Indian indenture system

Indian Indenture System

Indian indenture system

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The Indian indenture system was an ongoing system of indenture by which thousands of Indians were transported to various colonies of European powers to provide labour for the (mainly sugar) plantations. It started from the end of slavery in 1833 and continued until 1920.

The first indenture

On 18 January 1826, the Government of the French Indian Ocean island of RĂ©union laid down terms for the introduction of Indian labourers to the colony. Each man was required to appear before a magistrate and declare that he was going voluntarily. The contract was for five years with pay of eight rupees per month and rations provided. By 1830, 3,012 Indian labourers had been transported from Pondicherry and Karikal. The first attempt at importing Indian labour into Mauritius, in 1829, ended in failure, but by 1834, with abolition throughout most of the British Empire, transportation of Indian labour to the island gained pace. By 1838, 25,000 Indian labourers had been shipped to Mauritius.

Colonial British Indian Government regulations

Colonial British Indian Government Regulations of 1837 laid down specific conditions for the dispatch of Indian labour from Calcutta. The would-be emigrant and his emigration agent were required to appear before an officer designated by the Colonial British Government of India with a written statement of the terms of the contract. The length of service was to be five years, renewable for further five-year terms. The emigrant was to be returned at...
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