Migrants across eras: Exodus caused by lockdown mirrors untold suffering of indentured labourers from 19th century
Like the migrants who are currently walking back home across states, a century-and-a-half ago, many Indians — indentured labourers all — made similar travels in cattle-like conditions on steamships. Most ended up being cheated and denied a fair shot at life.
Totaram Sanadhya, an Indian in Fiji: A life defined by the indentured labour system and the fight against it
An indentured labourer sent to Fiji, Totaram Sanadhya survived near-starvation and back-breaking work to become a successful sugarcane farmer. He travelled throughout the islands, meeting labourers and listening to their tales of woe. He would go on to write a letter to Mahatma Gandhi, requesting that an English-speaking lawyer be despatched to Fiji to help the Indians get organised