By then into its third year, the Greco-Turkish war had seen both sides resorting to indiscriminate killing of civilians. At this point in the war, the Turkish troops under Mustapha Kemal had gained significant advantage and were in the process of pushing out Greeks from Anatolia. Britain stood gingerly at Greece’s side, provoking the Greeks to fight through promises of support without actually helping directly. In the process, the Treaty of Sevres had become redundant, as Turkey also concluded separate treaties with France (and Russia).
Both the cartoons are also reproductions from American newspapers. The first appeared in Evening Philadelphia Ledger on 5 June 1922 (p 10) and the second in the Los Angeles Times on 30 March 1922 (p 26).
Leo Pasvolsky, ‘The scorching flames of open rebellion spring up in India’, New York Tribune, 19 March 1922, p 23. British intelligence authorities kept a constant check on the Afghan amir for his efforts to undermine British India militarily, see Weekly Report of the Director, Central Intelligence, Shimla, 12 May 1919, Home Political, B, 1919 JUN 494–497, Repository II, National Archives of India, Delhi (henceforth NAI).
SS Komagata Maru, a Japanese ship, was chartered by a Sikh, Gurdit Singh, in Hong Kong. It brought around 380 Indians to Vancouver on 23 May 1922. To subvert the principle that Indians had equal access to all parts of the British Empire as whites, Canada had passed legislation blocking the entry of anyone who came through a discontinuous journey. Since there were no ships running directly between Indian and Canadian ports, this effectively banned the entry of Indians. After almost two months of confrontation in Vancouver, which also turned violent, Komagata Maru was sent back to India. On reaching Bengal on 27 September 1922, 20 boarders were killed in an encounter with the police as the British government attempted to transport them forcefully to Punjab. The incident has remained a deep painful memory for the Sikh community, particularly in Canada.
Whether diplomatic professionalism constitutes serving the country or the government is another debate. See Peter Vale, The Changing World and Professional Diplomacy, A Workshop Report, Organized by Centre for Southern African Studies and the International Studies Unit, Cape Town, 12–14 January 1993.
In performing this function, Sastri is a typical example of how the sociologist M.S.S. Pandian characterizes Tamil Brahmins. Pandian argues that colonialism forced Tamil Brahmins to play the dual albeit contradictory roles of appearing both authentic and modern. See M.S.S. Pandian, Brahmin and Non-Brahmin: Geneologies of Tamil Political Present, Ranikhet: Permanent Black, 2007.
The word ‘coolie’, a derogatory term for those taken as indenture labour, was also used to refer to Indian migrants in general. However, much like negritude, ‘coolitude’ seeks to reclaim the histories and identities of Indian labour in their adoptive homelands. See Marina Carter and Khal Torabully, Coolitude: An Anthology of the Indian Labour Diaspora, London: Anthem Press, 2002.
Kalathmika Natarajan, ‘Entangled Citizens, Undesirable Migrants: The Imprint of Empire and Afterlives of Indenture in Indian Diplomacy (1947–1962)’, PhD thesis, University of Copenhagen. Also see Latha Varadarajan, The Domestics Abroad: Diasporas in International Relations, New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.
Srinivas used the term ‘sanskritization’ to explain the process of upward social mobility of the so-called lower castes by emulation of upper caste rituals, manners and practices. For the role of Indian agents in South Africa as ‘civilizers’, see Uma Mesthrie, ‘From Sastri to Deshmukh: A Study of the Role of the Government of India’s Representatives in South Africa’, PhD thesis, University of Natal, Durban, 1987.
Frank Nickovich, The Wilsonian Century: U.S. Foreign Policy since 1900, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999; G. John Ikenberry, ‘Liberal internationalism 3.0: America and the dilemmas of liberal world order’, Perspectives on Politics, 7 (1), 2009, pp 71–87.
