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Professor Misir Launches Book About India Indentured Women

Professor Misir  Launches Book  About India  Indentured Women
Professor Prem Misir
May 11
10:40 2018

For years, Western intel­lectuals had presented a biased-colonial histo­ry on the social degradation of colonised Indian women.

This, along with his con­cerns about violence against women, in­spired University of Fiji Vice Chancellor, Professor Prem Misir, to write a book.

“As an Indian-origin man, I felt there were very little research and publications on col­onised Indian women,” he said.

Last week, the book titled ‘The Subaltern Indian Woman: Domination and Social Deg­radation’, was launched at the University of the South Pacific in Suva.

The book focuses on the subjugated Indian Indentured women who continuously expe­rienced race, gender, caste, class oppression and inequality on the colonial plantations.

“These Indian indentured women con­structed connections to the women’s aboli­tion movements in India,” he said.

As the author, Professor Misir said the book examined the post-indenture lives of Indian women and utilises a paradigm of male-dominated society in India within a persistently patriarchal society.

“It portrays the Indian woman’s enduring background to the 19th century post-slavery movement and the adversative explanations for their cries, degradation, and dehumani­sation and how politics of change and con­trol impacted their social organisation and its heritage,” he said.

It also features the elevated violence that women of the post-colonial period still go through despite the change in times.

The violence by the loved ones on women could be attributed to various reasons in­cluding the bias Colonial historiography, Indian patriarchal system, caste system and so forth, Professor Missir said.

He acknowledged the book’s origins to the 2017 Centennial Academic Conference hosted at the University of Fiji. The event marked the 100 years of abolition of the In­dian indenture labour system renowned for the mistreatment and dehumanisation of the Indian women, men and children from period 1834 to 1917.

Some at the launch were motivated to re­search on iTaukei women and their oppres­sion with colonialism and western religion.

Professor Misir is the author of nine books.

Edited by Naisa Koroi


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