oa Alternation - Social stratification in South African Telugu (Ste) - a sociolinguistic case study

Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



Various historians have documented the socio-economic conditions which compelled the Indians to emigrate from nineteenth century British India. The main focus in such research was on the effects of British rule in India, e.g. the Sepoy Mutiny of 18572. However, Indian migration during the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries was not only the creation of British colonialism in India but also socio-economic conditions in diaspora areas controlled by the British. While the increase in land revenue, the deterioration of the handicraft industry, the waning of crops, the scarcity of raw materials and famine together with the rigid caste system and illiteracy exerted a weighty pushing influence on the decision of Indians to emigrate, many were lured away to satisfy labour market needs of the gradual expanding British capitalist plantation economy in other colonies. This is manifest in that the vast majority of Indians emigrated mainly to other British colonies, one exception being Surinam, then a Dutch colony.

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