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Rama's banishment : A centenary tribute to the Fiji Indians 1879 - 1979

Mishra, V. (1979) Rama's banishment : A centenary tribute to the Fiji Indians 1879 - 1979. Heinemann Educational, Auckland, New Zealand.


Rama's Banishment is a collection of essays by Fiji Indian scholars and others who have worked on aspects of Fiji Indian life. The essays cover a variety of fields - history, politics, sociology, linguistics, religion, anthropology, literature and so forth - and, as a centenary tribute to Fiji Indians, aims to look afresh at the problems of being a Fiji Indian. These essays try to dispel the 'dregs-of-the-earth' concept which has surrounded the Fiji Indians for generations by placing the Fiji Indians within the overall patterns of life in India in the nineteenth century. If the work is not an apology for self-respect, it nevertheless attempts to explore those areas of social crisis which have dramatised Fiji Indian life.

Ever since the arrival of the first Indian indentured labourers on the Leonidas in 1879, the Fiji Indian has seen his stay in Fiji as a banishment whose literary counterpart has been Rama's agonising exile from Ayodyha. The book has used this structure to explore the consequences of this belief (in the conservatism of the Fiji Indians' attitude towards language, religion, social and political change, for instance) and its relationship to th emyths of millenarian fulfilment which underlie Fiji Indian psychology. Though a more realistic adaptation to Fiji is now being made by the Fiji Indians, the first hundred years have been those of banishment. This centenary tribute brings together the various foundations and ramifications of that legacy.

Publication Type: Book
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Publisher: Heinemann Educational
Copyright: 1979 The Author
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