For a sample of this thinking see Inderjit Parmar, ‘The US led liberal order: Imperialism by other name?’, International Affairs, 94 (1), 2018, pp 151–172, at 155; and Adom Getachew, Worldmaking after Empire: The Rise and Fall of Self-determination, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2019. For an excellent overview and critique of liberal internationalism, see Beate Jahn, Liberal Internationalism: Theory, History and Practice, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
See Erez Manela, The Wilsonian Moment: Self-Determination and the International Origins of Anticolonial Nationalism, New York: Oxford University Press, 2007; Trygve Throntveit, ‘The fable of fourteen points: Woodrow Wilson and national self-determination’, Diplomatic History, 35 (1), 2011, pp 445–481; Thomas Bender, A Nation Among Nations: America’s Place in World History, New York: Hill and Wang, 2006, pp 242–243; Rayford W. Logan, ‘The operation of the mandate system in Africa’, Journal of Negro History, 13 (4), 1928, pp 423–477; Brett Reilly, ‘The myth of the Wilsonian moment’, Wilson Centre Blog, 17 June 2019, www.wilsoncenter.org/blog-post/the-myth-the-wilsonian-moment, accessed 10 October 2019; Arno Mayer, Wilson vs. Lenin: Political Origins of the New Diplomacy, 1917–1918, New York: Meridian Books, 1967; Carolien Stolte, ‘Uniting the oppressed peoples of the East: revolutionary internationalism in an Asian inflection’, in Mohammad Ali Raza, Franziska Roy and Benjamin Zachariah (eds) The Internationalist Moment: South Asia, Worlds, and World View 1917–1938, Los Angeles: Sage, 2015, pp 47–58.
Daniel Gorman, The Emergence of International Society in the 1920s, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012; Akira Iriye, Global Community: The Role of International Organisations in the Making of the Contemporary World, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2002; Helen McCarthy, ‘The lifeblood of the League: voluntary associations and League of Nations activism in Britain’, in Daniel Laqua (ed) International Reconfigured: Transnational Ideas and Movements between the World Wars, London: I.B. Tauris, 2011.
See Madison Grant, The Passing of the Great Race, New York: Charles Schribner, 1916; Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, London: Bodley Head, 2016, p viii. Also see Lothrop Stoddard, The Rising Tide of Colour against White World Supremacy, New York: Charles Scribner, 1920.
In 1919, the South African government passed the Asiatic (Land and Trading Amendments) (Transvaal) Act, imposing further restrictions on Indians from owning companies. In 1919, New Zealand also passed its Immigration Restrictions Amendment Act. In British Columbia, a measure introduced in the legislative assembly to confer votes on those Asians who had served with the Canadian forces during the First World War was defeated. Under Jan Smuts, South Africa passed a slew of segregationist measures. His party lost the elections in 1924 to J.B.M. Hertzog’s National Party, which took to segregation with religious – metaphorical as well as, in some cases, literal – zeal.
One must here question the canonization of the ‘Wilsonian Moment’, when as Erez Manela himself shows, it is a moment in which Wilson acts only as an absentee presence, and ask and if the phrase and its centring of Wilson does more analytical harm than good. In fact, Manela even musters a quote from Sastri where the latter had speculated that if Wilson had gone to Asia after the war, he would have been received with ‘wild delirium of joy’ as though ‘Christ or Buddha had come back to his home’. But Manela misses that Sastri was equally clear in the same text that Wilson’s message was hardly intended for the people of Asia. Sastri credited Japan, rather than America, for raising the voice of Asia at the League of Nations. See V.S. Srinivasa Sastri, ‘Foreword’, in Woodrow Wilson, Woodrow Wilson’s Message to Eastern Nations, Calcutta: Association Press, 1925.
The limited work on this period includes: T.T. Poulose, ‘India as an anomalous international person (1919–1947)’, British Yearbook of International Law 44, 1970, p 201, Itty Abraham, How India Became Territorial: Foreign Policy, Diaspora, Geopolitics, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2014; Pradeep Barua, ‘Strategies and doctrines of imperial defence: Britain and India, 1919–45,’ Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 25 (2), 1997, pp 240–266; Sneh Mahajan, Foreign Policy of Colonial India, 1900–1947, New Delhi: Routledge, 2018; Vineet Thakur, Jan Smuts and the Indian Question, Pietermaritzburg, University of KwaZulu Natal Press, 2017; Stephen Legg, ‘An international anomaly? Sovereignty, the League of Nations, and India’s princely geographies’, Journal of Historical Geography, 43, 2014, pp 96–110; Hugh Tinker, Separate and Unequal: India and the Indians in the British Commonwealth, 1920–1950, Queensland: University of Queensland Press, 1976.
