Advertisement

Mediated (Im)mobility: Indian Labour Migration to Ceylon under the Kangany System (c. 1850–1940)

  • Ritesh Kumar Jaiswal
Chapter

Abstract

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.

Abbreviations

AARCOL

Annual Administration Report by the Controller of Labour

ARAGOIC

Annual Report of the Agent of Government of India

C&I Dept.

Commerce and Industry Department

CLC

Ceylon Labour Commission

EHL Dept.

Education, Health and Land Department

GOI

Government of India

IEA

Indian Emigration Act

L&O Dept.

Land and Overseas Department

NAI

National Archives of India

PLF

Pioneer Labour Force

R&A Dept.

Revenue and Agriculture Department

RCL

Royal Commission on Labour

Select Bibliography

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. Chattopadhyaya, H.P. Indians In Sri Lanka: A Historical Study. Calcutta: O.P.S Publishers, 1979.Google Scholar
  4. 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
  5. Jackson, Edward. Report of a Commission on Immigration into Ceylon. April 1938. NAI.Google Scholar
  6. Jayaraman, R. “Indian Emigration to Ceylon: Some Aspects of the Historical and Social Background of the Emigrants,” IESHR 4, no. 4 (Dec 1967).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 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
  8. Mckeown, Adam. “Global Migration (1846–1940),” Journal of World History 15, no. 2 (2004): 155–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Peebles, Patrick. The Plantation Tamils of Ceylon (London: Leicester University Press, 2001).Google Scholar
  10. Report by W.G.A Ormsby Gore, M.P, on his visit to Ceylon, Malay and Java. March 1929. NAI.Google Scholar
  11. Wenzlhuemer, Roland. “Indian Labour Immigration and British Labour Policy in Nineteenth-Century Ceylon”, Modern Asian Studies 41, no. 3 (2007): 575–602.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ritesh Kumar Jaiswal
    • 1
  1. 1.University of DelhiNew DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations