Kanan's story

I am from Malabar. I am not a Hindustani. I served my indenture in Fiji in Navua.

It is difficult for me to relate why I came. Everyone who enlisted as labourer came here under somewhat strange circumstances.

I was enticed by a recruiter and I knew nothing about Fiji. In the depot all one did was eat, drink and make merry. On board the ship we were well fed. We were woken up at 3 a.m. to cook our food. The Australian Europeans who worked us were evil because, as my parents had told me, Australian whites were jail-birds. We knew this in India; that Sydney and Australia were jails.

They were like us, they too had contracted to work for five years. They too had a girmit to serve. They used to kick us and whip us.