People without culture are people without future.
Jahaji Bhai is the story of millions of women and men who had nothing but their ancient culture when they left India. Against insurmountable difficulties and indignities on the Caribbean sugar plantations they struggled to preserve and nurture their memories and evolved as an important part of Caribbean life. This film is dedicated to the inspiring stories of those migrant labourers who struggled against oppressive systems of colonial plantation.
Jahaji Bhai and Behan represent a different kind of kinship a relation stronger than blood relation which the migrants developed during their ship journey from India to Caribbean. It is pregnant with memories of sharing of terrible tragedies, hope and resilience of the people with noting to build a future against insurmountable oddities for a decent existence
In April 2001, I went to Trinidad with an idea of making a short film on Indian Diaspora in Trinidad with a digital 8 camera and 1500 US$ along with a young friend of mine Soni from Punjab who wanted to migrate to USA. We travelled from New Delhi to Moscow to Havana to Caracas to Martinique and finally arrived at Port of Spain on third day of our travel. I had spent nearly 11 months in Trinidad and Soni migrated to USA. In February 2002, I went to Guyana and after spending some 10 months there I travelled to England. The first cut of the film was screened in London the New Year eve of 2003 with a fellowship support from the University of Warwick. After spending six months in UK I travelled back to India and edited the footage into this documentary film Jahaji Bhai.
During these long months of travel for making of this film, many persons and families supported me in many ways without which this would not have been ever made. I thank every single persons who have helped me directly or indirectly during the making of this film.
The film is an attempt to understand the process of migration and how plantation owners constructed West Indian societies in racially stratified ways for their benefits. I have no intention whatsoever to hurt anybody’s feelings nor ever tried to portray anyone negatively in any sense.
I appreciate it very much if you could leave your valuable comment for the benefit of all