Ayodhya Prasad Sharma was an Indo-Fijian farmers' leader and politician.
19 Facts About Ayodhya Prasad
Ayodhya Prasad formed the most successful farmers' union in Fiji and forced the Colonial Sugar Refining Company to make concessions to farmers after 60 years of total control over Fiji's economy.
Ayodhya Prasad served as a member of the Legislative Council between 1953 and 1959.
Ayodhya Prasad was born in Butana village in the district of Rohtak in the state of Punjab in India on 30 April 1909.
Ayodhya Prasad persuaded his father to let him travel overseas for three years and arrived in Fiji in January 1929.
Ayodhya Prasad refused and his registration as a teacher was cancelled.
On his way to India, Ayodhya Prasad met an American, with whom he had a discussion about the political situation in India.
Ayodhya Prasad returned to Fiji in April 1932 to prepare to go to America to study.
Ayodhya Prasad worked very hard on this farm but was told by the Colonial Sugar Refining Company that most of his cane had turned into molasses and his cane had very low sugar content.
Ayodhya Prasad did not receive any statement from the company detailing the amount received for the cane and the amount deducted for costs like fertiliser.
Undeterred, Ayodhya Prasad decided that the best solution was to learn from Mahatma Gandhi and live amongst the farmers while he preached the virtues of the Union to them.
Ayodhya Prasad decided to set up tents on Company land in different settlements so that he and his helpers could preach from it.
The CSR controlled the farmers through the sardars, and so Ayodhya Prasad put up candidates in the election for sardars and won most of these positions.
In 1943, Ayodhya Prasad was devastated when some executive members of the Kisan Sangh supported the Maha Sangh in a strike for a new contract, despite the fact that the contract signed by farmers in 1940 was for a period of ten years.
Ayodhya Prasad managed to force the CSR to agree a new 10-year contract in 1950 which gave further increases to the price of sugar cane.
In 1965, on the eve of the London Constitutional Conference, Ayodhya Prasad formed the National Congress of Fiji and made representation to the United Nations on behalf of Fiji Indians.
Ayodhya Prasad was disappointed with Vijay R Singh for encouraging direct membership for Indians into the Alliance Party instead of through the National Congress of Fiji.
Ayodhya Prasad believed that if the Congress had remained a constituent part of the Alliance Party then Fiji Indians would have had an equal say in it.
Ayodhya Prasad had settled in Naviyago, Drasa and was elected as the Manager of Drasa Indian School.