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Resistance and Indian Indenture Experience: Comparative Perspectives

Maurits S. Hassankhan (Editor) Brij V. Lal (Editor) Doug Munro (Editor)

Indian indenture historiography has come of age as a specialized field of study not as an appendage to British imperial or Indian colonial historiography, which was largely concerned with the administration of the system. Many historians, who are themselves descendants of the girmityas are now more interested in the lives of the labourers themselves.

Hugh Tinkers a new system of slavery 1974 which emphasized the violence and brutality of the system and underscored the enormous contribution the labourers had made to their various countries of residence, was an influential text. At the same time it was a totalizing narrative that admitted little in the way of difference and diversity in the totality of the human experience of indenture.

Recent scholarship on indenture has moved away from grand moral questions of right and wrong to investigating lived experience of servitude. This collection, then, questions the assumption that the labourers had no agency and no capacity to resist demands made on their body and soul by those who worked them. The essays in this volume and their overall trajectory will open up space for comparative discussion of other aspects of Indian indenture experience which will serve to restore humanity and agency to a group long confined to the unlovely fringes of history.

Contents: Foreword. Introduction. 1. Colonial exploitation resistance and forced migrations: the Indian scenario in the era of indenture labour/Kapil Kumar. 2. Incorrigible defiant and determined: vagrancy, worker agency resistance and the experiences of the vagrants in colonial Mauritius, 1829-1890/Satteeanund Peerthum and Satyendra Peerthum. 3. Power and resistance: indentured labour in colonial Natal, 1860-1911/Goolam Vahed. 4. Non-resistance in Fiji/Brij V. Lal and Doug Munro. 5. Resistance and adaptation among indentured Indian Labourers in British Guiana during Indentureship/Lomarsh Roopnarine. 6. Plenty a Dem run away: Indian indentured resistance in Trinidad 1870 to 1920/Radica Mahase.` 7. The Indian indentured experience in Suriname: control accommodation and resistance/Maurits S. Hassankhan. 8. Rebellious sisters: indentured Indian women and resistance in colonial Natal 1860-1911/Kalpana Hiralal. 9. Resistance and women migrants to Mauritius under the indenture system/Marina Carter. 10. Conclusion: on resistance and accommodation/Doug Munro. Index.

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Bibliographic information

Title Resistance and Indian Indenture Experience: Comparative Perspectives
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.12.2014
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 9789350980491
length 326p., Illustrations; Map; 23cm.