Shah Rukh Khan is finally back to work. Even though he may not be acting, his company Red Chillies Entertainment is working on a film on the workers migrating from eastern Uttar Pradesh and western Bihar to work in the sugar plantations in the West Indies in the early 19th century. Some others also came from erstwhile Madras.
“The working title of the film is Jahaazi, named after the common term for such workers — Girmitiyas or Jahaazis — as they used to land in large numbers in the Caribbean islands with a three or four-year term as bonded or indentured labour.
The film is a period film, as the first two ships landed at then British Guyana, now known as Guyana. The community, now known as Indo-Caribbeans, are now all-over West Indies with a majority of them in Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. Interestingly, Shah Rukh is also the owner of Trinbago Knight Riders, which is why he could have got an idea to make the film,” a trade source explains.
Notable Indo-Caribbeans include author V.S. Naipaul, cricketers Alvin Kalicharan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Sunil Narine, and Robin Singh, who also played for India.
Incidentally, a lot of workers also migrated to South Africa at the turn of the 20th century as well.