Slavery in the East .

In ancient times, distance limited interaction between the Indian Subcontinent on one hand and Europe and the Mediterranean Basin on the other. Alexander the Great of Macedon reached the northwestern edges of the subcontinent, leaving behind Indo-Greek kingdoms that blended Hellenic and Indian cultures. Later on, Ancient Roman merchants maintained trade relations with South Asia. The rise of Islam in the Mediterranean and Middle East put up a barrier to direct contact between South Asia and Christian Europe after the 7th century AD. Centuries later, Europes Maritime Revolution brought Europeans back to India. This time, however, they came by sea, circumnavigating Africa. The Portuguese came first, in the late 15th century. They were followed by the Dutch, French, and English. Over the course of the 18th century, the British East India Company gradually overcame its European and South Asian rivals to establish its dominance over the subcontinent. By the late 19th century, almost of the subcontinent (modern-day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka) were under British colonial rule.

One of the issues that the British administrators contended with were the complicated caste systems and social hierarchies of South Asia. Once they were ruling India, British officials were drawn into the disputes of local people. Some members of the lower castes, which are now called Dalits, but were known as Pariahs (also Paree, Paraiyar or Parayar) in southern India, used the British administration as a chance to escape from hereditary subjugation under the caste system.

This document details a case in the 1790s involving a group of Paraiyar labourers in the Tamil-speaking southern Indian province of Madras (modern-day Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh). The low caste labourers, who are described as slaves in this British account, worked on land owned by a high caste man. These labourers fled the masters farm and found jobs as cooks working for European colonists. The master, in turn, complained to British officials, and asked for the return of the labourers. The labourers were eventually returned to the master, with the consent of Paraiyar headmen, on the grounds that one of their ancestors had agreed that her descendants would serve the descendants of one of the masters ancestors in perpetuity.

When this incident took place, slavery was still legal in the British Empire. Decades later, in the 1830s, slavery would be abolished in the plantation colonies of the Caribbean (such as Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad, and Guyana), and the Indian Ocean (such as Mauritius). But British officials were hesitant to risk unrest by interfering with the more complicated forms of social subjugation that existed in India. The British colonial administration in India did not make serious attempts to stamp out slavery in India for some time after emancipation in other parts of the empire.

In the mid-19th century a large scale mutiny of sepoys (Indian soldiers serving under British command) led the British crown to takeover administration of the colony from the East India Company. This new administration became known as the British Raj. In the 20th century, Mahatma Gandhi, a British-trained Indian lawyer, led a campaign for independence from British rule. Independence came after World War II. At independence British India was partitioned into the mostly Hindu Republic of India and the majority Muslim nation of Pakistan. Later, in the 1970s, East Pakistan would secede from Pakistan to become the independent nation of Bangladesh.

Authors: Slavery in the East

Date: 2017

Upload Date: 9/15/2020 6:55:31 AM

Format: EPUB

Pages: 1



Language: English



[ARSocial_Lite_Locker id=1]
Please click here——->Free down


This website is authorized using the BY-NC-SA 4.0Authorization by agreement.