This comment on V.S. Srinivasa Sastri was made by the Eastern African Indian National Congress. See ‘RT Hon. Mr. Sastri: England’s advertising agent’, Democrat, 2 March 1929, FD 8, AICC Papers: I Instalment, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi (henceforth NMML).
Maganlal A. Buch, Rise and Growth of Indian Liberalism: From Ram Mohan Roy to Gokhale, Baroda: no publisher, 1938, p 302. For an extended discussion of how liberals have been treated, see C.A. Bayly, Recovering Liberties: Indian Thought in the Age of Liberalism and Empire, New Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
He also did not want any memorial to be raised in his honour, which may partly explain the absence of public memorials to him. See ‘Written statement of Srinivasa Sastri’, VSS Papers (I), Writings and Speeches, S No 47, NMML.
These were published as ‘En Vazhkayin Amsangal’ in Tamil and translated to ‘Aspects of my life’. The English version is in Sastri’s papers at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in New Delhi. See V.S. Srinivasa Sastri, ‘Aspects of my life’, VSS Papers (I), S No 82, NMML.
Jagadisan, Sastri, pp 2–4; V.S. Srinivasa Sastri, ‘A confession of faith’, in The Other Harmony: A Selection from the Writings and Speeches of the Right Hon. V.S. Srinivasa Sastrii, ed T.N. Jagadisan, 2nd edn, Madras: S. Viswanathan, 1949, pp 2–3.
R. Shantha Ramaswami and K.S. Srinivasan, V.S. Srinivasa Sastri, Remembering our Leaders, Vol 5, New Delhi: Children’s Book Trust, 2015, p 27; M.S. Raghavan, ‘The Rt. Honourable Srinivasa Sastri’, VSS Papers (I), Writings by Others, S No 30, f 1787.
In the Hindu ashrama system, an individual goes through four stages of life: Brahmacharya (celibate, dedicated to education); Grihastha (married life dedicated to fostering a family); Vanaprastha (retirement); and Sanyas (complete renunciation, focused entirely on the attainment of liberation from the cycle of life and death).
Jagadisan, Sastri, pp 10–11; K. Balasubramania Iyer, ‘My early reminiscences of Sastri’, in A. Ranganathan (ed) The Right Honourable V.S. Srinivasa Sastri Centenary Souvenir, Madras: Servants of India Society, 1969, pp 8–11; ‘Sanctity of teaching: Srinivasa Sastri on co-education’, Bombay Chronicle, 8 June 1927, p 8.
S. Muthiah, ‘Presidency’s feeder’; Anon, ‘Sastri – a vignette’; G.A. Natesan, ‘The Rt. Hon. Srinivasa Sastri’, Bharat Dharma, 24 (5), May 1946, p 5, in VSS Papers (II), Speeches and Writings by, S No 2, f 39.
See Tridip Suhrud, An Autobiography or the Story of my Experiments with Truth: A Table of Concordance, New York: Routledge, 2017; see V.S. Srinivasa Sastri, ‘Letters to Mahadev Desai’, in T.N Jagadisan (ed) Letters of The Rt. Hon. V.S. Srinivasa Sastri, Madras: Rochhouse, 1944, pp 129–140.
Diary 1915, 30 April 1915, VSS Papers (I), NMML. Neither did he spare Winston Churchill when the latter described Louis Mountbatten as ‘tribian’, rather than ‘triphibian’. Se, Anon, ‘Review of letters of Rt. Hon. Srinivasa Sastri’, Roy’s Weekly, 6 August 1944, p 8.
For a discussion on the monopoly of Brahmans among the professional elite in Madras presidency, see R. Suntharalingam, Politics and Nationalist Awakening in South India, 1852–1891, Jaipur: Rawat Publications, 1958; Pandian, Brahmin and Non-Brahmin, pp 50–53.
