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Historical Novels on indentureship in Caribbean

Indian labours had been taken to Caribbean from various parts of India

Port of Spain, May 24 (UITV): Indo-Caribbean Cultural Centre (ICC) is proud to announce the publication of its latest magazine to pay homage to Indian Heritage Month (May 2017) in Trinidad and Tobago (Caribbean).

The theme behind magazine is all about the arrival of East Indians or South Asians from India to the Caribbean during indentureship (1838-1917) is "Historical novels on indentureship in the Caribbean."

Thirteen (13) novels on indentureship are highlighted in this 36th edition of the magazine.


History behind indenture system

First indenture - The British wanted Indians to work in Natal as workers. But the Indians refused, and as a result, the British introduced the indenture system. On 18 January 1826, the Government of the French Indian Ocean island of Réunion laid down terms for the introduction of Indian labourers to the colony. Each man was required to appear before a magistrate and declare that he was going voluntarily. The contract was for five years with pay of (12¢ US) per month and rations provided labourers had been transported from Pondicherry and Karaikal.

In 1845, on May 30, a small sailing ship weighing 415 tonnes, the Fatel Rozack, was tied up at the lighthouse jetty in Port of Spain, Trinidad. After almost a 3 months and 6-days voyage from Kolkata (then Calcutta), around the southern tip of Africa and across the southern Atlantic, it came to Trinidad.

This was just the beginning! Soon over; 143,939 Indian labourers were shipped to Trinidad in the next 72 years. The majority of the labourers, that is 240,000 were sent to Guyana (then British Guiana), 36,000 to Jamaica, and smaller numbers to St Vincent, Grenada, St Lucia and Martinique.