New York: Reflections on State of Indo-Caribbean Diaspora 100 years After Indentureship : Achievements, Challenges and Prospects

Reflections on State of Indo-Caribbean Diaspora 100 years After Indentureship : Achievements, Challenges and Prospects

Saturday 2nd Dec 1:00pm (Checkin)

Program from 1:30-5:45pm

At Columbia University, New York

Foundation for Indian and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS)


Hindu Yuva, Columbia University Chapter

Address: Venue:  Davis Auditorium CEPSR, Columbia UniversityNY
530 W 120th St, New York, NY 10027, USA


On occasion of 100th anniversary of abolition of Indenturedship, the Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS) would like to host a conference on History, Present and Future of Indentured Indian Diaspora.  Various experts would present their comments on the diaspora’s struggle, survival of culture and success in building an influential community from historical as well as socio-political-anthropological perspective.


Session 1 : 1:30pm-2:25pm : Historical Perspectives: Migration, Resistance, Settlement, Adaptation and the Future

  • Misconceptions of Indenture – Dr. Lomarsh Roopnarine, Professor, Jackson State University.
  • Resilience of Our Ancestors and the Potential of Our Diaspora – Ms. Karen Dipnarine Swaroop, Mass Communications Professional and Co-founder The Green Brain Initiative.

Session 2 : 2:30pm-3:25pm : Contribution of Indians to host country, India and the World .

  • Emergence of Scientists and Scientific Thoughts – Dr. Somdat Mahabir, Epidemiologist/Scientist, National Institutes of Health (NIH); Adjunct Professor, NYIT.
  • Appraising India-Indo Caribbean Relations – Dr. Vishnu Bisram

Break: 3:25pm-3:45pm

Session 3 : 3:45pm-4:45pm: Contemporary Socio, Cultural, Political and Economic Issues/Challenges Facing Diaspora Indians

  • Politics in Bi-communal Societies: the Politics of Entitlement – Ravi Dev, Founder of ROAR, Former Member of Parliament, Guyana.
  • Reparatory Justice – Dr. Tara Singh, Indo Caribbean Expert & Community Leader

Session 4 : 4:45pm-5:45pm : Where and how do Indian Diasporas onward journey proceed from here? and its Relations With Land of Origin – India

  • The current potential of the Indian Diaspora for influencing a new World geo-political and cultural order – Dr. Sat Balkaransingh
  • Relations of Diaspora with India – Hon. CGI Sandeep Chakravoorty

Date: Saturday 2nd December 2017

Time: 1:30pm-6:00pm (Pizza Lunch at 1:00 to 1:30 and Snacks at 3:30pm)

Place: Davis Auditorium, Columbia University, 530 W 120th St, New York, NY 10027

Public Transportation:  Take the #1 train to 116th Street (Columbia University) station.

Parking:  You may park on the street or parking garages (5-10mins) GMC Garage
532 West 122nd Street or Claremont Parking Corp. Riverside Church, 120th Street

FREE Program Registration RSVP Click Here

Support FIIDS with Donation 


Hon. Sandeep Chakravorty, Consul General of India, NY, is a member of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) since 1996. He has served in India’s Missions in Madrid, Bogota, Dhaka and Lima.

Hon. Mr. Ravi Dev, Founder of Rise Organise and Rebuild Guyana (ROAR),  an Indo-Guyanese political party,  and ex-Member of Parliament of Guayana.

Dr. Vishnu Bisram,  Pollster and Political analyst.

Dr. Somdat Mahabir, Epidemiologist & Scientist, National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Dr. Satnarine Balkaransingh, Author  of book “The Shaping of The Culture: Rituals and Festivals in Trinidad” and PhD from he University of Trinidad and Tobago

Prof. Dr. Lomarsh Roopnarine, Jackson State University, MS, Latin American and Caribbean History and Guyana Times Newspaper Columnist.

Dr. Tara Singh, Indo Caribbean Expert and Community Leader

Dr Kumar Mahabir,Anthropologist (Ph.D. University of Florida) & Assistant Professor (University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT))
Prof. Yash Pathak, Professor and Associate Dean at University of South Florida, Founding Director of International Center for Cultural Studies and

Ms. Karen Dipnarine, Mass Communications Professional and Cofounder The Green Brain Initiative

History: The Indian indenture system was an ongoing system of indenture, a form of debt bondage, by which 3.5 million Indians were transported to various colonies of European powers to provide labour for the (mainly sugar) plantations in  Fiji, Mauritius, South Africa, Reunion Island, Francophone countries, Malaysia, Trinidad, Suriname, Guyana, Jamaica, Guadeloupe, Martinique and other countries of the Caribbean. It started from the end of slavery in 1833 and continued until 1920. The indenturedship was officially abolished on March 20, 1917. Many of the descendants of the labours subsequently migrated to US among many of them are in the New York and San Francisco bay area region. This event will give a way to reflect on this history, status and issues of the “indentured” Indian diaspora.

Then survival struggle and retention of culture is an inspiring history of Indentured Indian where despite disconnected from the motherland India and resistance from local authorities, the Indian diaspora retained the language, culture and developed a political influence so much so that they have headed governments in many countries including  Fiji, Trinidad and Tobago, Mauritius, Suriname, and Guyana.

Conference Team:

Kiran Muthal, Sarthak Kalani, Ameya Deshmukh, Sunil Kale, Jagdeesh Sewhani, Divan Dave, Rudra Upadhaya

FIIDS National Team:

Khanderao Kand, Dr. Jashubhai Patel, Prof. Radhyeshyam Dwivedi