During the heyday of the British Raj/Empire, many people from India were sent to other British colonies for work. After the abolition of slavery in the Dutch colony of Suriname, the Dutch were allowed by the British Raj to recruit labourers in certain parts of the North-Indian United Provinces.
The majority religion among the community is Hinduism, practiced by the majority (70%) of the people, followed by Islam and Christianity. Among the Hindus about 60% follow traditional Hinduism that they call Sanatan Dharm to differentiate themselves from the 25% who belong to the reform movement Arya Samaj, started by Dayananda Saraswati. Among the Indian Muslims, 60% follow Sunni Islam and 40% Ahmadiyya.