New York launch of centennial commemoration of Indian indentureship


The 100th anniversary commemoration of the abolition of Indian indentureship was launched at New York by the Indian Diaspora Council, in collaboration with its global affiliates and partners, at the Consulate General of India in New York on March 3rd.

The theme of the event was ”Centennial of Abolition of Indian Indentureship: Challenges, Progress, Achievements and Charting New Frontiers.” It was an over-capacity participatory event with speakers and invited guests focusing on the commemoration of the centennial of abolition of Indian Indentureship; history of Indian Indentureship; perspectives on the end of an era; challenges, progress and achievement; descendants of Indian Indentureship and the PIOs experience, an IDC press release said.

The tristate area of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania as well as Connecticut and Massachusetts have significant population of PIOs and NRIs who are descendants of Indian Indentured laborers originally from Guyana, Trinidad, Suriname, Jamaica, South Africa and other countries.

March 20, 2017 marks the centennial of the official abolition of Indian Indentureship, an era spanning the years 1834-1917, starting immediately after the formal Emancipation of Slaves in 1834. Indian Indentureship was an intense and harrowing period of Indian migration from several Indian states to far way lands of then British colonies around the world.

The history and consequences of Indian Indentureship are deeply embedded in people belonging to Mauritius, Fiji, Malaysia, South Africa, East Africa, Guyana, Trinidad, Suriname, Jamaica, Belize, Grenada, St. Lucia and other countries of the Caribbean, as well as former French colonies of Reunion Island, Seychelles, Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guiana.

Commemoration events are held by the IDC and its affiliates in several countries that are impacted by Indian indentureship, including a two-day conference in New Delhi on April 22-23. The New York event precedes the Indian Diaspora World Convention 2017 to be held in Trinidad & Tobago March 17 to 20.

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