by John lition of slavery in the early 1830s in the British, French and Dutch colonies of the West Indies/Caribbean led to a severe shortage of labour in the sugarcane plantations. The ex-slaves had exercised their right of freedom of choice to discontinue working on the sugar cane even for a wage. The subsequent shortage of labour served as a catalyst for the introduction of a system of imported contract labour. The British first introduced labourers from India to the Caribbean through a semi-slave system of contract labour, lasting five to ten years, known as Indentureship. In 1838, Britain sent the first Indian labourers from the port of Calcutta to British Guiana (now Guyana) based on the success of the system in Mauritius.
Initially, the Caribbean initiative met resistance, since accusations were levelled at the harsh treatment of the newly-arrived workers. Nevertheless, with lobbying by John Gladstone and other British planters, the system continued and expanded. It was later extended to Trinidad and Jamaica [18451 and then to other Caribbean islands like St. Lucia , St. Vincent , Grenada  and St. Kills . The system was also adopted by the French and Dutch who took Indians to Martinique , Guadeloupe , French Guiana , St. Croix  and Suriname . By the time the Indentureship system ended in 1917, about 400,000 Indians came to the Caribbean colonies, most of whom chose to settle in the islands in the New World.
1. Kumar Mahabir, Professor, School for Studies in Learning, Cognition and Education, University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), West Indies/Caribbean.
2. A. Neil Sookdeo, Department of History, Geography and Global Studies, Coppin State University, USA.
3. Brinsley Samaroo, The Acdemy for Arts, Letters, Culture and Public Affairs. The University of Trinidad and Tabago, TTMA Building, Barataria, Trinidad and Tobago.
4. Ellen Bal, Assistant Professor, Cultural Anthropology, VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
5. Kathinka Sinha-Kerkhoff, C/o Dr. Vinod Kumar Sinha, Central Institute of Psychiatry (C.I.P.), Kanke Ranchi, Jharkhand, India.
6. Lomarsh Roopnarine, Assistant Professor of Caribbean and Latin American History, University of the Virgin Islands.
7. Preethy S. Samuel, Research Associate, Wayne State University, 268 Leonard Simmons Building, USA.
8. Leon C. Wilson, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Wayne State University, USA.
9. Kai Abi Barratt, Institute of Caribbean Studies, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamica.
10. Ron Sookram, Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.
11. Savena Budhu, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, USA.
12. Smita Tripathi, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, New York University.
13. Teruyuki Tsuji, Visiting Professor, Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Farquhar College of Arts and Science, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale.
14. Sherry-Ann Singh, Department of History, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad.
15. Baytoram Ramharack, 1201 Hillside Ave., New Hyde Park, New York, USA.