These were: country will always be first in thoughts and service; seeking no personal advantage while serving the country; seeking advancement of all Indians without distinction of caste or creed; no part of work to be devoted to earning money; leading a pure personal life; never engaging in personal quarrel with any one; and, finally, never to do anything that was inconsistent with the objects of the society. See The Servants of India Society, p 6.
Letter to Sarojini Naidu, 23 February 1915, in Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (henceforth CWMG), Vol 14, New Delhi: Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government Of India, p 371.
Sastri to Krishnaswami Iyer, 22 June 1909, in Jagadisan (ed) Letters of Sastri, p 53; Nanda, Gokhale, p 462; see Sastri to Members and Permanent Assistants, May 1912, SOIS Papers, Subject File 13, f 231.
Other sympathizers of the Society, Madanmohan Malviya, Tej Bahadur Sapru, and Aga Khan agreed with the decision to keep Gandhi out. See H.N. Kunzru to V.S. Srinivasa Sastri, 6 March 1915, SOIS Papers, Subject File No 12, f 87–97.
In 1908, the Madras Session had 626 delegates (434 from Madras alone) while in 1911, only 300 delegates attended. In the next two years, the numbers declined further to about 250 members. See S.R. Mehrotra, A History of the Indian National Congress, Vol 1, 1885–1918, New Delhi: Vikas, 1995, p 251; ‘Report of the Proceedings of the First All India Session of the Moderate Party held at Bombay in the Empire Theatre, 1–2 November 1918’, Bombay: Times Press, 1919, p 136.
The 1914 Government of Ireland Act had promised an Irish parliament. See Mark R. Frost, ‘Imperial citizenship or else: liberal ideals and the India unmaking of the empire, 1890–1919’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 46 (5), 2018, pp 845–873.
For Indian revolutionaries, see Arun C. Bose, Indian Revolutionaries Abroad, 1905–1922: In the Background of International Developments, Patna: Bharati Bhawan, 1971; Nirode K. Barooh, Chatto: The Life and Times of an Indian Anti-Imperialist in Europe, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2004; Kama Maclean, A Revolutionary History of Interwar India: Violence, Image, Voice and Text, London: Hurst, 2015; Kris Manjapra, M.N. Roy: Marxism and Colonial Cosmopolitanism, New Delhi: Routledge, 2010; Maia Ramnath, Haj to Utopia: How the Ghadar Movement charted Global Radicalism and attempted to overthrow the British Empire, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011; Michele Luoro, Comrades against Imperialism: Nehru, India and Interwar Internationalism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018; Ole Birk Laursen, M.P.T. Acharya, We Are Anarchists: Essays on Anarchism, Pacifism, and the Indian Independence Movement, 1923–1953, Chico, CA: AK Press, 2019.
Lionel Curtis, The Commonwealth of Nations: An Inquiry into the Nature of Citizenship in the British Empire, and into the Mutual Relations of the Several Communities Thereof, Part I, London: Macmillan, 1916, p 696.
Philip Woods, ‘The Montagu–Chelmsford reforms (1919): a re-assessment’, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 17 (1), 1994, pp 25–42; Shane Ryland, ‘Edwin Montagu in India, 1917–1918: politics of the Montagu–Chelmsford report’, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies: Series 1, 3 (1), 1973, pp 79–92.
So instead of each person only voting for their caste, it was better if two or three districts were combined to form a constituency with multiple representations. Brahmin and non-Brahmin seats would, in this case, be restricted to the proportion of their population. Hence, a large constituency with five seats and 80 per cent non-Brahmins would elect four non-Brahmins and one Brahmin.
Tilak had originally advised this course of action in his 1907 speech to the Indian National Congress. He had stated: “I say I want the whole bread and that immediately. But if I cannot get the whole, don’t think that I have no patience. I will take the half they give me and then try for the remainder. This is the line of thought and action in which you must train yourself.” See Bal Gangadhar Tilak, ‘Address to the Indian National Congress, 1907’, in William T. de Bary, Stephen Hay, Royal Weiler and Andrew Yarrow, Sources of Indian Tradition, New York: Columbia University Press, 1958, p 722.
