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New publication documents plight of indentured Indian women

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Professor Prem Misir, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Fiji.

A book lead authored by Professor Prem Misir, Vice-Chancellor of University of Fiji, The Subaltern Indian Woman: Domination & Social Degradation was launched at The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Lower Campus on 2 May 2018.

Published by Palgrave Macmillan, the book documents the plight of indentured Indian women, how they are exploited and their fight against race, gender and class oppression and inequality on overseas European-owned plantations, but who are also armed with latent links to the women’s abolition movements in the homeland.

Professor Derrick Armstrong, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and International on behalf of Professor Rajesh Chandra, the Vice-Chancellor & President of USP congratulated Prof Misir for the wonderful publication.

Dr Ganesh Chand, former Vice-Chancellor of Fiji National University (FNU) acknowledged the initiative by Professor Misir and the authors for the initiative and effort and also shared his concerns saying there is very little known about Girmityas.

“We need an identity but who is going to articulate that voice? This is a challenge to young researchers,” he said.

The book documents the plight of indentured Indian women and the injustices against them.

The book expands the feminist perspective on the race, gender and class paradigm to include class power as the determinant of social interactions.

Also examining their post-indenture life, it employs a paradigm of male-dominated Indian women in India at the margins of an enduringly patriarchal society, a persisting backdrop to the huge 19th century post-slavery movement of the agricultural indentured workforce drawn largely from India.

Professor Prem Misir, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Fiji said the book depicts the antithetical and contradictory explanations for the indentured Indian women’s cries, degradation and dehumanisation and how the politics of change and control impacted their social organisation and its legacy.

Renowned names like Brij V. Lal, Professor Emeritus, School of Culture, History and Language at Australian National University, Australia; Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President, University of the South Pacific, Fiji; and Ravindra. K. Jain, formerly Professor of Social Anthropology and Dean, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India, are among its contributing authors.

This news item was published on 3 May 2018 02:56:44 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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