History of East Indian Resistance on the Guyana Sugar Estates, 1869-1948

Author: Mangru, Basdeo
Year:1996
Pages:384
ISBN:0-7734-8790-5
978-0-7734-8790-1
Price:239.95
This volume seeks to demolish the notion of East Indian docility and passivity in the Caribbean by demonstrating that they respond resolutely to pressures. Based primarily on documentary evidence at the Public Records Office and the India Office Library and Records in England, the book argues that it was resistance, both overt and covert, rather than accommodation which asserted itself on the plantations in the indenture and post-indenture periods. Stymied by a lack of indigenous leadership and organization, and confronted by a powerful, influential plantocracy and repressive state apparatus, Indian workers had demonstrated consistently that they were not afraid to protest when aggrieved. The nearly 1000 strikes and 54 deaths attested to their militancy. By its concentration on a relatively unexplored topic, this study makes a powerful contribution to Guyanese, Caribbean, and imperial history.

Reviews

“. . . one of the most prolific authors on the subject is Basdeo Mangru. His latest book goes beyond contract labor and includes the first three decades after the abolition of indentureship. . . . a fine insight into the Indian community in British Guiana in the first half of the twentieth century.” – New West Indian Guide

". . . fills a gap in Caribbean historiography which, traditionally, has been concerned mainly with Afro-Caribbean experience. . . . Dr. Mangru's argument is supported by an abundance of figures, tables, charts, maps, lists and appendices. Not that any of these intrude upon his text or restrict its flow. These statistics form an organic part of the text, and illustrate Dr. Mangru's careful and painstaking research in ferreting out data from a variety of sources, including official government records, rare journals and long defunct publications. . . . facts, insights and revelations are abundant in Dr. Mangru's closely documented, chronologically organized, and lucidly written account of resistance mainly by Indo-Guyanese sugar estate workers in Guyana." - Dr. Frank Birbalsingh

"This book is a valuable addition to Caribbean labour history as well as to our understanding of the largest ethnic group in Guyana. It is well written and scholarly in its approach and it is to be recommended." - Dr. Donald Wood