Madhan Mohan Malaviya was closer to Sastri’s personal view that moderates must attend the Congress session and prevent a wholesale rejection of the scheme. See M.A. Parmanand, Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya: A Historical Biography, Allahabad: Malaviya Adhyayan Sansthan, Banaras Hindu University, p 364.
‘Thirty Fourth Session of the Indian National Congress, Amritsar, December 27–30, 1919’, in A.M. Zaidi (ed) The Encyclopedia of Indian National Congress, Volume Seven: 1916–1920, New Delhi: S. Chand, 1979, pp 454–455.
See Report of the Proceedings of the First Session of the All India Conference of the Moderate Party’, Calcutta, 1 and 2 November 1918, Bombay: Times Press, 1919, p 29; and Report of the Proceedings of the Second Session of the All India Conference of the Moderate Party, Calcutta, 30 and 31 December 1919, Calcutta: Sanskrit Press, 1920, pp 22, 115.
As a retaliatory measure the government declared that no South African company would be given mining concessions in Burma. See Hugh Tinker, Separate and Unequal: India and the Indians in the British Commonwealth, 1920–1950, London: Oxford University Press, 1971, p 32.
‘A Hirtzel to Undersecretary of State, Colonial Office, Confidential and Immediate, 26 July 1919’, National Archives Repository/Sentrale Argiefbewaarplek (SAB), Governor General (1905–1974) (GG), Vol 707, National Archives of South Africa, Pretoria (henceforth NASA).
See Vineet Thakur, Postscripts on Independence, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2018, pp 169–170; ‘Indian Information Index, January–June 1941’, Vol 8, New Delhi: Bureau of Public Information, Government of India, 1941, p 300. For an extended discussion on Bajpai’s pre-independence role, see Amit Das Gupta, ‘Indian civil service and Indian foreign policy’, in Madhavan K. Palat (ed) India and the World in the First Half of the Twentieth Century, London: Routledge, 2017, pp 134–159.
This had in particular been a consistent theme of Charles Andrews’ writings in 1920–21, which influenced young radicals like Jawaharlal Nehru. See Charles Andrews, How India Can Be Free, Madras: Cambridge University Press, 1921; Charles Andrews, Indian Independence: The Immediate Need, Madras: S. Ganesan, 1921; Charles Andrews, The Indian Problem, Madras: G. Natesan, 1921, Charles Andrews, The Claim for Independence: Within or without the British Empire, Madras: S. Ganesan, 1921; also see S.R. Mehrotra, ‘Gandhi and the British Commonwealth’, India Quarterly, 17 (1), 1961, pp 44–57.
Bajpai to Montagu, Mss Eur 238/3, p 193. For Montagu–Churchill discussions see Winston Churchill Papers, CHAR/17/7, f 61; 76–81, 95–102, 104–105, 112–115, Churchill College Library, Cambridge University.
Sastri, Diary 1921: 5 June; Sastri to Venkatasubbaiyah, 26 May 1921, f 73; Sastri to Ramaswami, 26 May 1921, VSS Papers (I), Subject File 5, f 74; Sastri’s address in Shakespeare Hut, 25 May, Weekly Report of the Director, Intelligence Bureau, Home Department, Government of India, Simla, 29 June 1921, Home Department, Political B, Proceedings June 1921, No 287, National Archives, New Delhi, p 2.
Advisory Committee on Traffic in Opium 1921, Report of Dr. Wellington Koo, C 191 (a) M 133, 1921, XI, League of Nations; Report of the Delegates of India to the Second Session of the Assembly of the League of Nations, Delhi: Superintendent Government Printing, 1922, p 125.
Charles Repington, After the War; London–Paris–Rome–Athens–Prague–Vienna–Budapest–Bucharest–Berlin–Sofia–Coblenz–New York–Washington; a Diary, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1922, p 432; Thomas Bailey, A Diplomatic History of American People, 10th edn, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1980, p 640.
In addition, Japan replaced one specific ship, the Mutsu, with another, the Settsu. America agreed to Japan’s demands on the condition that Hawaii was exempted, and that all other powers which had signed the Quadruple Treaty would also accept the status quo. Report by G.S. Bajpai, 22 December 1921, I&O 23/1922, L/E/7/1245, IOR&PP; and Sadao Asada, ‘From Washington to London: the Imperial Japanese Navy and the politics of naval limitation, 1921–1930’, Diplomacy and Statecraft, 4 (3), 1993, pp 147–191 at 154.
