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Review: “Tears In Paradise. Suffering and Struggle Of Indians In Fiji 1879-2004” by Rajendra Prasad – Britain's Indentured Indian “5 Year Slaves”

By Dr Gideon Polya

 04 March, 2015

“Tears in Paradise. Suffering and struggle of Indians in Fiji 1879-2004” by Rajendra Prasad tells the story of Indian indentured labour (“5 year slaves”) taken to Fiji from British-occupied India in the period 1879-1916  and brutally exploited on British- and Australian-run  sugar cane plantations. The last “5 year slaves” were finally released from bondage in 1920, 87 years after slavery was supposedly banned in the British Empire. Today effective Third World slavery is rampant through globalization.

Rajendra Prasad was the town clerk of the Fiji sugar  town of Ba (1972-1987) and now lives in New Zealand.  Fiji is a Pacific  Island state that  is an archipelago of more than 332 islands, of which 110 are permanently inhabited, and more than 500 islets, amounting to a total land area of about 18,300 square kilometres. The two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, account for 87% of the population of about 860,000. The capital and largest city, Suva, is on Viti Levu. The population of Fiji is mostly made up of Indigenous  Fijians, who are mostly Melanesians but with significant Polynesian background, especially in the eastern Lau Islands  (54%), and Indo-Fijians (38%), the descendants of Indian indentured labourers (“5 year slaves” ) brought to Fiji in the period 1879-1916. The indentured labour system was called the “Girmit” system (from Indian mis-pronunciation  of “agreement”)  and the indentured labourers were known as “girmityas”.  My wife's maternal and paternal grandparents were all girmityas and she has about 70 cousins, an indication of the expansion of the Indo-Fijian population since 1879.

Before  reviewing this important book [1] in detail, it is useful to briefly  outline the chronology of the history of Fiji: 3000BC, first settlement, Lapita pottery people; 1500BC, Melanesian settlement; 1643, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman reached Fiji; 1774, British explorer Cook reached the eastern Lau Islands; 1789, British Captain William Bligh reached Fiji in an open boat; 1808, Kasavu village massacre by musket-armed, ship-wrecked British sailor Charlie Savage; 1806, epidemic from shipwrecked “Argo” sailors; 1830, first Christian missionaries; 1840, US Commodore Wilkes visited but was subsequently tried and acquitted over abuses; 1871, chiefly federation based on Levuka, the island of Ovalau off Viti Levu; 1874, cession to Britain by Fijians concerned over US naval threats in response to arson of the property of an American on Nukulau Island; the 19th century Fiji and other  Pacific Islands were targeted by Australian and other “blackbirders” seeking to capture slaves or trick indentured labour for sugar plantations in Fiji, Samoa and Queensland, Australia; 1875, party of important chief Ratu Cakobau returned from Sydney with measles; 40,000 Fijians died out of a 150,000 population; 1879, first Indian indentured labour (“5 year slaves”) on the ship “Leonidas”; male to female ratio about 3:1; 1916, after strong criticism of the indentured labour system, recruitment from India ceased; 1920, “Girmit” indentured labour system finally ceased with the release of the last “5 year slaves”; flu epidemic killed about 5,000; 1970, independence under Fijian-dominated Alliance Party led by Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara; 1982, Alliance rule continued; 1987, multi-racial Fijian-Indian Fiji Labor Party government under Fijian Dr Bavadra followed by 2 military coups by Colonel  Sitiveni Rabuka and republic status  (the US opposed Dr Bavadra's nuclear-free policy and is asserted to have been involved [2], possibly with the complicity of US lackey Australia ) – but the so-called “bloodless coup” led to a subsequent increased excess mortality of about 4,500; about 100,000 Indo-Fijians migrated (mainly to North America, New Zealand and Australia); 1998, new constitution; 1999, first Indian Prime Minister (PM) Chaudhry heading the multiracial Fiji Labor Party; 2000, Fijian anti-Indian coup led by Anglo-Fijian Australian resident George Speight with major Fijian political complicity and followed by military rule and military-installed ethnically indigenous Fijian interim government under PM Laisenia Qarase that discriminated against Indians and advanced the interests of the I'Taukei (indigenous) political elite as well as I'Taukei Chiefs; 2001, new elections won by Fijian United Party (SDL, ethnically indigenous Fijian); 2003, Supreme Court ruled exclusion of Indians from government illegal; 2005, major tourist resort expansion on track, major income from soldiers serving overseas, devastating EU sugar price decrease foreshadowed; threat of military coup if 2000 Coup participants were released from prison; 2006, military coup by the Indigenous Fijian-dominated army under Commodore Josaia Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama to protect Indians (vital for the mainly sugar- , tourism-, sweatshop textile industry-, and repatriated money-based economy) and to stop corruption; hostility from Australia and New Zealand was countered by increasing Chinese investment in Fiji; 2014, restoration of democratic elections under a new constitution with Frank Bainimarama as elected PM [3].

