Friday, January 4, 2019

Enslaved in Paradise - Challenging Common Perceptions in Fiji's History


To make sense of the present, we need to understand more about the past. What you should also know about Fiji's History. -- ACW

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Enslaved in Paradise – A History of Mammoth Betrayals of Fijians by the British, Chiefs and Leaders of Fiji 1876-2006.   

Another book by Rajendra Prasad, author of Tears in Paradise.


A riveting account of Fiji’s history, challenging some of the common perceptions and revealing how the British stranded the Girmitiyas to save Fiji’s sugar industry and colluded with the chiefs who prevented social, political and economic development of indigenous Fijians but blamed Indo-Fijians for it. The book persuasively discloses:
  • British statecraft in shaping a Fiji that secured its interests, promoted European enterprise, using cheap Indian labour, facilitated CSR Company exploitation of Indian farmers and confined Taukeis in koros, using the chiefs to fulfil its insidious agenda.


How the chiefs, enticed by pay, perks and privileges, 

  • Served the colonial agenda, inhibiting social, economic and political development of the Taukei;
  • Restricted education of the Taukei to primary level to prevent them competing for jobs with the chiefs;
  • Rejected successive reports, urging indigenous Fijians to move from communalism to individualism, fearing it would be against their social and economic interests;
  • Objected to voting rights being given to indigenous Fijians, opting for nomination, as it ensured their representation in the Legislative Council;
  • Imposed Indirect Rule, corralling indigenous Fijians in koro (villages) under the pretext of protecting indigenous Fijian culture, customs and traditions but it only served to secure their social, political and economic interests;   
  • Promoted affirmative action, a fa├žade to help indigenous Fijians, which did not reach the poor but only those with reins of power, certain provinces and associates of indigenous Fijian elite, largely including eastern chiefs.
How Indo-Fijian leaders were fractious, feuding and divisive; driven by self- interest for power, glory and money;
  • Focused on sugar politics to promote their national political objectives, had no understanding of political history nor of political conspiracies hatched to discriminate and marginalize Indo-Fijians.
This is an extraordinary book that refutes the ordinary underpinnings of Fijian political history.


What others have said about the book

Sir Anand Satyanand 
Former Governor-General of New Zealand.
“Enslaved in Paradise proposes a powerful thesis that the failure of Fiji between 1876 and 2006 was a failure of leadership - European, Indian and Fijian. In evidencing this, Rajendra unearths a wealth of information that in all probability is not known to a majority of people… Rajendra is critical of Indian leadership as he is of the Fijian leadership of the time… the arguments the author makes are supported by evidence, based on the research he has undertaken and writings of other scholars, whom he quotes…”
Professor Steven Ratuva 
Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.
“…very interesting, passionate and inspiring…engaging and powerful…a good reflection of what has happened and how we can change the past to create a better future;”
 Dev Nadkarni
 Former Head of Journalism at the University of the South Pacific, Fiji.
“Rajendra Prasad shines a light on many a forgotten nook and cranny of Fiji’s brutal history of indenture, revealing new perspectives on why events unfolded the way they did… So, both Taukei and Indo-Fijians suffered equally. Now that’s not a perspective that comes out often in books on Fiji’s history. And that’s why Enslaved in Paradise makes for such compulsive reading.”
How and where to Purchase

Fiji . Tappoos Outlets and USP Book Centre, Suva $24.95

Auckland.  Getfresh, Otahuhu, Shop N Save, Mangere Town Centre and Arkh Supermarket, Henderson $20.00

Sydney. Arthi Spices, 226 Northumberland Street, Liverpool 2170. $20.00

Vancouver. Island Town Food Grocery, 11960- 96 Avenue, Surrey, Fiji Island Supermarket, 8381 – 128 Street, Surrey and International Market Place (South Pacific Foods), 12088 – 88 Avenue, Surrey $20.00

For Online purchase - Website: http://www.rajendraprasad.nz/

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