Mahendra Sukhdeo was born in Nadi, Fiji, a third generation Fiji Indian whose grandparents migrated from a remote village near the India-Nepal border in early 1900 as contracted labourers. Admitted to Elphinstone College, Bombay in 1960, he obtained his B.A. (Hons) and then completed his post-graduate degree in Education from Delhi University and M.A in Politics from University of Bombay. He briefly worked as a cadet reporter for the Times of India. On his return to Fiji in 1968, he was a Divisional Welfare Officer before being recruited by Suva City Council as a senior executive. In 1982, he was a Research Fellow at the University of the South Pacific conjoint with his lecturing portfolio on Social Policy.
Elected as the General Secretary of the National Union of Municipal Workers in 1983 and a founding Vice President of the newly formed Fiji Labour Party in 1985, he was voted in the first slate of Labour Councillors for Suva City Council. During the turbulent period of 1987/88, he was the Deputy Lord Mayor of the capital City. Along with his political role, he was the Secretary of the India-Fiji Friendship Society from 1974 to 1981, Board member of the Fiji Museum from 1978 to 1980, Board Member of the Hotel and Catering Wages Council (1989-1994), and President of Suva Society for the Intellectually Handicapped (1998-99).
In 1999, he migrated to New Zealand where he was the Manager of the Adult Education Centre and later as an Administrator for the Skycity Group in Auckland. In 2011, he acquired permanent residency in Australia where he now lives.
From 2008, he commenced an extensive research for his book, "ARYAN AVATARS - From prehistoric nomads to settlers in the Pacific" that he published in 2014. The book was launched in Sydney and Melbourne and subsequently in Suva, Fiji where Fiji's Prime Minister, Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama personally blessed the publication. The second edition of the book was published by the University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji in 2016. During the World Book Day celebrations in 29 April, 2017, four books,including "ARYAN AVATARS" were launched by Fiji's Minister for Education, Hon. Mahendra Reddy and the Fiji Times of 28 May published a detailed review of the book.
He is married and has four children.
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by Mahendra Sukhdeo
Discovering the roots is a recurrent dream of every displaced descendant. This book is a graphic account of rural Indian peasants who left their rustic homeland in search of their El Dorado in distant colonial outposts. Interwoven with reflections on his Aryan pedigree, the author relives the Indian experience in Fiji and how their dreams were emasculated by a string of coups.
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