Indians in Singapore, 1819 -1945: Diaspora in the Colonial Port City by Rajesh Rai, OUP India
Indians in Singapore, 1819 -1945: Diaspora in the Colonial Port City by Rajesh Rai, Oxford University Press India
Assistant Professor Rajesh Rai (SASP) has written a landmark book that explores how the Indian diaspora was formed in colonial Singapore, revealing how this minority immigrant community affected and was affected by Singapore’s evolution.
Indians in Singapore, 1819 -1945 is the first comprehensive study of the Indian diaspora in colonial Singapore. Drawing on administrative archives, intelligence reports, observer accounts, newspapers, oral testimonies, and community-based records, the book provides a meticulous historical account of the formation of the diaspora in the colonial port-city, and its socio-political, religious and cultural development from the advent of British colonial rule to the end of the Japanese occupation. Indians in Singapore examines how the conditions of living as a minority in a multi-ethnic port-city; changes in colonial ideologies, administration and economy; developments in information-communication technologies; and transnational religious and socio-political currents in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, shaped Indian identity formations. What emerges is a fascinating account of how these Indian emigrants, by virtue of their unique vantage point in a frontier settlement that transformed into a metropolis of global significance, negotiated their position vis-à-vis the powers at hand and external processes in motion. In doing so, it reveals the distinct and complex nature of the historical journey of Indian migrants in the urban landscape of the colonial port-city – an aspect of diaspora studies that has received little attention in erstwhile scholarship.
Rai, R. Indians in Singapore, 1819 -1945: Diaspora in the Colonial Port City (New Delhi: OUP India, 2014).