Frederick McCormick, The Menace of Japan, Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1917; Walter Pitkin, Must We Fight Japan? New York: The Century Company, 1921; Sidney Osborns, The New Japanese Peril, New York: Macmillan, 1921; Jesse F. Steiner, Japanese Invasion: A Study in the Psychology of Interracial Contacts, Chicago: A.C. McClurg, 1917.
Edwin C. Hill, ‘Emancipation of races once ignored is strikingly shown in world gathering in the US capital – delegates expect to complete work before Christmas’, New York Herald, 1 December 1921, p 3.
‘Prince Sastri to talk on Oriental affairs’, Washington Times, 22 January 1922, p 3; ‘Foreign envoys will meet Red Cross leaders: arms delegates accept invitations to gathering at Shubert–Garrick theater’, Washington Times, 12 November 1921, p 12.
‘Says India will speak as co-equal partner in 10 years’, Baltimore Sun, 14 December 1921, p 9; also ‘Predicts India will win autonomy’, New York Times, 14 December 1921, p 12; ‘India really in the conference’, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 15 December 1921, p 6; ‘Speaks to club on India: can be saved only by dominion government, Sastri says’, Washington Post, 31 January 1922, p 12.
‘Conditions in India described’, Caledion-Record (Vermont), 14 September 1922, pp 1, 4; ‘Likens Gandhi to Christ’, Los Angeles Times, 29 July 1922, p 29; P.W. Wilson, ‘“The things that are Caesar’s”’, New York Times, 9 April 1922, p 62.
See in particular the coverage of Bombay Chronicle, in Report on Native Papers for the Week Ending 5 November 1921, jstor.org/stable/10.2307/saoa.crl.25637246, 21 March 2020, p 1289; Report on Native Papers for the Week Ending 19 November 1921, jstor.org/stable/10.2307/saoa.crl.25637248, 21 March 2020, pp 1359–1360.
‘“Republicans” of India plan boycott on Japanese goods as well British imports’, Democrat and Chronicle, 1 November 1921, p 1; ‘India boycotts Japanese goods to fight Britain’, Washington Times, 6 November 1921, p 7.
Taraknath Das, Sailendranath Ghose, Sarat Mukherji, Nani Gopal Bose and Haridas Gayadeen, ‘A protest against the torture of war prisoners in India, 7 December 1921’, South Asian American Digital Archive, www.saada.org/item/20130131-1285, accessed 16 November 2019.
For a good discussion on the constant maneuvers of strategy that both sides engaged in see, D.A. Low, ‘The government of India and the first non-cooperation movement’, Journal of Asian Studies, 25 (2), 1966, pp 241–259.
‘India’s place in the empire: Mr. Sastri’s speech’, Servant of India, 5 (16), 18 May 1922, pp 189–191 at 191. Later in his memoirs, Sastri argued that even though he stood by what he said, his conduct was inappropriate for the occasion. See Sastri, ‘If I live again’, VSS Papers (I), Speeches/Writings by Him, S No 82, f 162–163.
‘Question of Mr. Sastri’s deputation in Canada, New Zealand and Australia to consult with governments of these countries as to the translation into practice of the imperial conference resolution on Indians in the empire’, 3 February 1922, IOR/L/E/7/1242, F No 2547.
Further, the brief of instructions to Sastri asked him to obtain more information on: the attitude of Australia towards Anglo-Indian immigrants and the possibility of permitting some Asiatic immigrants into the tropical regions of Australia.
V.S. Srininasa Sastri, ‘Report by the Right Hon’ble V.S. Srinivasa Sastri, P.C., regarding his deputation to the dominions of Australia, New Zealand and Canada’, Simla: Government Central Press, 1923, p 7.
