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Indentured labour migration from India – discuss its causes and its impact.

Answer :

A bonded labourer under contract to work for an employer for a specific amount of time, to pay off his passage to a new country or home is called an Indentured labourer.Indentured labour migration from India illustrates the two-sided nature of the nineteenth-century world. It was a world of faster economic growth as well as great misery, higher incomes for some and poverty for others, technological advances in some areas and new forms of coercion in others.In the nineteenth century, hundreds of thousands of Indian and Chinese labourers went to work on plantations, in mines, and in road and railway construction projects around the world. In India, indentured labourers were hired under contracts which promised return travel to India after they had worked five years on their employer's plantation.Most Indian indentured workers came from the present-day regions of eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, central India and the dry districts of Tamil Nadu. In the mid-nineteenth century these regions experienced many changes – cottage industries declined, land rents rose, lands were cleared for mines and plantations. All this affected the lives of the poor: they failed to pay their rents, became deeply indebted and were forced to migrate in search of work.The main destinations of Indian indentured migrants were the Caribbean islands
Indentured workers were also recruited for tea plantations in Assam.Many migrants agreed to take up work hoping to escape poverty or oppression in their home villages. But soon labourers found conditions to be different from what they had imagined. Living and working conditions were harsh, and there were few legal rights.The workers discovered their own ways of surviving. Many of them escaped into the wilds, though if caught they faced severe punishment. Others developed new forms of individual and collective self expression, blending different cultural forms, old and new.These forms of cultural fusion are part of the making of the global world, where things from different places get mixed, lose their original characteristics and become something entirely new.

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