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British India, White Australia: Overseas Indians, intercolonial relations & the Empire


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  • British India, White Australia: Overseas Indians, intercolonial relations & the Empire 
    Title: British India, White Australia: Overseas Indians, intercolonial relations & the Empire
    Author: MACLEAN KAMA
    Format: PAPERBACK
    Publication date: 01/03/2020
    Imprint: UNSW PRESS
    Price: $40.00
    Publishing status: Active

    ‘Commonwealth, curry and cricket’ has
    become the belaboured phrase by which Australia seeks to emphasise its shared
    colonial heritage with India and improve bilateral relations in the process.
    Yet it is misleading because the legacy of empire differs in profound ways in
    both countries. Indians may be the fastest-growing group of migrants to
    Australia, but they have long been present.


    British India, White Australia explores connections between Australia and India through the lens
    of the British Empire, by tracing the lives of people of Indian descent in
    Australia, from Australian Federation to Indian independence. The White
    Australia Policy was firmly in place while both countries were part of the
    British Empire. Australia was nominally self-governing but still attached very
    strongly to Britain; India was driven by the desire for independence. The
    racist immigration policies of dominions like Australia, and Britain’s
    inability to reform them, further animated nationalist sentiments in India.


    Kama Maclean has undertaken extensive
    archival research in all three countries and the book includes cartoons and
    photographs, many of them shocking, that reflect attitudes of the time. In this
    original, landmark work she calls for more meaningful dialogue and acknowledgment
    of the constraints placed upon Indians in Australia and those attempting to
    immigrate. The force of white imperialism was strong: some Australians may have
    found solidarity with the cause of Indian nationalism, but at the point British
    India ceased to exist, White Australia remained steadfast.


    Indians are now the fastest-growing
    group of migrants in Australia, yet their presence has a long history, as told
    in this book.

    ‘At last a history of the
    triangular relations between the United Kingdom, India and Australia that
    locates the tensions around the White Australia policy within the British
    imperial context. Even as Australians and Indians enjoyed a common status as
    British subjects, the superior rights accorded white colonies belied the myth
    of imperial equality. As this brilliant book shows, only by escaping
    empire can Australians and Indians forge independent relations based
    on reciprocity and mutual respect.’ – Professor Marilyn Lake


    ‘Original and
    pioneering, this connected history looks at Indian–Australian relations
    through Empire, race, and postcolonial belonging…told with deep scholarship,
    irony and style.’ – Dilip Menon



    ISBN: 9781742236216
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