For debates on this in Australian newspapers, see Matthew Cranston, ‘Tropical Australia’, Register (Adelaide), 7 January 1922; ‘Coloured labour: for the Northern Territory’, The Journal (Adelaide), 10 January 1922, p 3 (comments from: F.W. Birrell, John. H. Packard and Matthew Cranston); Matthew Cranston, ‘White Australia and coloured labour’, Register (Adelaide), 10 February 1922, p 3; ‘White Australia and coloured labour’, Register (Adelaide), 27 March 1922, p 5; Matthew Cranston, ‘White Australia and coloured labour’, Register (Adelaide), 7 June 1922, p 9; Matthew Cranston, ‘White Australia and coloured labour’, Register (Adelaide), 7 June 1922; Matthew Cranston, ‘White Australia and coloured labour’, Register (Adelaide), 16 June 1922, p 4; Arch McDonald, ‘Mr. Sastri and White Australia’, 26 June 1922, p 9.
‘Srinivasa Sastri. In Sydney today. Claims of Indians’, Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 14 June 1922, p 6.; ‘India’s aims. Mr. Sastri at Trades Hall. Officials ask questions’, Argus (Melbourne), 14 June 1922, p 11.
Dorothy Evelyn Walker, ‘Srinivasa Sastri and his dominion tour of 1922, MA Thesis, University of London, 1976’, MSS EUR Photo EUR 299, IOR&PP, p 26. Also see Margaret Allen, ‘“I am a British subject”: Indians in Australia claiming their rights, 1880–1940’, History Australia, 15 (3), 2018, pp 499–518.
Sastri, ‘Confidential report’, p 6; Joseph Pope to MacKenzie King, 14 August 1922, f 67591–67598, MG26-J1. Volume/box number: 80, C-2248, Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (Henceforth, LAC). Pope also thought that Sastri was playing a little bluff, for Sastri was too wise to engage in such a childish act. See Pope to Mackenzie King, 19 August 1922, f 67607–67610, C-2248.
‘The Indians. Claim for equal status. Mr. Srinivasa Sastri speaks of his tour of the dominions’, Tweed Daily (Murwillumbah), 16 December 1922, p 5; ‘India and empire. Mr. Sastri’s mission’, Telegraph (Brisbane), 27 December 1922, p 2.
William M. Ross, Kenya from Within: A Short Political History, London: George Allen, 1922, p 362; Christopher P. Youe, ‘The threat of settler rebellion and the imperial predicament: the denial of Indian rights in Kenya, 1923’, Canadian Journal of History, 12 (3), 1968, pp 347–360 at 349.
C.J.D. Duder, ‘The settler response to the Indian crisis of 1923 in Kenya: brigadier general Philip Wheatley and “direct action”’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 17 (3), 1989, pp 349–373 at 360.
Levi I. Izuakor, ‘Kenya: demographic constraints on the growth of European settlement, 1900–1956’, Africa: Rivista trimestrale di studi e documentazione dell’Istituto Italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente, 42 (3), 1987, pp 400–416 at 404.
M.P.K. Sorrenson, Origins of European Settlement in Kenya, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1968, p 230. Also see Brian M. Du Toit, The Boers in East Africa: Ethnicity and Identity, Westport, CT: Bergin and Garvey, 1998.
‘An African 1776?’, The Outlook, in IOR, L/PO/I/6 (iii) – East Africa: Kenya, IOR&PP, BL. Also ‘Montaguism after Montagu’, Northern Whig (Belfast), 23 January 1923, in IOR, L/PO/I/6 (iii) – East Africa: Kenya, IOR&PP, BL.
Sastri, ‘Kenya deputation’s statement’, in The Kenya Problem, p 54. Also see Charles F. Andrews, ‘The abolition of colour bar’, Indian Review, 24 (12), December 1923, pp 725–729; Memorandum from Tej Bahadur Sapru to Lord Reading, November 1928, IOR Neg 4986, Reel 4, IOR&PP, BL.
Although published anonymously as was the practice of this journal, one of the two authors was its the editor, John Dove. Anon [John Dove and Rice], ‘Kenya’, Round Table, 13 (51), 1923, pp 507–529 at 526.
See ‘Surprise move in Kenya’, Manchester Guardian, 31 May 1923, p 8. On the role of missionaries, see Brian G. MacIntosh, ‘Kenya 1923: the political crisis and the missionary dilemma’, TransAfrican Journal of History, 1 (1), 1971, pp 103–129.