In his Introduction to “Tears in Paradise”, Rajendra Prasad quotes High Tinker who in his book “A New System of Slavery” describes the British Empire indentured labour system thus: “It was their labour, along with  British capital and expertise , which created the overseas wealth of Britain”.  Winston Churchill, a racist, war-monger and imperialist who confessed to hating Indians ( “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion”) [4] is famous for his following description of Chinese indentured labour in South Africa in the House of Commons on 22 February 1906 as Under-Secretary of the Colonial Office: “The conditions of the Transvaal ordinance ... cannot in the opinion of His Majesty's Government be classified as slavery; at least, that word in its full sense could not be applied without a risk of terminological inexactitude” [5]. Churchill through “divide and rule” was ultimately responsible for the horrors of  Indian Partition (1 million deaths and 18 million refugees) and he was responsible  for the 1942-1945 Bengali Holocaust  in which the British with Australian complicity deliberately  starved 6-7 million Indians to death for  strategic reasons, with the Australia complicit  by withholding food from its huge  wartime grain  stores [3, 4, 6-14]. Rajendra Prasad comments on the Fiji colonial period under British rule and dominated by the Australian Colonial  Sugar Refining Company (CSR): “ In this period, the British colonial policy of divide and rule created a racial divide between Fijians and Indo-Fijians. Their relationship remained antagonistic right up to independence and soured subsequently, leading to the coups of 14 May 1987 and  19 May 2000. At the dawn of the new century, Fiji raged in the fire of racism and the Indo-Fijians suffered persecution, intimidation, violence and eviction. It broke their faith, hope and trust in Fiji. Despite thousands of Indo-Fijians who have emigrated, a significant number are still in Fiji, hopeful that the country may yet provide them with a safe, secure and stable future.” (pp11-12, [1]).

Part 1 of the book is entitled “Indenture period 1879-1919. Struggles of a forgotten  generation”.  

Chapter 1, “Pilgrimage to my ancestral roots”, outlines the author's  family background. His paternal grandfather (Daadaji)  and maternal grandfather (Naanaji)  arrived in Fiji in 1908 as girmitiyas. The author Rajendra Prasad movingly describes how he returned to India on a management course in 1974, tracked down the location of his family's home village  and was enthusiastically and lovingly welcomed home by hundreds of villagers who had always been aware of their kinsmen or fellow villagers having gone to Fiji.

Chapter 2, “Indian culture and recruitment”,  describes how the British agents chose labour from impoverished Indian provinces in North, South and Eastern Indian. Rajendra Prasad comments: “Brahmins, Kshatriyas and the Punjabis were excluded” (p47, [1]) to minimize future political problems from Indian groups much less likely to tolerate enslavement and maltreatment. High caste Hindus would also have had a fear of crossing the “kaala paani” (black water). The recruiters deliberately deceived most of their targets, and by the time they were coralled in pre-embarkation sub-depots the girmityas were quite compromised, and especially so the women. Rajendra Prasad comments: “Once on the mainland [in Fiji], the girmityas were herded like animals to the plantations. They were given kennel-like living accommodation – referred to as coolie lines” (p57, [1]).

Chapter 3, “Violence in the fields”, tells shocking stories of violence by overseers and violence among girmityas. Rajendra Prasad comments: “Cases of grievous physical assaults, torture and torment by the employers against the girmityas abounded during the periods of  girmit. These contributed to a general air of  anxiety , anger,  anguish and fear. They sometimes led to extreme retaliatory measures . These occurred when the kulambars [white overseers ] and sardars [sirdars; girmitya heads appointed by kulambars ] breached the limits of tolerance” (p59, [1]). My favourite girmitya story: a group of women girmityas, utterly fed  up with the violence and sexual overtures of a sirdar, got him alone in a cane field, held him down and urinated on him. A dear elderly friend of mine recalls seeing the whip-marks on her mother's back. The sex ratio of 3 men to each woman created tensions, and contributed to violence and suicide.   Thus another  dear friend recounted to me how her grandfather, upset about attention being paid to his wife,  chopped another man's hand off with a cane knife and avoided legal consequences by agreeing to look after the crippled  man.

Chapter 4, “Plantation life and new culture”,   describes the onerous circumstances of the powerless girmityas. If they failed, whether  through sickness or pregnancy, to perform their back-breaking, 12-hours-per day, 6 days per week tasks, they were fined from their paltry wages and prosecuted. Rajendra Prasad notes that “In 1886, 6566 girmityas were registered in Fiji and 8835 charges were laid against them” (p83, [1]).

Chapter 5, “Tolerance of violence and violations” describes the “meekness “ of the Indian girmityas. Rajendra Prasad comments: “The Japanese, Chinese and other Pacific  nations turned down subsequent requests for Labor from the Fiji [colonial] government. India being part of the British Empire, became the most reliable source of labour from the British colonies. Indian immigrants , under the indenture system, responded to the harsh and hostile conditions of indenture with meekness and submissiveness where others had rebelled” (p101, [1]). ”

Chapter 6,   “Indenture – resistance, abolition and its aftermath”,  recounts how international pressure, spearheaded by Mahatma Gandhi who had witnessed indentured  labour abuses in  South Africa,  led to the end of indentured labour in the British Empire (notably in South Africa, the West Indies, Malaya, Australia and the South Pacific) and the  end of the girmit system in Fiji. Rajendra Prasad comments: “Mahatma Gandhi played a key role in alleviating the suffering of the girmityas in Fiji, and ending the indenture system. In order to get first-hand information and to elucidate the truth about the social and moral conditions in Fiji, Mahatma Gandhi sent Rev. Charles Freer Andrews and Rev. William Pearson to Fiji” (p, 121 [1]).” However the end of recruitment of indentured labour in 1916 did not end the girmit  system – existing  indentured labourers had to serve out their full term, the last being finally released from servitude on 1 January 1920.

Part 2 of the book is entitled  “Post-indenture period 1920-2004. Uncertain future”.

Chapter 7, “Cultural and political renaissance”, recounts social and political developments in post-indenture Fiji. The beginning of this period was marked by the death of 5,000 Fijians in the world-wide influenza epidemic that was spread by British commerce and the return of soldiers  (including  a  Fijian contingent) from World War 1. A 1920 strike by municipal workers  led to violence and 175 arrests. The colonial authorities called for and  received assistance from the New Zealand and Australian navies  and in a shooting incident at the Samabula Bridge up to 20 Indians were gunned down, up to 20 injured, and 163 (including 12 women) imprisoned. Indian leaders Manilal, Mrs Manilal, Harpal Maharaj and Fazal Ahemad Khan were banished to Nukulau Island (currently used to house the Coup criminals of 2000) and subsequently  left for New Zealand.    A rich Indo-Fijian culture  flourished  based on a  complexity of  religions (mainly Hindu, Muslim and Christian) , of cultures  (Tamil, South and North Indian and Bengali) and languages (Tamil, Telegu and Malayalam from South India , Hindi from North India and Bengali from Bengal). Fiji Hindi became the dominant language of Indo-Fijians with many also speaking Fijian and English The close-knit Gujarati community that is very active in business came as free immigrants. Rajendra Prasad comments: “Of 65,553 who came to Fiji under indenture, 25,645 returned to India” (p147, [1]). Indian leadership came from Shiwabhai Bhailalbhai Patel (S.B. Patel) (a lawyer sent to Fiji by Mahatma Gandhi), Pundit Vishnu Deo and barrister A.D. Patel.

