Levelling Wind

Levelling Wind

Remembering Fiji

Authored by: Brij V. Lal

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‘What I have sought to do in my work is to give voiceless people a voice, place and purpose, the sense of dignity and inner strength that comes from never giving up no matter how difficult the circumstances. History belongs as much to the vanquished as to the victors.’
— Brij V. Lal

‘Professor Brij Lal is the finest historian of the Indian indentured experience and the Indian diaspora. His Girmitiyas is a classic.’
— Emeritus Professor Clem Seecharan, London Metropolitan University

‘Brij Lal is a highly respected, versatile and imaginative scholar who has  made a lasting contribution to the historiography of the Pacific.’
— Dr Rod Alley, Victoria University of Wellington

‘Professor Brij Lal’s life is a remarkable journey of a scholar and an intellectual whose writings are truly transformative; a man of moral clarity and courage who also has deep pain at being cut off from his homeland.’
— Professor Michael Wesley, Dean of the College of Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University

‘Brij Lal is a singular scholar, whose work has spanned disciplines – from history, political commentary, encyclopedia, biography and “faction”. Brij is without doubt the most eminent scholar in the humanities and social sciences Fiji has ever produced. He also remains one of the most significant public intellectuals of his country, despite having been banned from entering it in 2009.’
— Emeritus Professor Clive Moore, University of Queensland

‘Brij Lal is an accomplished and versatile historian and true son of Fiji. Above all, there is affirmation here of the enduring worth of good literature and the value of good education that Lal received and wants others to experience. The world needs more Lals who speak out against ruling opinions and dare to stray into  the pastures of independent thought.’
— Professor Doug Munro, historian and biographer, Wellington, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
Oct 2019
ANU Press
Pacific Series
Arts & Humanities: History; Social Sciences: Politics & International Studies
Pacific: Fiji

PDF Chapters

Levelling Wind »

Please read Conditions of use before downloading the formats.

Past Present: Indenture and its Legacy

  1. Memories of indenture (PDF, 0.2MB)
  2. ‘Such a long journey’: The story of indenture (PDF, 0.2MB)
  3. The Tamarind Tree (PDF, 0.2MB)
  4. ‘A most callous indifference’ (PDF, 0.1MB)
  5. Transitions and transformations (PDF, 0.2MB)
  6. Illusion of hope: Aisha and Bhaskar (PDF, 0.2MB)Padma Narsey Lal
  7. ‘The burden of remembrance’ (PDF, 0.2MB)
  8. Frequent flyers (PDF, 0.1MB)
  9. Mr Arjun goes to Australia (PDF, 0.2MB)
  10. ‘The children of the wind’ (PDF, 0.2MB)

Future Tense: Witnessing History

  1. While the gun is still smoking (PDF, 0.2MB)
  2. The road to independence (PDF, 0.2MB)
  3. Where has all the music gone? (PDF, 0.2MB)
  4. Towards a united future (PDF, 0.2MB)
  5. George Speight’s putsch improbable (PDF, 0.2MB)
  6. Laisenia Qarase’s missed chance (PDF, 0.2MB)
  7. A coup by any other name (PDF, 0.2MB)
  8. Entrenching illegality (PDF, 0.2MB)
  9. The strange career of a ‘clean‑up’ coup (PDF, 0.2MB)
  10. Between a rock and a hard place (PDF, 0.2MB)


  1. Exile and a land of memory: Brij V. Lal, Indo-Fijian scholar activist (PDF, 0.2MB)C.K. Chen
  2. ‘Of exits and entrances’ (PDF, 0.2MB)
  3. ANU made me, but which ANU is mine? (PDF, 0.2MB)

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