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NEW Articles:

“Monopoly Capital, White Racism and Super‑profits in Fiji: a Case Study of the Colonial Sugar Refining Company”, Journal of Pacific Studies­, Vol.5, 1979. Pp. 66‑146. by Professor Wadan Narsey

Cane Farmers: Fiji's unrewarded peasants: Non renewal of leases in Koronubu, Ba, USP Students Association newspaper UNISPAC, 1974 by Professor Wadan Narsey

Historic Girmit Day marked with tears: Stolen history restored, May 2012, by Thakur Ranjit Singh

 

May 14 2012:133 Years of The Girmit

Watch the BBC Documentary - "How British Reinvented Slavery"

Girmitunited.org has been established to primarily focus on providing information for anyone who is interested in the history of the Indentured Labourers, the "Girmitiyas" who were transported to Fiji by the British under the System of Indenture or GIRMIT which was the term used by the Indian Indenturers.

The British and other European colonial powers started the Indian indenture system in 1838, as a cheap source of labour to their colonies after African slavery was abolished in 1833. Under this system some 1.2 million Indians were transported to the colonies between 1838 and 1916. Some 60,500 Indians were transported to Fiji between 1879 and 1916, when the transportation of indentured Indian laborers was stopped.

The indenture system itself was abolished in 1921.The contracts of the indentured labourers, which they called GIRMIT or agreements, required them to work in Fiji for a certain period of time as specified in their agreements. After 5 years of girmit they were free to return to India on their own expense. After 10 years of girmit, the colonial government was compelled to provide free passage back to India to every girmitiya and their children. In the case of Fiji 25,000 girmitiyas returned to India, many even before 5 years of indenture. However,the majority of the remaining 35,000 Fiji girmitiyas remained in Fiji and it is argued that they were prevented from returning to India by the colonial government of Fiji and the Colonial Sugar Refining Company (CSR) of Australia. This was done to ensure continued supply of Indian labour to Fiji's sugar industry, on which Fiji's economy depended at that time. The majority of the Indo-Fijians are direct descendants of these exiled girmitiyas of Fiji. This website is a homage to these girmitiyas and their children.

Pacific Scoop: Opinion – By Thakur Ranjit Singh - "The woman turns around in fear, and puts hre hands up in entreaty. This whip comes down upon her half naked back and legs. The childre s struck also. Both are crying and screaming and the moun ted brute almost puts his horse's hoofs upon her...." Read More

 

87 voyages made by the 40 ships that brought Indian Indentured Labourers to Fiji. Of these ships, 27 were sailing ships and 13 were steam ships.  Leonidas was the first ship to sail from Calcutta.  Syria was met with destruction towards the end of its journey to Fiji. See the complete list of ships to Fiji... Read more

 

openquotes It is our duty to document and preserve the experiences of the Girmitiyas for the current and future generations before it is too late.  We need to see more literature on this topic as opposed to more academic writing full of statistics.  These writing need to be simple, easy to read, supported by good quality pictures which in my view will catch the attention of the new generation. All Fiji Indians have a moral responsibility to assist each other as much as possible in documenting these works. This is very easily said but in practical terms, this has been one of major weaknesses among us.  closedquotes

~ Dr Kamlesh Sharma 
Author & Publisher
 
KPS Publications 

 
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