The Indian Indentureship System

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Within the Historical sphere, there is no unanimity regarding the topic of Indian indentureship, the argument lies whether it was a system fraught with coercive tactics, in which recruiters would prey on naive individuals, or, in contrast, many individuals affirm the position that the indentured Indians were educated concerning the terms of the contract which they voluntarily acquiesced to. An argument which if often presented is, despite, the Indians were informed of the stipulations of their contracts which they voluntarily signed, through immense research the opposing party affirms, that the system and methods of recruitment implemented in the system of Indian indentureship were indeed coercive which is explicitly seen in the abduction of…show more content…
143,939 Indians was imported to Trinidad, 4,354 to St. Lucia and 238,909 to British Guiana (K.O Laurence, Immigration into the West Indies; V. Shepherd, Transients to Settlers). There were significant push factors, which enticed Indians into the system of indentureship, such as high levels of unemployment, chronic poverty, indebtedness, monsoons, droughts, and famine. These compelling push factors solidify the argument which proposes the recruitment methods were not coercive. Despite the deceptive narratives depicted by the arkattis, maistries, and duffadors to the Indians, they were fueled by their personal incentives. Furthermore, many individuals saw the system of indentureship as an escape from social exclusion, prostitution, and the caste system. These intrinsic reasons enthralled many women into the indentureship…show more content…
Mr. Tota Mangar, one of Guyana’s leading historians in his column EAST INDIAN IMMIGRATION (1838-1917) states ''Recruiters exploited their ignorance and simplicity, and some were hoodwinked, cajoled and lured to leave their homes under false pretenses while some were even kidnapped. Indeed, fraud, deceit, and coercion permeated the whole recruiting system between 1838 and 1917'' (Tota C. Mangar EAST INDIAN IMMIGRATION (1838-1917). Also, those who support the argument that the system of indentured labor was coercive rather than voluntary, often refers to Hugh Tinker and his text A New System of Slavery compared which compared Indian indentureship to African enslavement calling the system a “new system of slavery. The argument is fabricated on the idea that the Indians were deceived and psychologically baited into indentureship, which was less physical compared to African enslavement, however, it exploited the Indians (Hugh Tinker a New System of Slavery: Export of Indian Labour Overseas,
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