STRUCTURE OF PARTS
The book is divided into four parts.
Parts 1 and 11 appertain to the inheritance. Part 1 describes the antecedents starting from the legendary accounts of the prehistoric past merging into the historicity of the Vedas and the Aryan socio-political conditions that laid the pillars of what we now call ‘Hinduism’. The author attempts to channel the debate on the origins of Indus Civilisation into a paradigm of thinking that it stores in its womb the beginnings of human evolution. On examination of the various strands at the core of Indus Valley Civilisation, the author extricates it from the self-serving corruptive elements of rituals introduced by the Brahmanical (priestly) order from the beginning of the second millennium and discusses the efficacy of rational, philosophical base of the creed. Part 11 is a critical review of the Indian Indenture System and Fiji’s colonial history of racial segregation, ‘divide and rule’ and communal politics that mirrored and marred the post-independent divisive politics. “The Indenture Experience” choreographs the painful shipment of mostly Indian peasants as ‘coolies’ to distant outposts of the British Empire to harness the economic resources of the colonies and concludes that the Indian National Congress neglected the potential benefits of India’s diasporas sprouting in different parts of the globe. The Congress and in particular M.K.Gandhi erred in seeking the end of the scheme based on isolated incidence of deprivation and discrimination, especially of the female genre. He delves into the intricacies of the ‘Girmit’ (short Hindi hybrid for ‘Agreement’) modality and proffers the view that by the end of 19th century, with substantial improvements made to the system, it had a collateral advantage for the rural peasantry. Reviewing the demographic features of the ‘sugar colonies’, the author concludes that further emigrant infusion, that is extension rather that abolition of the scheme, would have prevented the dismal race relations in the recipient countries.
Part 111 is substantially a memoir-based narrative covering the struggle of the ‘girmitiyas’ and their descendants, his birth in the midst of the Second World War, and his formative years in Nadi and Bombay. It also includes a chapter on his pilgrimage to his ancestral village in Siddharthnagar, Uttar Pradesh, India. Part IV delves into Fiji’s unproductive pockmarked politics, the inception of the Fiji Labour Party of which he was one of the founding Vice-Presidents and the Coups of 1987 that relegated the Indians to second-class citizens. The Coups propelled the dispersion of Fiji Indians to countries bordering the Pacific Ocean where their absorption in dominantly Caucasian milieu is smeared with ‘auto-voyeurism’ and ostentatious consumerism.