COOLIE, or CooLY (from Koli or Kuli, an aboriginal race
of western India; or perhaps from Tamil, hire, i.e. one
hired), a term generally applied to Asiatic labourers belonging
to the unskilled class as opposed to the artisan, and employed
in a special sense to ‘designate those natives of
India and China who leave their country under contracts
of service to work as labourers abroad.
After the abolition of slavery much difficulty was found
in obtaining cheap labour for tropical plantations. The emancipated
black was unwilling to engage in field labour, while the white
man was physically incapable of so doing. Recourse was had
to the overpeopled empires of China and India, as the most
likely sources from which to obtain that supply of workers
upon which the very existence of some colonies, notably in
the West Indies, depended.
karta hu coolie ka