Archive for July, 2008

30
Jul
08

Filmi- very Filmi: The influence of popular Indian film in shaping cultural and social identity of Diasporic community of South African Indians

Filmi- very Filmi: The influence of popular Indian film in shaping cultural and social identity of Diasporic community of South African Indians

By

Vashna Jagarnath

21
Jul
08

Fiji Indians and “Commoditization of Labour”

Fiji Indians and “Commoditization of Labour”

By

John d. Kelly

09
Jul
08

The Creation of South African Indian Identity in Natal in Relation to Hinduism

The Creation of South African Indian Identity in Natal in Relation to Hinduism

By

Suryakanthie Chetty

Honours Thesis

09
Jul
08

Reading an Archive Focussed on its Archivist – the case of Mohandas Gandhi

Reading an Archive Focussed on its Archivist – the case of Mohandas Gandhi

By

Vashna Jagarnath

09
Jul
08

The South African Gandhi: A critical historiographical review

The South African Gandhi: A critical historiographical review

By

Vashna Jagarnath

“Gandhi’s sojourn in South Africa…lasted for some 21 years, with, some brief interludes in India. It constituted one of the most glorious episodes in human history, as ordinary men and women, with rudimentary learning, and scant material resources became morally energised to confront evil under Gandhi’s quite unprecedented leadership”2
In her seminal work published

09
Jul
08

Labouring under the Law: Exploring the Agency of Indian Women under Indenture in Colonial Natal, 1860 – 1911

Labouring under the Law: Exploring the Agency of Indian Women under Indenture in Colonial Natal, 1860 – 1911

By

Nafisa Essop Sheik

This paper is intended as the beginnings of an introduction to a Master’s thesis that will look at discourses around Indian women and gender under indenture in Colonial Natal from 1860 to 1911. I attempt to highlight what I consider to be the main aspects of my arguments about Indian immigrant women who came to Natal under the indentured labour system. The primary intention of the arguments that are presented here is to grapple with the agency of indentured Indian women. There is a distinct set of ideas in this paper about the manner in which the decisions and actions of women who immigrated to Natal as indentured workers confounded a colonial administration that held particular ideas of gender and the expected roles of men and women – both of English men and women in Victorian England, and of Indians they had come to ‘know’ through the colonial encounter on the subcontinent. As such, it departs from the argument proposed by many scholars of Indian women’s history – both on the subcontinent and in the Indian diaspora – that the weight of subalternity shouldered by the Indian woman was compounded by her position as both the racial and gendered Other and that as a result, ‘there [is] no reprieve from the structures of domination’.

09
Jul
08

Making the Personal Civil: The Protector’s Office and the Administration of Indian Personal Law in Colonial Natal, 1872 – 1907

Making the Personal Civil: The Protector’s Office and the Administration of Indian Personal Law in Colonial Natal, 1872 – 1907

By

Nafisa Essop Sheik

The arguments presented in this paper analyze the administrative contestations around Indian ‘personal law ’in the Colony of Natal from the establishment of the Coolie Commission of Inquiry in 1872 to the promulgation of the Indian Marriages Act in 1907. To date, very little attention has focused on this area of historical inquiry into Indians in this region. The administration of customary law amongst Indians in Natal in the latter part of the nineteenth century pivoted around the office of the Protector of Indian Immigrants – a bureaucratic office constituted in 1874 upon the recommendation of the Coolie Commission. Many of the historical and legal questions raised here arise from the cases which came before this appointed government official. Central to the arguments I make is the fact that both administrative and domestic patriarchal control over women’s lives and movement was a crucial part of these legal struggles. It is evident also from these arguments that administrative decisions about the lives of Indians were aimed primarily at the areas which constituted the realm of personal law or the personal aspects of customary law – a putatively private area of morality that encompassed the personal and intimate lives of Indians – particularly the areas of marriage and divorce, and it was one in which women in particular were implicated.