Chapter 8, “CSR Company and the Indo-Fijian farmers”, recounts how many Indo-Fijians leased land from the Australian CSR Company and were thence trapped economically in the post-indenture period.  A farmers' strike in 1921 was defeated by the CSR company's strength and farmers' poverty and its leader Sadhu Bashist Muni was deported.  Rajendra Prasad summarizes the Indo-Fijian lot: “The majority of Indo-Fijians had settled on land leased from the CSR Company for sugar can cultivation, or from Fijians, on which they cultivated sugar cane, rice, maize, leguminous crops or raised cattle. Many found employment in the sugar  mills, and lived close to the mills… for two decade, following the end of girmit, the CSR Company had a free reign over the Indo-Fijian farmers  and was able to manipulate, dominate, intimidate and exploit them at will” ” (pp158-159, [1]). However in 1937 Pundit Ajodhya Prasad set up the Kisan Sangh (Farmers' Association) that successfully combatted CSR Company exploitation.  In 1969 Lord Denning from the UK adjudicated the sugar contracts in favour of the farmers and in 1973 the Australian CSR Company left  Fiji.

Chapter 9, “Village life 1940s-1960s”, provides a loving description of the village life of Indo-Fijians. It concludes with a summary of the transition to modernity: “By the end of the1960s a massive transformation could be seen in the lives of  the Indo-Fijians. Even the village landscape changed considerably. The household income increased as educated children sought employment in offices or in the commercial and industrial sectors. Fiji gained its Independence  on 10 October  1970 . It was the  dawn of a new era” (p194, [1]). The socio-economic transition could be quite rapid as exampled by friends mine e.g. from girmitya (generation 1),  to top medical specialist  (generation 2) to medical specialist and other university-educated professionals (generation 3); from girmitya (generation 1),  to top  lawyer (generation 2), to mostly  lawyers and other university-educated professionals (generation 3), to medical specialist and other university-educated professionals (generation 4).  

Chapter 10, “Post-independence era”, describes the politics  of the Indigenous Fijians and the Indo-Fijians. Initially the National Federation Party (NFP) represented Indo-Fijians and the Alliance Party represented Indigenous Fijians and European interests ( my father-in-law, barrister  Abdul Lateef MBE, strongly believed in a multiracial  approach, was responsible for various education, community and sporting innovations,   and became an Alliance Party MP for a cross-voting seat in the otherwise race-based bicameral electoral system bequeathed by the British). The 22-member Senate was composed of  8  nominees of the  Great Council of Chiefs, 7 nominees of the PM, 6 nominees of  the Leader of the Opposition and 1 nominee of the Council of Rotuma. An Indo-Fijian quip about the distorted electoral system: “Too many chiefs and not enough Indians”. Fundamental tensions  related to the desire of Indo-Fijian farmers and others for more certainty  over leased land and for untrammelled equality. Indigenous Fijian concerns were over land preservation, cultural integrity, respect for the Chiefs,  the need for affirmative action for Fijians in view of the disproportionately   greater wealth of the entrepreneurial Indo-Fijians, and a fundamental  desire to retain Indigenous Fijian political control. Indo-Fijians had fears deriving from the expulsion of Indians from Uganda under Idi Amin and support for  repatriation of Indians  from Indigenous Fijian extremists such as Sakiasi Butadroka, leader of the Fijian Nationalist Party (FNP).  In 1987 the Alliance Party Government of eminent and outstanding PM Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, who had ruled Fiji for 17 years,  was defeated by a Fiji Labor Party- National Federation Party Coalition under Indigenous  Fijian Dr Timoci Bavadra that won  28 seats out of 52 seats.  

