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Fijigirmit.org takes no responsibility for the content of articles, studies and essays published on this and pages underneath. However, all articles have something in common: the word 'girmit' is mentioned or reference is made to the indenture system in Fiji.

Articles marked with are in Acrobat Reader format (download this  free software from www.adobe.com). In Internet Explorer right click on the link, then "Save Target As" and save it to a folder on your hard disk. In Mozilla or Netscape "Save Link Target As" and save it to a folder on your hard disk.

Important notice to authors of articles posted on this website: Click here to read more.


  The Legacy of Rajasthani Girmitiya- Thakur Bansi Chauhan

By Thakur Ranjit Singh, Auckland, New Zealand

Karauli is a town in the stony and relatively dry Rajasthan State. This town sits closely to Agra's Taj Mahal and also close to Mathura and Vrindaban, Lord Krishna's playing ground on the banks of Yamuna River. This [...more]


  In Search of Roots - A journey to find oneself

By Thakur Ranjit Singh, Auckland, New Zealand

The date was 14 May, but the year was not 1987, but some seven decades before then, in 1915, when a strong young man of barely 19 years and rising just over 5ft 5 inches was picked up by British agents [...more]


  What Australian CSR Company Stole from Indo Fijians in Cane Fields of Fiji

By Thakur Ranjit Singh, Auckland, New Zealand
Brisbane India Times- Feature Article for August 2005 Issue

A joke going around grog bowls in Fiji is that somebody was filling a form to go to Australia and the question in the form wanted to know about any criminal records. The person filling it asked “Is that still a criteria [...more]


  Girmit Era – Manipulation of Indo Fijian History

By Thakur Ranjit Singh, Auckland, New Zealand
ribane Indian Times

On 14th May 2005, we marked 126 years of arrival of first indentured Indian labourers (girmitiyas) under an agreement that we call girmit (indenture system) wherein, between 1879 -1916, some 60,000 Indians were [...more]


  After the Girmit story

by Krishna, in an e-mail which we received on 22 May 2005.

1949-1950: I am the youngest son of the nine children of my parents who lived in Lokia, Rewa. My father was a Girmitiya. I was just under ten [...more]


  The Girmit Focus  a

by Satish C. Rai
These articles appeared in the Australian newspaper Indian Link’s Girmit Link page from August 2004

August ’04 issue: Today the word Girmit is becoming a popular currency to describe a group of Indians who left the shores of India more then a century ago to fulfil labour needs of the British and other [...more]


Fiji ka itihasik darshan (A historical view of Fiji)
by Har Nath

This 76-page book was written by the late Mr. Nar Nath, a citizen of the Fiji Islands. His son has promised him to publish it. And here it is!

Note: people who don't have the Webdunia font, also need to download it here, then install it in the Fonts folder of their computer - without this font the book won't display the Hindi characters)

New: entire book with embedded Hindi font


Lessons from the past
by Shobna Decloitre
Source: Wansolwara, June 2004
Publication of the University of the South Pacific Journalism Programme.

When children in Indo-Fijian homes appeared disinterested in their schoolwork, there was one threat that never failed to revive [...more]


Violence of Indenture in Fiji
by Professor Vijay Naidu

The re-issue of this book, as one of a handful of publications that will be part of the events organised to mark the 125th anniversary of [...more]

The book is available from the Fiji Institute of Applied Science.


Indian immigration, Hindu rites and Tamil culture in Reunion Island
by Govindin Sully Santa

This paper sets out to present briefly: - the different phases of the migration of Indian populations to this Indian Ocean island, - the [...more]


"Fiji me kisan andolan"

a book written by Pandit Ayodhaya Prasad Sharma (first published in 1962 under the name "Fiji tapu me kisan andolan atharth Kisan Sangh ka itihas = Farmers, struggle in Fiji or a history of Fiji Kisan Sangh") has been re-published by Vicas Press in Lautoka. The book (240 pages) will soon be downloadable from Fiji Institute of Applied Science.

