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Indian diaspora in Martinique

314 labourers landed for the first time at Saint Pierre in Martinique.

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Martinique map, Wikimedia commons

  Nearly 3% of the current population of Martinique comprises of Indians. Recently mayor of Saint Pierre, Christina Raffa, called a 3-day festival to commemorate the historical event and to thank the Indian indentured labourers who participated in the development of Martinique. It was the 163rd anniversary of their first arrival in Martinique on May 6th.

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  • Martinique is one of the 18 regions of France located in the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean Sea and is an integral part of French Republic. It has an approximate population of 400,000 inhabitants and the official language is French.
  • In the 19th-century, contract labourers were brought to French colonies from India. It was the time when there was a lack of labour force during 1848. More than 200,000 Indians were even brought to West Indies.
  • 314 labourers landed for the first time at Saint Pierre in Martinique. Those indentured labourers were mainly from French occupied territories in south Asia such as Pondicherry, Chandnagore, Mahe and Karaikal. Some of them were even from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Most of the labourers were in the age group of 15 to 30. Sex ratio was 40:100 (i.e. 40 women per 100 men). Children were also transported as a part of family transportation. Indians were brought in the region to work on plantations with the promise that they will be back in India after their 5-year contract. However, that promise was never fulfilled. Some managed to return to their homelands while others stayed and became French citizens.

Related articleRemembering the hardships of Indians who were brought as Indentured labourers

  • Presently 3rd and 4th generations of these Indians are living in Saint PierreThe place where the first 314 Indians landed back in 1848 was renamed as Place de I’Aurelie.
  • Dhiraj Mukhia, First Secretary Affairs at the Indian Embassy of France, was also invited to that event. He mentioned that “it’s an extremely happy moment for all people of Indian origins here, that their history of their forefathers has been recognised. The biggest part of the Indian community lived in Saint Pierre.
  • Showing a keen interest in Yoga, the President of GOPIO (Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin), Martinique told that International Yoga day will be celebrated in June 2016 in Saint Pierre. It was also stated that a Yoga teacher from India will be called to help people of Martinique learn yoga.
Martinique culture, Wikimedia commons
Martinique culture, Wikimedia commons
  • There was also a proposal suggested by GOPIO president of France, Mehen Poinooswamy, and Europe GOPIO International coordinator, De Pradip Sewoke, the representative of Indian embassy and Mayor of Saint Pierre for building an Indian Cultural centre in Martinique.
  • The whole event ended with an Indian cultural dance show and with a lot of lively stands in markets selling Indian goods and products.

Prepared by Pritam

Pritam is a 3rd year engineering student in B.P. Poddar institute of management and technology, Kolkata. A simple person who tries to innovate and improvise himself. Twitter handle @pritam_gogreen

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France, New Zealand Seek to Curb Online Extremism

Australian national Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old white supremacist, is the suspect in the March 15 Christchurch attack, during which he fired at people while they were praying

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Wednesday said the country will join forces with France against the use of social media to organise and promote terrorism.

Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron will chair a meeting in Paris with representatives of countries and technology companies to seek their agreement to a pledge called “Christchurch Call” to eliminate violent extremist content online, Efe news reported.

The meeting will take place on May 15, exactly two months after the attack on two mosques in New Zealand’s Christchurch, in which 50 people were killed and which was broadcast live through Facebook by the attacker.

Ardern denounced the “unprecedented” use of social media as a tool to promote terrorism and hate in that attack and called for a “show of leadership” to ensure social media is never used in that way again.

“We all need to act, and that includes social media providers taking more responsibility for the content that is on their platforms, and taking action so that violent extremist content cannot be published and shared,” she said in a statement.

A migrant is seen in silhouette near flames from a burning makeshift shelter on the second day of the evacuation of migrants and their transfer to reception centers in France, as part of the dismantlement of the camp called the “Jungle” in Calais, France, Oct. 25, 2016. VOA

“It’s critical that technology platforms like Facebook are not perverted as a tool for terrorism, and instead become part of a global solution to countering extremism. This meeting presents an opportunity for an act of unity between governments and the tech companies,” she added.

The meeting in Paris will be held alongside the “Tech for Humanity” meeting of G7 Digital Ministers, of which France is the Chair, and France’s separate “Tech for Good” summit, both scheduled on May 15.

Also Read- China Places Petitioners Under Surveillance, City-Wide Security

Australian national Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old white supremacist, is the suspect in the March 15 Christchurch attack, during which he fired at people while they were praying.

Facebook took down 1.5 million copies of the video in the 24 hours after the attack, while YouTube announced that it had removed tens of thousands of videos of the assault – an “unprecedented” number in terms of its reach and the speed with which it spread online. (IANS)