Commemoration of Centennial of Abolition of Indian Indentureship (CCAII) 11 November 2016 - January 2020

Commemoration of Centennial of Abolition of Indian Indentureship (CCAII)

11 November 2016 - January 2020

An International Conference    

22-24 March 2017, Girmit Centre, Lautoka

Introduction: The end of slavery by 1833 gave rise to a new form of Slavery called Indian Indenture System. Under this, over 1 million workers from India were taken to a number of British colonies between 1834 and 1917. These included: Mauritius (453,063), British Guiana (238,909), Trinidad (143,939), Natal/South Africa (152,184), Fiji (60,965), Jamaica (36,412), Suriname (34,304), East Africa (32,000), Reunion Island (26,507), and in smaller numbers to Grenada, St Lucia, St Kitts, St Vincent, Seychelles, Malaysia, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Belize (Br. Honduras) and Fr. Guiana. This was the world's second largest wave of movement of people globally under any formally organized system of movement of people.

The system of indenture ended on 12 March 1917. The last indenture contract lapsed on 1 January 1920.

As such, 12 March 2017 marks the centennial of the official abolition of Indian Indentureship.

The history and consequences of Indian Indentureship are deeply embedded with importance, meaningful history and reflections to millions of descendants living in these countries, as well as the twice migrating generations now staying in USA, Canada, UK, Netherlands, France, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries. These have also shaped the histories of a number of countries, including Fiji.


To commemorate the centennial of the abolishment of Indenture, also commonly known as Girmit System, a number of events are planned worldwide. One of these is this conference in Lautoka, Fiji.


Objective: The primary objective of the conference is to facilitate discourse on all aspects related to Girmit, in Girmitya countries and in others where Girmitya descendants have migrated. Any and every aspect of Girmit and its descendants from 1834 onwards is covered.


Main Theme: Indian Indentureship and Girmitya Descendants: Past, Present and Future

Suggested Topics for Papers:

  • Girmit-Indigenous Polity
  • Indenture and Economy
  • Historical Grounding
  • Girmit & Business
  • Gender & Development
  • Violence of Indenture
  • Art, Drama, Film, Music: Girmit in Consciousness
  • Writers Forum: Language of Girmit
  • Education & Development
  • Science & Technology
  • Health & Medicine
  • Twice/Thrice Banished
  • Engaging with the Girmit Diaspora
  • Girmit, India, and the Contemporary World
  • Future: the next 100 years

Language: English (Hindi, Tamil, Telegu, Malayalam, French, Fijian languages acceptable for Writers Forum). Those who need translation services should advise the Secretariat by 31 Dec 2016.


Who Should Attend?: All researchers, writers and activists whose interest is in Girmit.


Important Dates: The following are the critical dates:

1. Submission of Abstract: 31 December 2016

2. Notification of acceptance: 15 January 2017

3. Full paper submission: 28 February 2017

4. Early Registration: 28 February 2017

5. Late Registration: 22 March 2017

6. Daily Registration: 22-24 March 2017


Social Events

Conference Dinner: 22 March 2017

Networking Dinner: 23 March 2017

Closing Dinner: 24 March 2017

Excursions: 25 March 2017 / 26 March 2017


Registration Fee (to be confirmed):

Girmitya Country Residents/India Residents: $F50 (USD25)

Other Residents: $F100 (USD50)

Students, Unemployed, Retired: no charge

Observers: $F50

Day Rates: $F20 (excludes dinners)

All participants must register.

* Full Registration Fee covers conference materials, session fees, and all teas and dinners. Separate charges for excursions would be levied. Details to be announced soon.


Paper Submission

Abstract details: Word limit for abstracts - no more than 300 words, including keywords. Abstracts must include the proposed title of the paper, author full name(s), address(es) and email address(es) of all authors. Authors are encouraged to indicate the session in which they wish their paper to be placed. The final decision on paper placement shall be that of the Conference Convener.

File type: Word for Windows.

Full paper: This is required for papers whose abstracts are accepted. A selection of the papers shall be published in a special edition of sponsor journal Fijian Studies: A Journal of Contemporary Fiji. There is no word limit for the papers, but papers must be of publishable standard. Those not able to submit full papers, but whose abstracts have been accepted can still make presentations at the conference as long as they are registered; these authors will need to make their own arrangements for copying and circulating their speaking notes, ppts or completed papers.

Abstract and Paper Reviews: A selection panel shall assess all abstracts received and advise authors of the outcomes. The key criteria would be relevance to the theme of the Conference. All final papers shall be blind reviewed to ensure standards.

