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In what will be a surprise to many Indians, the silver screen has captured the story of almost a million Indians who were forced into indentured labour by the British.

These labourers were sent to such places as Guyana and Surinam in South America among other places in the 19th century.

Guiana 1838, which released in New York on September 24, is the story of the first batch of Indians labourers who arrived, as the name suggests, in what is today Guyana, to replace the African slaves who had just been granted freedom under the Abolition of Slavery act.

The film has been a long time coming, from the time screen hero Laxman (played by Bollywood's Kumar Gaurav) stepped off a ship, to the time, seven years ago, when director Rohit Jagessar finally put a script together.

It relives and dramatises the stories that his grandmother told him as a child, of her arrival on a ship from Calcutta 114 years ago, as indentured labour to Guyana.

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Text: Tanmaya Kumar Nanda in New York
Design: Uday Kuckian

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