Indentured Labour Migration from India

Sometimes we see lots of workers standing along the roads.

They usually stand along the roads in the morning.

They are basically waiting for someone to hire them for the day.

They are daily wage workers who work daily and earn their wage.

This trend of hiring workers has been since a long time.

Even during the 19th century, this thing existed.

Although during this time, people were hired across different countries.

This was Indentured labour

This was a bonded labourer under contract to work for an employer for a specific amount of time, to pay off his passage to a new country or home.

Many Chinese and Indian labourers went to work all around the globe during the 19th century.

This was the time when technology was advancing rapidly and the world was changing economically.

While some countries became wealthy, some were exploited and became poor.

Indentured labour was the way out.

This was the time when the cottage industries declined.Many northern provinces in India turned to Indentured labour.

These labourers worked in mines or plantations just to survive.

Mostly they were sent to the Caribbean Islands, Ceylon and Malaya.

The labourers were recruited by agents. The agents were paid a small commission for their work.

Many took up these jobs to escape poverty or problems in their regions.

Many agents also gave false information about the jobs to attract labourers.

Some even kidnapped labourers and shipped them to foreign lands.

When the labourers reached their destination, they found the conditions quite harsh.

The workers found ways to survive even in those conditions.

Many escaped into the jungles even though they feared getting caught.

Many more formed groups and held riotous carnivals or sometimes religious processions.

Many new cultures evolved.

Many cultures mixed together and formed new forms of cultures and ideas.

This was due to globalisation, when the whole world becomes a single stage.

Many indentured workers stayed back in their new homes even after their contract ended.

They had attachments to their new homes now and India became kind of foreign to them.

Due to this there are many Indian descendents in foreign countries too.

This is all because of the indentured labour that occured in the 19th century.

From the 1900s Indian nationalist started opposing this system as this was cruel and abusive.

They still live there even after the ban on indentured labour in 1921.

They are known as ‘coolies’ in Caribbean islands and still after a number of decades, they remain a minority.

The End.