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Divided and uncertain loyalties: partition, Indian sovereignty and contested citizenship in East Africa, 1948-1955

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date1/07/2007
JournalInterventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies
Number of pages13
Original languageEnglish


This article is concerned with attempts made by India's political bureaucrats in the period immediately after independence to establish principles of jurisdiction over Indians in East Africa. A fictional certainty of a finalized partition within South Asia allowed the Indian bureaucracy, without any recourse to territory, to develop alternative terms of inclusion to apply to the Indians living overseas. These terms vacillated awkwardly between a continuation of the relationships which had existed before Indian independence and the acknowledgement that any such practicable or juridical authority transgressed the principles of bounded territorial sovereignty. By the mid-1950s, the transformation of the 'Indian' in East Africa into an obstacle to African nationalism within the racialized permutations of late-colonial politics ultimately, and ironically, proved redemptive of the dilemma faced by the Indian state in delineating its relationship with those of Indian origin in East Africa.

Bibliographic note

RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : History