Bittersweet: An Indo-fijian Experience by Brij V. Lal, Peter Hendrie

By Brij V. Lal, Peter Hendrie

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The journey on foot took him across two rivers and along the winding hilly land on Baijnath’s farm. He slept at his father’s house and returned to work the next day, promising his father that he would return on Thursday evening. On Thursday night Seorattan waited for his son till 11 o’clock and, when there was no sign of Ramsamujh, his father set out to look for him. He found his son’s battered, lifeless body at five in the morning on Friday 29 November. It was lying near a track on the border of Baijnath’s and Rajkumar Singh’s land, a few kilometres from Seorattan’s own house.

89–199 at p. 94. See also Schwartz, Barton. 1967. Caste in Overseas Indian Communities. San Francisco. 22 For a discussion of this, see Kelly, John D. 1991. A Politics of Virtue: Hinduism, Sexuality and Countercolonial Discourse in Fiji. Chicago. 23 See Mayer, A. C. 1954. ’ In Oceania, xxiv: 3. pp. 161–71. Also, Jayawardena, Chandra. 1983. ’ In Kurien, George and Ram P. Srivastva (eds), Overseas Indians: A Study in Adaptation, New Delhi. pp. 141–79. For a comparative discussion, see Nevadomsky, Joseph.

Confronting that imagery without apology, 48 BITTERSWEET Jaikumari, along with Manilal, Totaram Sanadhya and other early leaders, began the work of creating viable anti-colonial political voices and institutions, beginning the long struggle for rights that has constituted Indo-Fijian political history. Fear of Riots All sorts of crowds and meetings of girmitiyas made the Fiji Europeans nervous. They were unable to reconcile themselves to any sort of political organisation for the girmitiyas. Several plans were proposed for delimiting Indian ‘customary law’, or empowering Indian panchayats, councils of elders, to resolve disputes, but each was turned down by the authorities.

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