lomarsh Roopnarine,Radica Mahase
This book is the first comprehensive analysis of Denmark’s solitary experiment with Indian indentured labor on St. Croix during the second half of the nineteenth century. The book focuses on the recruitment, transportation, plantation labor, re-indenture, repatriation, remittances and abolition of Indian indentured experience on the island. In doing so, Roopnarine has produced a compelling narrative on Indian indenture. The laborers challenged and responded accordingly to their daily indentured existence using their cultural strengths to cohere and co-exist in a planter-dominated environment. Laborers had to create opportunities for themselves using their homeland customs without losing the focus that someday they would return home. Indentured Indians understood that the plantation system would not be flexible to them but rather they had to be flexible to plantation system. Roopnarine’s concise analysis has moved Indian indenture from the margin to mainstream not only in the historiography of the Danish West Indies, but also in the wider Caribbean where Indians were indentured.
Author: Lomarsh Roopnarine
This book focuses on subjugated indentured Indian women, who are constantly faced with race, gender, caste, and class oppression and inequality on overseas European-owned plantations, but who are also armed with latent links to the women’s abolition movements in the homeland. Also examining their post-indenture life, it employs a paradigm of male-dominated Indian women in India at the margins of an enduringly patriarchal society, a persisting backdrop to the huge 19th century post-slavery movement of the agricultural indentured workforce drawn largely from India. This book depicts the antithetical and contradictory explanations for the indentured Indian women’s cries, degradation and dehumanization and how the politics of change and control impacted their social organization and its legacy. The book owes its origins to the 2017 centennial commemorative event celebrating 100 years of the abolition of the indenture system of Indian labor that victimized and dehumanized Indians from 1834 through 1917.
Domination and Social Degradation
Author: Prem Misir
Category: Social Science
In 1903, a young woman sailed from India to Guiana as a “coolie”—the British name for indentured laborers who replaced the newly emancipated slaves on sugar plantations all around the world. Pregnant and traveling alone, this woman, like so many coolies, disappeared into history. In Coolie Woman—shortlisted for the 2014 Orwell Prize—her great-granddaughter Gaiutra Bahadur embarks on a journey into the past to find her. Traversing three continents and trawling through countless colonial archives, Bahadur excavates not only her great-grandmother’s story but also the repressed history of some quarter of a million other coolie women, shining a light on their complex lives. Shunned by society, and sometimes in mortal danger, many coolie women were either runaways, widows, or outcasts. Many of them left husbands and families behind to migrate alone in epic sea voyages—traumatic “middle passages”—only to face a life of hard labor, dismal living conditions, and, especially, sexual exploitation. As Bahadur explains, however, it is precisely their sexuality that makes coolie women stand out as figures in history. Greatly outnumbered by men, they were able to use sex with their overseers to gain various advantages, an act that often incited fatal retaliations from coolie men and sometimes larger uprisings of laborers against their overlords. Complex and unpredictable, sex was nevertheless a powerful tool. Examining this and many other facets of these remarkable women’s lives, Coolie Woman is a meditation on survival, a gripping story of a double diaspora—from India to the West Indies in one century, Guyana to the United States in the next—that is at once a search for one’s roots and an exploration of gender and power, peril and opportunity.
The Odyssey of Indenture
Author: Gaiutra Bahadur
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Category: Biography & Autobiography
This is the fourth publication originating from the conference Legacy of Slavery and Indentured Labour: Past, Present and Future, which was organised in June 2013 by the Institute of Graduate Studies and Research (IGSR), Anton de Kom University of Suriname. The core of the book is based on a conference panel which focused specifically on the experience of Muslim with indentured migrants and their descendants. This is a significant contribution since the focus of most studies on Indian indenture has been almost exclusively on Hindu religion and culture, even though an estimated seventeen percent of migrants were Muslims. This book thus fills an important gap in the indentured historiography, both to understand that past as well as to make sense of the present, when Muslim identities are undergoing rapid changes in response to both local and global realities. The book includes a chapter on the experiences of Muslim indentured immigrants of Indonesian descent who settled in Suriname. The core questions in the study are as follows: What role did Islam play in the lives of (Indian) Muslim migrants in their new settings during indenture and in the post-indenture period? How did Islam help migrants adapt and acculturate to their new environment? What have been the similarities and differences in practices, traditions and beliefs between Muslim communities in the different countries and between them and the country of origin? How have Islamic practices and Muslim identities transformed over time? What role does Islam play in the Muslims’ lives in these countries in the contemporary period? In order to respond to these questions, this book examines the historic place of Islam in migrants’ place of origin and provides a series of case studies that focus on the various countries to which the indentured Indians migrated, such as Mauritius, South Africa, Guyana, Trinidad, Suriname and Fiji, to understand the institutionalisation of Islam in these settings and the actual lived experience of Muslims which is culturally and historically specific, bound by the circumstances of individuals’ location in time and space. The chapters in this volume also provide a snapshot of the diversity and similarity of lived Muslim experiences.
Identity and Belonging of Minority Groups in Plural Societies
Author: Maurits S. Hassankhan,Goolam Vahed,Lomarsh Roopnarine
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Category: POLITICAL SCIENCE
A social and economic history of Mauritius of interest to scholars of slavery and plantation systems, first published in 1999.