Click here for the title page
Click here for the table of content and introduction
Click here for the back cover


Excerpts from a study examining the circumstances which led to departure of girmitiyas from India
By Dr. Brij Lal (the entire book can be ordered from Fijian Studies)

In 1979 the Fiji Indians celebrated the hundredth anniversary of their arrival in the islands. Through public displays, speeches, parades ...[more]


Girmit - the indenture experience in Fiji
An introduction by Dr. Ahmad Ali

Between 1879 and 1916 some 60,537 Indians arrived in Fiji as indentured labourers. Of these approximately 75% boarded their ship in ...[more]


Crossing the Kala Pani - a documentary history of Indian indenture in Fiji (Introduction)
Edited by Brij V. Lal
Division of Pacific and Asian History, Research School of Pacific and Asian History, The Australian National University

Much is often assumed but much less actually known about some of the more important events, episodes, processes and institutions ...[more]


Crossing the Kala Pani - a documentary history of Indian indenture in Fiji (Girmit: The agreement of indenture)
Edited by Brij V. Lal
Division of Pacific and Asian History, Research School of Pacific and Asian History, The Australian National University

1. Period of Service-Five Years from the Date of Arrival in the Colony.
2. Nature of labour-Work in connection with the Cultivation of ...[more]


Chalo Jahaji - on a journey through indenture in Fiji (Preface)
by Brij V. Lal, 2000
The Fiji Museum Suva
Division of Pacific & Asian History, The Australian National University

This book is a selection of my essays on the Indian indenture (girmit) experience in Fiji. I have brought them together because there is ...[more]


Chalo Jahaji - on a journey through indenture in Fiji (Chapter 1)
by Brij V. Lal, 2000
The Fiji Museum Suva
Division of Pacific & Asian History, The Australian National University

Leaving aside the questions of exploitation, racism, and the institutional aspects of indenture, I think that the indenture experience is a ...[more]


The day 'Leonidas' arrived in Fiji
Extract from "Fiji Times" article, published May 17, 1879

The ship Leonidas, Captain McLachlan, which sailed from Calcutta on March 3rd, arrived at the port on the afternoon of Wednesday ...[more]


The wreck of the 'Syria', 1884
Extract from an article by Brij V Lal, published in "Fiji Times", 12 Mary 1979

At 8.30pm on Sunday, 11 May 1884, the Indian immigrant ship Syria - the fifth to reach Fiji - was wrecked on the Nasilai reef. By the time ...[more]


Fiji Indian Social And Cultural Association Of Australia Girmit Celebration
Corrected Copy NSW Legislative Assembly Hansard Article No.33 of 22/06/1999.

Mr LYNCH (Liverpool) [5.33 p.m.]: I draw to the attention of honourable members a function I attended on Saturday 15 May. This was ...[more]


Race and power in Fiji
From a publication by Paul Spickard

For two months in the spring of 2000, gunmen held thirty people hostage inside Fiji's parliament building in Suva. One of the hostages ...[more]


Resurgent tribalism in Fiji
By Sam Rajappa (opinion from "The Hindu", published 4 August 2003)

Over decades, the gulf between the indigenous Fijians and Indo-Fijians has widened. THE CRUX of the problem facing the Republic of ...[more]


'Indigenous rights' smokescreen for elite rule
by Norm Dixon (published on http://www.greenleft.org.au/

Terrorist leader George Speight has claimed that his gang's kidnapping of the government of Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry was to ...[more]


Indian slaves who brought prosperity and liberation to alien lands
Article from: Indian Express:, dated 27th June 2000

In search of gold we sailed to this land. Alas, our golden body melted away here'. The cathartic song of first generation 'Girmitias' - ...[more]


Fiji Sugar Turns Sour - Time Has Run Out For Country’s Sugar Industry
By Michael Field (from March 2003 edition of Island Business)

For over a century a political war has waged around Fiji sugar cane with combatants set apart by race and culture. Founding Prime ...[more]


Fijians paramount?
by James Heartfield - from Issue #16 (November 2001 - February 2002) of Revolution

“The interests of the Fijians in Fiji shall be paramount,” was the promise made by the British colonial authorities, and the successive post-...[more]


ALTA and expiring land leases
by Professor Vijay Naidu and Dr Mahendra Reddy, June 2002

This paper reports on a Ford Foundation and USP Research Committee funded research on tenant farmers' views and perceptions ...[more ]


Ethnic relations in Fiji: Peaceful coexistence and the recent shift in the ethnic balance
by Stephanie Sienkiewicz, 1999

