With apologies for cross-posting:
In this episode, we join Brij Lal, a renowned historian of the Pacific Islands, as he tells the story of Indian indenture and his scholarly research over many decades to understand the labourers, or "girmitiyas". Girmitiya stems from the word "girmit", or agreement. It refers to the agreement that the bonded labourers signed before being shipped to colonies.
Lal's grandfather Mangre Lal left India in his 20s for Fiji. His family eventually settled there, and like many Indo-Fijians, they retained a deep-rooted sense of Indian identity.
By the 1980s, Indo-Fijians had become entrenched on the island and were elected into the ruling party in 1987. But ethnic divisions resulted in multiple coups, and the descendents of the girmitiyas have struggled to find new homes.
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