Lascar Struggles Against Discrimination in Britain 1923–45: the Work of N. J. Upadhyaya and Surat Alley
In the 1920s and up to 1945 there was a movement to unite Indian seamen (Lascars) in the employ of British shipping companies resident in London and lobby for the improvement of the very discriminatory conditions under which they were employed. The main protagonists were NJ Upadhyaya and Surat Alley and detailed evidence of their work is explored despite generally poor documentation. Links with other politically active institutions, trade bodies and workers’ rights movements are included. As the workers, these activists also faced extreme discrimination and the progress they were able to make was limited. Extending the context post 1945 to 1995, the author concludes that discrimination continued.