Submission Address: [email protected]



The conference city, Lautoka, is located 20 minutes drive from the Nadi International Airport. There are two international airports in Fiji: Nadi and Nausori. Lautoka is approximately a 4-hour drive from Nausori airport; domestic flights also run a number of times daily between these two airports.



Fiji is well serviced with international flights. Airlines which fly to Fiji include: Aircalin, Air Kiribati, Air New Zealand, Air Vanuatu, Jetstar, Korean Air, Virgin Australia, Fiji Airways, Qantas, Air Niugini, Solomon Airlines, United Airlines (code share with Air New Zealand). There are multiple fights a day from Australia, New Zealand and the US. Fiji Airways also flies to Singapore and Hongkong. Korean Airlines flies to Fiji from Seoul twice a week. Air Niugini, Vanuatu Air and Solomon Airlines fly to Fiji from Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Other countries in the Pacific are serviced by Fiji Airways and a number of regional airlines.



Fiji has a wide variety of places for a visitor to stay - from homestays to backpacker resorts to 5-star resorts, all within easy reach of the conference venue. Within a hour's drive from the conference venue there are five star resorts that offer world class dining and facilities. A number of hotels are located in the area from the Airport to Lautoka City. Some of these are listed below. Participants should book their own rooms and pay for their own accommodation.


Participants can also opt for dorm accommodation. Those who wish to be accommodated in dorms should contact the conference secretariat for guidance.


Participants can also be billeted at homes of conference and event supporters. Those who opt for this option need to advise the Secretariat by 15 February 2017.


Selected Hotels between Nadi International Airport and Lautoka City:

Hotel Name


Website Address


Tanoa Waterfront Hotel

Marine Drive Lautoka

[email protected]


Lautoka Hotel

Lautoka city

[email protected]


Sea Breeze Hotel

Lautoka city

[email protected]


Cathay Hotel

Lautoka city

[email protected]


Anchorage Beach Resort

Vuda Marina


First Landing Beach Resort & Villas

Vuda Point

[email protected]


Tokatoka Resort Hotel , Nadi

Opposite Nadi Airport


Raffles Gateway Hotel

Opposite Nadi Airport

[email protected]


Trans International

1 minute drive from Nadi Airport

[email protected]


Tanoa Sky lodge Hotel

5 minutes from Nadi Airport

[email protected]




Conference Committee



Professor Biman Prasad, Director, Fiji Institute of Applied Studies, and Parliament of Fiji

Professor Vijay Naidu, University of the South Pacific

Professor Narendra Reddy, Head of MBA Programme, University of Fiji

Professor Ram Karan, Dean, College of Business, Fiji National University, Nasinu.

Professor Subramani, Fiji National University, Lautoka.

Dr. Mohit Prasad, University of the South Pacific.

Dr. Neelesh Goundar, University of the South Pacific.

Dr. Rajni Chand, University of the South Pacific.

Dr. Shailendra Singh, University of the South Pacific.



Professor Ajay Kumar Dubey, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Dr. Ajaya K. Sahoo, Director, Centre for the Study of Indian Diaspora, University of Hyderabad



Professor Satendra Nandan, (Emeritus), University of Canberra

Professor Dharmendra Sharma, University of Canberra

Professor Satish Chand, School of Business, UNSW Canberra



Professor Vinay Lal, Department of History, UCLA.

Dr. Narayan R. Raju, Director, Pathology Research Laboratory, Inc, South San Francisco.

New Zealand

Mr. Nadesa Goundar, Unitec, Auckland

Mr. John Sami, Auckland

Professor Steven Ratuva, Director, Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Canterbury.

Dr. Jacqui Leckie, Otago University, New Zealand


Conference Chairman / Chief Convener: Dr. Sunil Kumar, Univ. of the South Pacific.

Conference Vice Chair/Deputy Convener: Dr. Rajni Chand, Univ. of the South Pacific

Conference Organising Secretary: Dr. Ganesh Chand.

Chairman, CCAII Convention Organising Committee: Mr. Jagannath Sami, Fiji Girmit Council.


Conference Contact Details:

Chairman/Chief Convener[email protected] ; mobile: (679) 9948097

Deputy Chair: [email protected] ; mobile: (679) 9485468

Organising Secretary[email protected] ; mobile: (679) 9955709

Office: Girmit Centre, Queens Road, Lautoka

Phone: 679-6660544, (Mob) 679-9998594



Conference Sponsors confirmed to Date










Time and Place:

Date:   Wednesday, Mar 22, 2017
Venue:   Girmit Centre, Lautoka
Address:   Girmit Centre, Lautoka
City/Twon:   , Girmit Centre, Lautoka
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