Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
The industries of Burma are largely dependent on Indian labour. Accurate and up-to-date figures are not available for industry generally but it is safe to say that at least two-thirds of the workers employed in factories, mines and oilfields, railways and plantations are Indiana. In nearly every branch of organised industry Indians greatly outnumber Burmans and, indeed, all other races combined. In the unskilled occupations, the proportion of Indians is particularly high. For various reasons the problems of the immigrant Indian find their focus in Rangoon, the only industrial city in Burma, and we deal mainly with conditions in that city. At the 1921 census Indians constituted over 55% of the total population of Rangoon and over 65% of the male population. About 70% of the male persons between 15 and 50 years of age were Hindus and Musalmans, and of these 95% were not born in Burma. In Rangoon factories 95% of the unskilled and 70% of the skilled labour were reported to be Indian in 1928, and the position does not appear to have changed since then. Until 1930 the Port of Rangoon was worked entirely by Indian labour, and although events in that year brought about some modification of that position, it is still true in the main. India also supplies the bulk of the tramway workers and of the sampanwallas, all the rickshaw pullers and handcart pullers, and nearly all the general labour of other kinds. In fact the economic life of Rangoon and the industrial activity of Burma generally are dependent on the labour of Indians.