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Empire of Convicts: Indian Penal Labor in Colonial Southeast Asia

Speaker: Prof Anand A. Yang

Indian Heritage Centre had organized for a talk on the  5 March 2021, 11 am (Singapore time)

Empire of Convicts focuses on male and female Indians incarcerated in Southeast Asia for criminal and political offenses committed in colonial South Asia. From the seventeenth century onward, penal transportation was a key strategy of British imperial rule, exemplified by deportations first to the Americas and later to Australia.

Case studies from the insular prisons of Bengkulu, Penang, and Singapore illuminate another carceral regime in the Indian Ocean World that brought South Asia and Southeast Asia together through a global system of forced migration and coerced labour. The talk will highlight the experiences of Indian convicts and show how they exercised agency in difficult situations, fashioning their own worlds and even becoming “their own warders”.

Source:  Indian Heritage Centre

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