BBC Learning Zone Clips

CLIP 12546

Experiences of servants in India

Experiences of servants in India
Key Info
  • Experiences of servants in India
  • Duration: 03:23
  • A punkawallah from the latter days of British rule in India describes his work - pulling a system of ropes which operated fans around the house of a wealthy English family. Indian servants were paid low wages with few prospects of earning more as time went on. Sulaiman describes how he moved on from being a punkawallah to become a servant but found that he was at the mercy of his employers and that he could expect little or no job security.
  • Subject:




  • Keywords: punkawallah, servant, India
Ideas for use in class
  • Do you think servants were treated the way they were treated because they were Indians or simply because they were servants? How could you compare the treatment of servants in India with the treatment of servants in Britain?
Background details
  • Clip language : English
  • Aspect ratio : 16x9

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.