Mediated (Im)mobility: Indian Labour Migration to Ceylon under the Kangany System (c. 1850–1940)
Ceylon’s contribution to a new paradigm of global and Indian history of labour and migration is twofold. First, the study of Ceylon helps to shift our focus from the overarching shadow of Indentured colonies in the Caribbean, Pacific, and western Indian Ocean—which have been the dominant regions of study of Indian labour migration—towards the British colonies in the Indian Ocean’s Bay of Bengal rim, which were the largest recipients of colonial Indian migration. Second, after Burma, Ceylon was the largest recipient of Indian labourers during the period 1840–1940, with approximately eight million individuals. The aim of this chapter is to scrutinize and reappraise the parameters that have conventionally defined the characteristics of Indian migration during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This chapter critically explores the intricate pattern, functioning, and nature of the Indian emigration to Ceylon which took place largely under the informal regulations of the Kangany system. It also intends to complicate the Eurocentric perspective on non-European/Indian migration in the framework of global migration studies.
Annual Administration Report by the Controller of Labour
Annual Report of the Agent of Government of India
- C&I Dept.
Commerce and Industry Department
Ceylon Labour Commission
- EHL Dept.
Education, Health and Land Department
Government of India
Indian Emigration Act
- L&O Dept.
Land and Overseas Department
National Archives of India
Pioneer Labour Force
- R&A Dept.
Revenue and Agriculture Department
Royal Commission on Labour
- Annual Administration Report by the Controller of Labour (AARCOL) for 1925–1938. Ceylon: H. Ross Cottle Government Printer, National Archives of India (NAI).Google Scholar
- Annual Report of the Agent of Government of India (ARAGOIC) on the working of Indian Emigration Act 1922, the rules issued thereunder and of the Labour Ordinances of Ceylon, 1923–1939. Calcutta: GOI Central Publication Branch, NAI.Google Scholar
- Chattopadhyaya, H.P. Indians In Sri Lanka: A Historical Study. Calcutta: O.P.S Publishers, 1979.Google Scholar
- Heidemann, Frank. Kanganies in Sri Lanka and Malaysia: Tamil Recruiter cum foreman as a sociological category in the Nineteenth Century. (Munchen: Anacon, 1992)Google Scholar
- Jackson, Edward. Report of a Commission on Immigration into Ceylon. April 1938. NAI.Google Scholar
- Marjoribanks, N.E and Marakkyyar, A.K.G Ahmad Tambi. Report on Labour Emigrating to Ceylon And Malay. Department of Commerce and Industry, Emigration Branch, Pros. No. 35–36-A. Madras: Government Press, 1917. NAI.Google Scholar
- Peebles, Patrick. The Plantation Tamils of Ceylon (London: Leicester University Press, 2001).Google Scholar
- Report by W.G.A Ormsby Gore, M.P, on his visit to Ceylon, Malay and Java. March 1929. NAI.Google Scholar