Transgressing the Boundaries of the Nation: Decolonization, Migration, and Identity in France/India, 1910-1972_ argues that the state-based discourse of decolonization, which is widely circulated in most histories of decolonization, does not reflect the lived experience of the colonial subjects who negotiated multiple identities and moving borders throughout what I call the "long history" of decolonization. Examining the five French colonies in India, which remained French until 1962, destabilizes the dominant narrative of decolonization in India, of an anti-colonial nationalist liberation struggle successfully completed with the liberation of India in 1947. Beginning in the 18th-century, when British and French imperial forces were fighting for control of South Asia, the two European powers projected competing ideologies of empire, and over time, national belonging. By the late 19th-century, the French-Indian colonies were physically divided from British India by fences, and passport controls and custom borders were erected to patrol the imperial borders. After 1947, as independent India worked to bring French India into the Indian Union, the same borders were used to distinguish foreigner from citizen, French-Indian from Indian, a colonial-juridical designation that had turned many neighbors into strangers, and lead to the migration of over 7,000 French-Indians to France after 1962. Based on archival research conducted in India, France, and England, I show that while decolonization ruptured the geography and political structure of the imperial world, the institutional structures of colonialism and capitalism, intertwined with the imperial mission of modernity and progress, have continued on into the post-colonial world, re-establishing hierarchies of race, caste, class, and gender in the metropole as well as in anti-colonial nation-states.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. April 2013. Major: History. Advisor: Patricia M.E. Lorcin. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 269 pages.
Namakkal, Jessica Louise.
Transgressing the boundaries of the nation: decolonization, migration, and identity in France/India, 1910-1972.
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