Indian Diasporic Integration in South Africa
My principal focus in this chapter is to try and work out — on the basis of a critical look at some of the historical and sociological/ anthropological literature on the subject — the underlying mechanisms that may account for the particular trajectory of the Indian South African (ISA) development. When I speak of the India-South Africa interface my concern is with the vicissitudes of the Indian diaspora in South Africa; how I imagine the discipline of anthropology in the context of the ISA diaspora will become clearer as we go along and in the conclusion. This presents us with the problematic of “diasporic integration”, by which I mean that ISAs have located themselves both in their own perceptions (i.e., emically) and in terms of their objective socio-legal status (i.e., etically) as people who have neither acculturated towards assimilation (viz. divested of their cultural particularities) nor remained patriotically Indian and isolated (viz. practicing a kind of “long distance” nationalism). While they, surely, unlike the Blacks and the
Whites, never aspired to sovereign power in South Africa, they have stuck to the guns of being nothing but South African citizens.