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Book on struggles of women launched

Shayal Devi
Thursday, March 01, 2018

UNIVERSITY of Fiji vice-chancellor Professor Prem Misir has launched a new book which focuses on the struggles of Indian women in Fiji after the indenture system ended.

His book, The Subaltern Indian Woman: Domination and Social Degradation, highlights marginalised Indian indentured women who constantly faced race, gender, caste, class oppression and inequality on various European-owned overseas plantations during the colonial era.

Prof Misir said the last chapter of the book depicted the violence against women post-indenture.

"Despite the change in times, women underwent violence at the hands of their loved ones," he said.

"This could be because of various reasons including the bias colonial historiography, Indian patriarchal and caste systems and so on."

He said the "western elites" presented Indian women as immoral and presented a negative image of them.

"They said that these women need to be civilised. This was the bias of the colonial historiography against Indian women.

"India, through national movement by women, against popular notion of being passive, raised their voices and moved towards putting an end to the humiliating movement of indenture-ship. Hence, women were not passive creatures; they resisted."

More than 80 people attended the book launch. Prof Misir has penned about 10 books and has written a number of journal articles and other publications.

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