Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Another striking defect in the Act is that it does not permit any form of advertisement or propaganda in the recruiting districts, except by the sardar himself. It is anomalous that a manager who goes down to a recruiting district to supervise the work of his garden sardars should be debarred by law from proclaiming to the villagers the particular advantages of his own garden. A case has even been mentioned to us in which a tea garden manager was warned for carrying on propaganda in a recruiting district, not because he was guilty of any misrepresentation, but because he was acting contrary to the strict letter of the law. Believing as we do that the emigration of labour to Assam is of advantage to the recruiting districts, we consider it undesirable that honest propaganda by the industry should be ruled out. Another anomaly of the existing Act is that it renders illegal any assistance to emigrants, except through a garden sardar who may not always be available. A local agent would be guilty of a punishable offence, if he attempted to forward recruits who offered themselves voluntarily for service in the Assam plantations. In consequence, intending emigrants who are badly in need of relief have occasionally to be kept waiting till a garden sardar arrives before they can be given the required assistance to proceed to Assam. These restrictions cause unnecessary irritation and check the flow of labour to Assam.