In understanding Fijian ethnic identity and relations between Fijians and Indians, it is important to know the history of colonialism in Fiji, ...[more] 


Memories of a hard life during Girmit
by Torika Tora (published in "Fiji Times", 12 May 1979)

Rangamma, who claims to be more than 100 years old, said life during this period was very tough. We were whipped and left to starve if ...[more]


Indians in Mauritius and Fiji
(author of article unknown)

The experience of Indian indentured servants in two British colonies reveals some similarities and differences according to country. ...[more]


The Indian connection
by Shubna Singh - from Frontline Volume 17 - Issue 12, June 10 - 23, 2000; India's National Magazine from the publishers of THE HINDU

The association between India and Fiji is inextricably linked to the evolution of colonial trade and industry. There was a need for ...[more]


Report to the Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination
by National Farmers Union

Fiji is a small island nation in the South Pacific that has been shattered by three military coups in recent history. The coups have taken ...[more]


On the source of inter-ethnic conflict in Fiji
Some views of Fiji, its people and its constitution 
by Prof. John Davies

The first draft of this article was written in December of 1996, when the author was a visiting Professor in the Department of Economics ...[more]


Speight's Elba
Article from Rod Ewins (1 August 2000)

The imprisonment of Speight and his cohort on the island of Nukulau, larger of a pair of islands plainly visible from many vantage points ...[more]


Minority rights in Fiji and the Solomon Islands
Reinforcing constitutional protections, establishing land rights
and overcoming poverty
Paper prepared by Jon Fraenkel University of the South Pacific,
Suva, Fiji Islands, to Commission on Human Rights, May 2003

The Pacific region is highly ethnically diverse, with nations made up of numerous minority groups, as well as resettled peoples and ...[more ]


The Politics of Ethnicity in the Fiji Islands: competing ideologies of Indigenous paramountcy and individual equality in political dialogue
Thesis paper for Masters degree by Virginia Horscroft

Politics in the Fiji Islands is characterised by competitive processes that draw on and reshape ethnic cleavages. Indigenous Fijians ...[more ]


Recommendations to the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group on the Political and Human Rights Situation in the Fiji Islands
Compiled by Mitchell O’Brien, edited by Maja Daruwala, S.S. Venkatesh Nayak, 2002

George Speight's attempted civilian coup of May 19, 2000 has acted as a catalyst, unlocking the divisions which underscore Fijian ...[more ]


ALTA and expiring land leases: Fijian farmers' perceptions of their future
by Professor Vijay Naidu and Dr Mahendra Reddy (a Ford Foundation funded project, June 2002)

This paper reports on a Ford Foundation and USP Research Committee funded research on tenant farmers' views and perceptions ...[more ]


Beyond the mundane: Fiji's religions and world views
A paper for the Institute of Pacific Studies by Kevin J. Barr, M.S.C., 1999

Religion, according to Robertson (1977: 386), is a system of communally held beliefs (creed) and practices (moral code and rituals) ...[more ]


An article containing info about the dance drama 'Degei' organised by Pt. Charka during the Girmit celebrations in 1979
written by Bhasyam G Iyengar

During his assignment at Suva, Fiji Islands, Pt.Charka developed great
affinity for the cultural heritage of that land. In the dance ...[more]


Ethnic relations in Fiji: Peaceful coexistence and the recent shift in the ethnic balance
senior thesis by Stephanie Sienkiewicz

As mentioned in the previous section, Fiji's first colonial governor, Sir Arthur Gordon, instituted the system of Indian indenture or girmit...[more]


After 125 years, Fiji's Indo-Fijians in retreat
By Sanjay Ramesh
Pacific Islands Development Program/East-West Center (link no longer active but we have saved the document here)
With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies/University of Hawai‘i

A majority of Fiji Indians are the descendants of the indentured laborer, who were brought to Fiji as contract workers to develop the ...[more]


A variety of articles about the 125-celebrations in Fiji
from Indianewslink, New Zealand


Satish Rai reaction to the virtual interview with Dr. Ganesh Chand in a letter to the webmaster of Indes réunionnaises

I am a film maker and researcher with girmitiya ancestry now based in Sydney. I have been involved in Discovering Your India Roots [...more]


  Girmitiyas hold on to ancient art form

An article about the 'terekuttu' dance.