Sir Anand Satyanand
Wellington, September 27, 2018
The Wellington launch of Rajendra Prasad’s latest book, ‘Enslaved in Paradise’ was a well-attended community occasion on Saturday, September 22, 2018, jointly promoted by community organisation Ekta, and the Wellington Hindi School.
The author led off explaining that a sequel to ‘Tears in Paradise’ was necessary because, having focused in his first book on past tribulations of the Girmitya indentured labour force in Fiji, the issues for Indo-Fijian people of the present and future also needed attention.
Programme organisers Manjit Grewal Singh and Kashmir Kaur engaged a variety of people from other settings to speak in a panel of contributions.
Indentured Labourers elsewhere
The audience saw and heard descriptions of indentured labour in South Africa from Professor Kiren Thathiah, an author, academic and photographer.
Assistant Professor Farzad Salahshoor of the University of Tabriz in Iran described conditions for a generation of ordinary people since external imposition of sanctions on Iran,
Thakur Ranjit Singh, a well-known press commentator and blogger on Fiji issues spoke of author, Alex Hailey and how his book ‘Roots’ had led to a generation of people becoming much more aware of who they were and where they had come from.
Mind of the Oppressor
Then followed South African High Commissioner to New Zealand Ms Vuyiswa Tulelo who drew attention to what she called “The Mind of the Oppressor.”
This enjoyable array concluded with a spirited speech from a 10 year-old-schoolboy Arnav Singh of Broadmeadows who spoke of his own upkeep of connections with his family in Fiji and India and the importance of knowing one’s roots.
Sir Anand Satyanand is a former Governor General of New Zealand.
Our Staff Reporter adds:
The book was launched after a speech describing themes in the book and their importance by Sir Anand, who made a number of connections between the themes raised by the book and earlier speakers at the Wellington launch.
Sir Anand had launched Rajendra Prasad’s first book, ‘Tears in Paradise’ on Saturday, August 21, 2004 at the Ellerslie War Memorial Hall in Auckland with the Editor of this newspaper as the Master of Ceremonies. Indian Newslink, which had heavily promoted that book also published a Special Report of the Launch in its September 1, 2004 issue.
Photo Caption: Sir Anand watches as Rajendra Prasad signs a copy of his ‘Enslaved in Paradise’
Picture by Thakur Ranjit Singh)