ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Freedom Denied-Indian Women and Indentureship

Freedom Denied?
Indian Women and Indentureship Ravindra K Jain RHODA REDDOCK'S enthusiastic article ('Freedom Denied: Indian Women and Indentureship in Trinidad and Tobago, 1845-1917', EPW, Vol XX, No 43, Review of Women Studies, October 26, 1985) explores the hitherto dimly perceived area of women indentured labourers migrating from northem India and settling in Trinidad during 1845 to 1917. She has presented pertinent data culled from a variety of primary and secondary sources. All students of colonial social history are keenly aware of the hidden biases in their source material and its judicious use poses intractable difficulties. It is only a brave person who would castigate another analyst of such data as does Reddock stridently near the beginning of her article Tyran Ramnarine, for making "use of the available material but in a very uncritical manner accepting colonial definitions of class, character and morality'' (p 79). As I said, the terrain is intractable and one is therefore led to question certain aspects of Reddock's own framework, analysis and conclusions based on a similar range of data.

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