Today Indian sailors are everywhere on Oil tankers, Chemical tankers and other ships. -- valued and in great demand for their mental acuity and seafaring skills.
He was just a Lascar -- A brazen form slavery re-invented by the white man.
Indian seamen unions like Maritime Union of Indian ( MUI ), NUSI etc should keep a picture of a white man Mr.Joseph Salter in their offices-- lest we are branded an ungrateful race.
I myself ( the evolved lascar ) have commanded British flag ships with British and European officers.
4 centuries ago, the Lascar was a derogatory term for the “ wretched Khalasi sailor of mongrel descent ” or “ The Indian coolie “ .
The white man hardly knew that this coolie belongs to the world's first civilization. The Vedic civilisation flourished on the banks of river Saraswati from 9000 BC to 4000 BC . The river dried up in 4000 BC due to tectonic shifts blocking the glacial mouth in the Himalayas. The white man came out from under the Quaternary ice age only in 9500 BC, doing grunt grunt, staying in dark caves , wearing barks, eating raw meat. At this time the predecessors of the Indian Lascar were writing poetry, wearing woven clothes, eating from a cooked menu and living in proper stone houses.
Lascars were Indian sailors who worked on British and European ships for 400 years.
Lascars played a valuable role, helping to crew British ships in times of peace and war and ensuring that goods from India and beyond arrived safely in London and other British ports.
Lascars served on British ships under 'lascar' articles of agreement. These agreements allowed shipowners to pay a pittance of 5% of the white sailors wages for longer working hours , give less and poor quality food , and force them to stay in unventilated , cramped and dingy areas of ship unfit for humans .
The sailors could be transferred from one ship to another and retained in service for up to three years at one time. Indian lascars served as the deck crew; in the engine rooms below the decks as coal Stokers or Aagwallas .
Goan lascars being Christians catholics were allowed easier jobs of Stewards and cooks. They could handle pork and beef and were even more servile..
Digression:-- (This tradition has lived on in Goa, and as a result a obscene percentage of Goan christian population work as stewards and butlers on land too .
This has altered their DNA programming / blue print , determination and mindset -- and you will rarely see a Goan catholic with Portugese surname PASSING A IIT ENTRANCE EXAM .
That Goa got rid of slavery, and Portugese Rama Rajya in 1962, instead of 1947 like the rest of India is also a huge cause.)
Stoking, a terrible task which was deemed to be below the dignity of a white man. At the beginning of the voyage, the large pile of coal lay near the entry to the bunkers. But as the voyage continued, the coal was used up and its face receded, forcing trimmers deeper into the hot, unventilated, dust-filled bunkers.
Lascars were both recruited to serve on European ships and paid through a Ghat Serang, an Indian shore agent, with vested interests ( on the payroll of the shipowners ). The Jahaz Serang is the Bosun or nowadays.
The ship owners loved the lascars as they were docile unlike the unruly whites.
Their unions’ use of ‘coolie’ and ‘lascar’ also constituted discursive tactics of denial and exclusion. The Ghat Serangs applied strong arm tactics , including arrest ( assisted by the British and Portugese governments ) to recruit the Lascars.
In 1916/17 hundreds of Lascars elected to join the British labour corps in Mesopotamia rather than go to sea. This choice made sense. Mesopotamia paid better and was believed to be safer.
As trade expanded and India became increasingly central to Britain's global trade and economy, lascars became the mainstay of the labour force in British-registered ships bound for Europe. Yet lascars have not been granted the place they deserve in studies of British maritime history.
The British museum at London displays shows vandalised and stolen goods , but talks nothing of the Indentured Coolie and Lascars.
Because of the nature of the trade, and the imbalance of exports from Britain against imports from India, lascars were forced to remain in England for long periods of time before ships were ready to take them back leaving lascars destitute.
They were stranded in London by a series of laws called the Navigation Acts. These Acts meant that many Indian sailors arriving in London from India could not be re-employed on return journeys and were abandoned.
Impoverished , ill clad and shivering Lascars would be wandering the streets of various ports for survival in England ,Scotland, Wales and Ireland – peddling , begging in front of street art , sweeping streets , taking up low paid menial jobs etc. They would sleep on the streets or inside dockside sheds .
Some of them even took on white wives . They were in demand as they had no problems in getting that elusive hard on , without excessive nauseating foreplay and liquor , even in the cold-- and infidelity was not a concern.
By 1795 few ports gave temporary -- dirty , pestilent and deplorable barrack homes to Lascars, at London, Southampton, Cardiff, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow.
Only in 1850 did the Admiralty had taken over responsibility for the welfare of distressed Lascars—after some visiting Indian princes, including Maharaj Dilip Singh gave hefty donations. .
Only a handful of Lascars are mentioned on the memorial at Tower Hill with the names of 26,833 seamen of the British Merchant Navy who died in the carnage of both world wars. Why not? They were animals , not human , right?
Joseph Salter a missionary in the Chapel Street district of London (now Edgware Road) helped the lascars from 1853 . It is on record that in sixteen years more than sixteen thousand Lascars visited the homes and over thirteen hundred were fed and clothed.
" The Strangers home" survived until 1935, when it was converted into flats and named West India House by Stepney Borough Council. For thirty-nine years Joseph Salter served the community of Lascars as helper and teacher .
All that remains however, is a street named after him in the east end of London.
This selfless man ,should have been honoured like Mother Theresa . He was not interested in photo shoots, and grabbing the limelight , and using his white skin for leverage , like the saint Theresa.
IT IS A SHAME THAT NONE OF THE INDIAN SAILOR ORGANISATIONS , LIKE MUI, NUSI ETC HAS EVEN A PICTURE OF THIS MAN IN THE SAILORS CLUBS , SHELTERS AND OFFICES.
Here is an extract of a long poem about lascars , written by a certain Mary Robinson.
Far from my Native Indian shore,
I hear our wretched race deplore;
I mark the smile of taunting Scorn,
And curse the hour, when I was born !
I weep, but no one gently tries
To stop my tear, or check my sighs;
For, while my heart beats mournfully,
Dear Indian home, I sigh for Thee !
To drink the tear of deep despair;
The scoff and scorn of fools to bear !
And if I curse my fate severe,
Some Christian Savage mocks my tear !
Was it for this, the LASCAR brave
"Toil'd, like a wretched Indian Slave
The Lascar's pendulum swung to the other extreme, and in the 1970s' there was unwarranted militant trade unionism supporting lazy young sailors who will not work (unless given excessive overtime) , displayed gross lack of respect, decorum etc.
As a result most foreign companies do NOT want Indian crew on their ships --
-- they however love to employ Indian senior officers on tankers , where one mistake can wipe out the whole company.
Who invented the ship's compass?
When the pyramids were built 5000 years ago, NOBODY on this planet including the Egyptians has the technology to find the exact North East South West cardinal positions of Vaastu. Nobody on the planet had an idea what is sun's declination or Kepler’s precession via astronomy . The geographic and the magnetic poles are NOT the same. The North pole is 1600 miles away and the south pole is 2570 kilometers away.
The ancient Kerala sailors sailed to Socotra and Aquaba and Basra using a compass of magnetised fish blade floating on light oil floating on water. This is symbolised by Arjun shooting into the eye of the fish to win Draupadi in 4000 BC.
CAPT AJIT VADAKAYIL