Chapter 11, “The coup era”, describes the tragedy of the 14 May 1987 Coup by Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka that deposed the democratically-elected multi-racial Fiji Labor Party Government of Dr Timoci Bavadra and was preceded by public demonstrations by the anti-Indian Fiji nationalist Taukei Movement. Not canvassed by Rajendra Prasad, William Blum in his best-selling book “Rogue State” describes this as a US CIA-backed coup due to US opposition to Dr Bavadra anti-nuclear weapons policy [2] (indeed US lackey Australia, long America's  “Deputy Sheriff ” in the South Pacific, may have been complicit).   After deposing the elected government, Rabuka  handed power over to the Governor-General, Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau, a high chief. However when Ratu Ganilau attempted to reinstate the abrogated constitution, Rabuka carried out a second coup on 28 September 1987 and established a Republic . A new Constitution biased towards Fijians permitted Rabuka to rule as an  elected PM. However under a racially more equitable constitution  in 1999  Rabuka lost the election and was replaced by the multi-racial Fiji Labor Party's Mahendra Chaudhry, the first ever Indo-Fijian Prime Minister. However big demonstrations by the Taukei Movement were followed by the 19 May 2000 Coup by part-Fijian Australian resident George Speight. The President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara refused to negotiate with the plotters, dismissed the kidnapped government and assumed emergency powers himself.   However on 28 May  Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara was kidnapped, removed on a naval vessel,  allegedly approached by a group of present and former military and police officers and ordered to suspend the Constitution, which he refused, stating "If the Constitution goes, I go" . The forcible removal of Ratu Sir Kamisese  Mara from the Presidency was reportedly accompanied by threats to kill him and members  of his family, this strongly suggesting foreign involvement (e,g. Americans, US lackey Australians or Israeli US dirty tricks surrogates, with all of  whom Rabuka had military-related connections) because it is unimaginable that Indigenous Fijians would have treated their extremely eminent and revered paramount chief in this way. A 56-day  stand-off with the Fiji military under Commodore Frank Bainimarama  concluded after a brief Fijian nationalist military mutiny on 2 November involving the Rabuka-created  Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit (CRWU) of the military  that was promptly terminated by loyal Fijian forces and was followed by military rule, arrest of the Coup-plotters,  and thence by a military-installed,  ethnically Indigenous Fijian interim government under PM Laisenia Qarase that discriminated against Indians and advanced the interests of the I'Taukei (indigenous) political elite as well as I'Taukei Chiefs.

Chapter 12, “The Fiji malady – causes , conflicts and casualties”, considers the complex tensions between the Indo-Fijians and the Indigenous Fijians briefly outlined above, and the serious economic and social consequences  of post-1987 mass emigration of Indo-Fijians from Fiji.

In Chapter 13, “Indo-Fijian trauma and tears”, Rajendra Prasad concludes with a plea from Martin Luther King in his famous  letter of  April 1963 from a Birmingham, Alabama jail: “Let us hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away”(p270, [1]).


Rajendra Prasad concluded his book in 2004 but the last decade saw  a further Indigenous Fijian military Coup in 2006, this time  by Commodore Frank Bainimarama, ostensibly to counter corruption,  to protect Indians - vital for the Fijian economy and professions -  and to prevent possible release of the 2000 Coup plotters from imprisonment on Nukulau Island off Suva. Fiji was expelled from the British  Commonwealth and faced hostility from Australia and New Zealand.  A second coup was effected in 2009 to abrogate the latest version of the Constitution and block elections then. Democracy was only restored in 2014 elections under a new Constitution  that returned former military  dictator of Fiji, Frank Bainimarama, as a democratically–elected Prime Minister  of Fiji.

