1) Inside Indian Indenture. A South African Story, 1860-1914 – Ashwin Desai
Human Sciences Research Council | 2010 | PDF
A timely and monumental recollection, this consideration captures the crossing of the sea undertaken by immigrants from India in the late 1800s. Illustrating their travels from their home country to colonial South Africa, this narrative demonstrates the multiple beginnings that made up the indentured experience for these wandering exiles. The overview explores the terrain of the everyday by focusing on religious and cultural expressions, leisure activities, power relations on the plantations, the weapons of resistance, and forms of collaboration that were developed in conflicts with the colonial overlords. Fascinating accounts brimming with desire and tender mercies—as much as with oppression and exploitation—show that the indentured were as much agents as they were victims and silent witnesses, painting a clear portrait of both cooperation and discord between Indians and Africans. Revising the contours of South African Indian historiography, this investigation expertly weaves its themes into the mainstream of Southern African studies, highlighting an often overlooked minority community.
2) Indian Indenture in the Danish West Indies, 1863-1873 – Lomarsh Roopnarine
Palgrave Macmillan | 2016 | PDF
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. **