Indians of Durban, South Africa and the break-up of Greater Britain
in The break-up of Greater Britain
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Complementing new writings that highlight the significance of monarchy in the history of Britain’s decolonisation and the place of republicanism in anti-colonial nationalist political thought, this chapter presents a perspective on these phenomena from the vantage point of a minority, diasporic South Asian population in the Indian Ocean city of Durban in South Africa’s most Anglophone province. Tracing public and political sentiment during key moments, from the royal visit to southern Africa and the independence of India in 1947 to the declaration of a Republic of South Africa in 1961 and the turn to the armed struggle by the African National Congress, it explores the discomfiting questions about belonging, affiliation, identity and subjecthood that these moments provoked. It also shows the contradictory pulls exerted by a vestigial empire loyalism and monarchism, Indian nationalism, and an incipient South African non-racial political movement.

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