Indigenous Fijians should now be reassured  that they have an  Indigenous Fijian PM Frank Bainimarama and an Indigenous Fijian President, the very impressive Ratu Epeli Nailatikau (the former Commander of the Royal Fiji Military Forces who was deposed from this position in 1987 while visiting Australia by  the third-ranked officer, Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka).  Indo-Fijians can be somewhat reassured that they now have a government committed to protecting the equal human rights and legitimate interests of the Indo-Fijians, albeit led by a person who had abrogated basic human rights and democracy for a decade. Indeed Rajendra Prasad writing from New Zealand about the 2013 Fiji Constitution adopted a pragmatic approach in praising Frank Bainimarama: “For thirty-six years since independence (1970-2006), Fiji had the misfortune of being governed by narrow, insensitive and corrupt Governments. Their policies and practices impinge on the freedom, rights, equality and dignity of its citizens. Today, a nation that was savaged by its democratically elected leaders is being rescued by the Bainimarama Government” [15]. However, notwithstanding the failings of democratically-elected governments,  what is  inescapable is that democracies  cannot have coups, and  that we must have the rule of law, or else we have the law of the jungle (the essence of a sensible position that was put to me in conversation by a Fiji judge).   

Professor Wadan Narsey (who expertly estimated that one third of  Fijians lived in poverty in 2008-9 [16] and who has been critical of some expatriate Indo-Fijians, including  Rajendra Prasad, for praising  Frank Bainimarama)  cogently commented in 2014 just prior to the Fiji elections on the current ambivalent and pragmatic political position of Indo-Fijians who through continuing emigration are now  a minority in Fiji (38% of the population in 2014 versus about 50% in 2000): “For more than a century Indo-Fijian political leaders (AD Patel, Sid Koya, Jai Ram Reddy and Mahendra Chaudhry) and communities behaved with total political integrity towards the indigenous Fijians and Fijian institutions, in fighting for the legitimate rights of Indo-Fijians. They operated within the law, despite being periodic victims of violence from the military, police, and politically organized gangs of thugs, such as in the coups of 1987 and 2000, which had the undeniable support of the Great Council of Chiefs, the Methodist Church, Fijian political parties and leaders, and many Fijian people. The motivating slogans then were “the indigenous Fijian cause” or “Fiji for Fijians” or “No Indian can be Prime Minister”.   The Fijian governments succeeding each coup duly implemented some discriminatory “affirmative actions” or another. But since 2006, Indo-Fijian leaders have also betrayed their history of political integrity, by supporting Bainimarama's illegal coups and government, many for totally selfish reasons… In sum, large numbers of ordinary Indo-Fijians appear willing to support an illegal government and illegal Prime Minister, as long as they themselves receive benefits, whether in education or jobs for a few boys at the top, business contracts, or enhanced emotional security as an “equal citizen”” [17].

Fiji actually provides a good example for the world of de facto inter-racial harmony – the succession of coups in 1987 and 2000 were ugly and racially-motivated but  essentially “bloodless”, and the 2006 Coup by the Indigenous Fijian military under Commodore Frank Bainimarama was in part to protect the economically vital Indian minority (can you imagine the Apartheid Israeli military staging a coup to protect the human rights of Palestinians?)

The horrendous conditions of the indentured  Indian labourers under the girmit system, as powerfully set out by Rajendra Prasad in “Tears in Paradise”,  occurred despite the abolition of slavery in the British Empire in 1833. Today such de facto slavery is widespread   in the Third World due to globalization  and is backed up by neoliberal and corporatist free trade agreements. Thus in Australia (per capita nominal GDP $66,000) a shirt made in Bangladesh (per capita nominal  GDP $980) sells for $8;  the annual avoidable deaths from deprivation as a percentage of population are 0.0% and 0.4% for Australia and Bangladesh, respectively; and 17 million people die avoidably from deprivation each year,  this including  about 1 million Bengalis and zero non-Indigenous Australians [3]. Poverty kills.


[1]. Rajendra Prasad, “Tears in Paradise. Suffering and struggle of Indians in Fiji 1879-2004”(Glade, Auckland, New Zealand, 2004).

[2] William Blum, “Rogue State”.

[3]. Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, this including an avoidable mortality-related history of every country since Neolithic times and now available for free perusal on the web: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/body-count-global-avoidable-mortality_05.html .

[4]. Gideon Polya, “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability”, now available  for free perusal on the web: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/2008/09/jane-austen-and-black-hole-of-british.html  . 

[5]. “Terminological inexactitude”, Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminological_inexactitude .

[6]. Gideon Polya, “Australia And Britain Killed 6-7 Million Indians In WW2 Bengal Famine”,  Countercurrents, 29 September, 2011: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya290911.htm .

[7]. Madhusree Muckerjee, “Churchill's Secret War. The British Empire and the ravaging of India during World War II” (Basic Books, New York, 2010).

[8]. Colin Mason, “A Short History of Asia . Stone Age to 2000AD” (Macmillan, 2000).

[9]. Bengal Famine, BBC radio broadcast series “The things we forgot to remember”, 2008: http://www.open2.net/thingsweforgot/bengalfamine_programme.html .

[10]. Paul Greenough's “Prosperity and Misery in Modern Bengal: the Famine of 1943-1944” (Oxford University Press, 1982).

[11]. Thomas Keneally, “Three Famines” (Vintage House, Australia, 2011).

[12].  Cormac O Grada. “Famine a short history” (Princeton University  Press, 2009).

[13]. J. Dreze  and Amartya Sen “Hunger and Public Action” (Clarendon, Oxford, 1989).

[14]. N.G. Jog,  “Churchill's Blind Spot: India ” (New Book Company, Bombay, 1944).

[15]. Rajendra Prasad, “New constitution: new era for Fiji”, Fiji Pundit, 9 January 2014: http://fijipundit.blogspot.com.au/2014/01/fijis-new-constitution-new-era-for.html .

[16]. Wadan Narsey ‘Poverty in Fiji : Changes from 2002 – 03 to 2008 - 09 and Policy Implications”.

[17]. “Australian AID launches critical report tracking poverty changes in Fiji”, PINA, 8 August 2012: http://www.pina.com.fj/?p=pacnews&m=read&o=3351767405031818bf3cb6e6ff00f9  .

[18]. Wadan Narsey, “Part II, “Leading Indo-Fijians into a political cul-de-sac”  or  “The Indo-Fijian Betrayal of Political Integrity”, 21 August 2014: https://narseyonfiji.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/part-ii-leading-indo-fijians-into-a-political-cul-de-sac-or-the-indo-fijian-betrayal-of-political-integrity-21-august-2014/ .

Dr Gideon Polya has been teaching science students at a major Australian university for 4 decades. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text "Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds" (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London , 2003). He has published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ); see also his contributions “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics” (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ockhamsrazor/australian-complicity-in-iraq-mass-mortality/3369002#transcript

) and “Ongoing Palestinian Genocide” in “The Plight of the Palestinians (edited by William Cook, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2010: http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/4047-the-plight-of-the-palestinians.html ). He has published a revised and updated 2008 version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (see: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/ ) as biofuel-, globalization- and climate-driven global food price increases threaten a greater famine catastrophe than the man-made famine in British-ruled India that killed 6-7 million Indians in the “forgotten” World War 2 Bengal Famine (see recent BBC broadcast involving Dr Polya, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and others: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/history/social-economic-history/listen-the-bengal-famine ). When words fail one can say it in pictures - for images of Gideon Polya's huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child see: http://sites.google.com/site/artforpeaceplanetmotherchild/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/






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