Author: Richard B. Allen
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
A Tale of Indian Indentures and Sunlit Western Waters
Author: Albert Raymond Forbes Webber
Category: Trinidad and Tobago
Author: D. A. Bisnauth
Publisher: Peepal Tree Press Ltd.
Category: Social Science
“It is a milestone in subaltern studies, a biographical journey penned by a living relic of the indentured experience and a scholar whose thoroughly interdisciplinary approach is a good example for the anthropologist, the sociologist or the economist who wish to see the proper integration of their disciplines in a major historical work.” Brinsley Samaroo, University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus, Trinidad
On a Journey Through Indenture in Fiji
Author: Brij V. Lal
Publisher: ANU E Press
Category: Political Science
What does disgust have to do with citizenship? How might pain and pleasure, movement, taste, sound and smell be configured as aspects of national belonging? Senses and Citizenships: Embodying Political Life examines the intersections between sensory phenomena and national and supra-national forms of belonging, introducing the new concept of sensory citizenship. Expanding upon contemporary understandings of the rights and duties of citizens, the volume presents anthropological investigations of the sensory aspects of participation in collectivities such as face-to-face communities, ethnic groups, nations and transnational entities. Rethinking relationships between ideology, aesthetics, affect and bodily experience, the authors reveal the multiple political effects of the senses. The book demonstrates how various elements of political life, including some of the most fundamental aspects of citizenship, rest not only upon our senses, but on their perceived naturalization. Vivid ethnographic examples of sensory citizenship in Europe, the United States, the Pacific, Asia and the Middle East explore themes such as sight in political constructions; smell and ethnic conflict; pain in the constitution of communities; national soundscapes; taste in national identities; movement, memory and emplacement.
Embodying Political Life
Author: Susanna Trnka,Christine Dureau,Julie Park
Category: Social Science
Author: John Edward Jenkins
Revised Edition. TEARS IN PARADISE, extensively researched and eloquently written, is the history of our forefathers who were brought under the infamous indentured labour system to Fiji by the British Colonial authorities from 1879 to 1916. The saga of these young, mostly illiterate, simple rural folks, lured by false promises of an ever-elusive 'Paradise', needs to be read and remembered. The author has done a remarkable task of compiling the story of this Indian Diaspora, people defenceless under an alien and systematically inhumane system, yet preserving their culture while creating the wealth and beauty of the land they made their home.
Unveiled : Suffering and Struggles of Indians in Fiji 1879 - 2004
Author: Rajendra Prasad
Category: East Indians
To read this evocative book is to be thrust into a Fiji that has, for the moment, been snuffed out by military might: a Fiji of political parties, parliamentary politics, elections, manifestoes, campaigns, democractic defence of interests, party manoeuvres, and constitutional protection of rights and freedoms. It is a comprehensive and eloquent re-telling of the story of Fiji politics from independence in 1970 to 1999 through the perspective of Fiji's greatest living statesman, Jai Ram Reddy, by one of the world's most distinguished scholars of its history and politics.
Jai Ram Reddy and the Politics of Postcolonial Fiji
Author: Brij V. Lal
Publisher: ANU E Press
Category: Political Science
The colonial history of the Caribbean created a context in which many religions, from indigenous to African-based to Christian, intermingled with one another, creating a rich diversity of religious life. Caribbean Religious History offers the first comprehensive religious history of the region. Ennis B. Edmonds and Michelle A. Gonzalez begin their exploration with the religious traditions of the Amerindians who flourished prior to contact with European colonizers, then detail the transplantation of Catholic and Protestant Christianity and their centuries of struggles to become integral to the Caribbean’s religious ethos, and trace the twentieth century penetration of American Evangelical Christianity, particularly in its Pentecostal and Holiness iterations. Caribbean Religious History also illuminates the influence of Africans and their descendants on the shaping of such religious traditions as Vodou, Santeria, Revival Zion, Spiritual Baptists, and Rastafari, and the success of Indian indentured laborers and their descendants in reconstituting Hindu and Islamic practices in their new environment. Paying careful attention to the region’s social and political history, Edmonds and Gonzalez present a one-volume panoramic introduction to this religiously vibrant part of the world.
Author: Ennis B. Edmonds,Michelle A. Gonzalez
Publisher: NYU Press
The Literature of the Indian Diaspora constitutes a major study of the literature and other cultural texts of the Indian diaspora. It is also an important contribution to diaspora theory in general. Examining both the ‘old’ Indian diaspora of early capitalism, following the abolition of slavery, and the ‘new’ diaspora linked to movements of late capital, Mishra argues that a full understanding of the Indian diaspora can only be achieved if attention is paid to the particular locations of both the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ in nation states. Applying a theoretical framework based on trauma, mourning/impossible mourning, spectres, identity, travel, translation, and recognition, Mishra uses the term ‘imaginary’ to refer to any ethnic enclave in a nation-state that defines itself, consciously or unconsciously, as a group in displacement. He examines the works of key writers, many now based across the globe in Canada, Australia, America and the UK, – V.S. Naipaul, Salman Rushdie, M.G. Vassanji, Shani Mootoo, Bharati Mukherjee, David Dabydeen, Rohinton Mistry and Hanif Kureishi, among them – to show how they exemplify both the diasporic imaginary and the respective traumas of the ‘old’ and ‘new’ Indian diasporas.
Theorizing the Diasporic Imaginary
Author: Vijay Mishra
Category: Literary Criticism