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Red Tea

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Red Tea
Second edition (1984)
AuthorDr. Paul Harris Daniel
Publication placeIndia

Red Tea is an English historical novel written by Paul Harris Daniel. It was published in Madras by Higginbotham's in 1969.[1][2] It is based on the experiences of tea plantation workers in the Madras Presidency during the British Raj.[3]


Daniel was born on May 22, 1910. Daniel was a medical doctor and had worked in a series of Assamese tea plantations in South India as chief medical officer from 1941 to 1965. He also acted as a union organiser. During that time, he had interviewed workers, obtaining signed statements, developing material from which he used to write the novel. Though a work of fiction detailing the lives of Karuppan and Valli, Red Tea was written with an "explicit documentary purpose". It details how the Madras Planters Act of 1903 led to the poor conditions of plantation workers. Debt bondage of the workers, their poor working conditions, their inability to escape their life are all captured in the novel.[4][5]

Translation and adaptation[edit]

It was translated into Tamil as Eriyum Panikaadu by Ira. Murugavel.[6] The name of the translator has been rendered as Era, Ira, or Ra.[clarification needed]

The 2013 Tamil film Paradesi was adapted from the novel.[7]


  1. ^ An Annotated Bibliography of Indian English Fiction. Atlantic Publishers & Dist. 2001. pp. 453–. ISBN 978-81-7156-998-4. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  2. ^ Catalogue record for Red Tea. WorldCat. OCLC 82935. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  3. ^ Bala a master at crafting the story of slavery
  4. ^ C. J. George (1994). Mulk Raj Anand, His Art and Concerns: (a Study of His Non-autobiographical Novels). Atlantic Publishers & Dist. pp. 71–. ISBN 978-81-7156-445-3. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  5. ^ Kavita Philip (1 January 2004). Civilising Natures: Race, Resources and Modernity in Colonial South India. Orient BlackSwan. pp. 109–. ISBN 978-81-250-2586-3. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  6. ^ பி. எச் டேனியல்; இரா முருகவேள் (2007). எரியும் பனிக்காடு. விடியல் பதிப்பகம். Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  7. ^ "Film | Bleak house". HT Mint. 14 February 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2013.