See E.F. Lane to H.W. Smyth, 26 February 1923, SAB, PM-1/2/242, PM64/20, National Archives, Pretoria; also see NTS-2003, 6/280; GG-912, 15/1165; PM-1/2/241, PM64/19; GG-913, 15/1220; GG-2287, 11/49; GG-164, 3/3165; GG-910, 15/1086, all in National Archives, Pretoria.
H.N. Kunzru speaking in the United Provinces Legislative Council on 27 October made a similar assessment. See ‘Boycott of the “white” Empire Exhibition’. Servant of India, 6 (43), 22 November 1923, pp 514–515.
Andrews’ statement in: ‘The Kenya betrayal’, Indian Review, 24 (9), September 1923, p 567. In the Bhagat Singh Thind case, the American Supreme Court had ruled that Indians were not ‘free white persons’ and hence not eligible for naturalized citizenship. Earlier judgements in lower courts had held Indians under the white category, and thus eligible for naturalization.
V.S. Srinivasa Sastri, The Rights and Duties of the Indian Citizen, Calcutta: Calcutta University Press, 1927. Madras lectures were reproduced in V.S. Srinivasa Sastri, ‘Kamala lectures’, Speeches and Writings of The Right Honourable V.S. Srinivasa Sastri, Vol 1, Madras: South Indian National Association, 1969, pp 78–143.
For details, see Position of Indians in South Africa – statement submitted to His Excellency the Viceroy of the South African Deputation, Pro No 80, in I Proceedings Overseas – A, March 1926 (Nos 1–88), IOR/L/E/7/1411, IOR&PP.
A round table conference between India and South Africa had been first proposed by Sarojini Naidu on a tour of South Africa in mid-1924. Six months later when the Secretary of State for Colonies in the short-lived Labour government, James Thomas, visited South Africa in December 1924, he made a similar suggestion for a conference between India, South Africa and Britain. By the time the India government approached the Colonial Office via the India Office, Leo Amery had taken over. Amery, a Milner acolyte and long-time friend of South Africa, refused to intervene. See ‘Indians overseas’, Indian Review, 26 (5), May 1925, pp 379–381; and Telegram from the Governor General, South Africa, Pretoria, 24 September 1925, Pro No 17, Proceedings Overseas – A, March 1926 (Nos 1–88), IOR/L/E/7/1411; Irwin to Birkenhead, 3 September 1925, IOR/L/PO/I/22 (ii), f 197–201.
The scheme for voluntary repatriation with free passage to India was first introduced after the Gandhi–Smuts Agreement of 1914. In 1920, the Smuts government introduced a bonus of £5 pound per person and £25 maximum for a family to repatriate. But after an initial increase, the numbers declined. In 1924, the bonus was further raised to £10 for an individual and a maximum of £50 for a family, but the numbers had shockingly fallen to 1,063. The respective numbers for 1921, 1922 and 1923 were 2,927, 2,324 and 2,716. See Note by J.C. Watson: Indians in South Africa: The Asiatic Bill, E&O, 1388/26, IOR/L/E/7/1411.
For this, see Bhawani Dayal Sanyasi and Benarasidas Chaturvedi, A Report on the Emigrants Repatriated to India under the Assisted Emigration Scheme from South Africa and on the Problem of Returned Emigrants from all Colonies, Bihar: Pravasi Bhavan, 15 May 1931. Also see Uma Mesthrie, ‘Reducing the Indian population to a “manageable compass”: a study of the South African Assisted Emigration Scheme of 1927’, Natalia 15, 1985, pp 36–56.
However, Malan insisted that if the bill were ever to become a law, it would be applied retrospectively, that is from 1 August 1925, when it was first introduced. See Viceroy, Department of Education, Health and Lands, to Secretary of State for India, 9 April 1926, Tel No 1799, IOR/L/PO/I/22 (i), f 15–19; Viceroy, Department of Education, Health and Lands, to Secretary of State for India, 10 April 1926, Tel No 1816, IOR/L/PO/I/22 (i), f 20; Viceroy, Department of Education, Health and Lands, to Secretary of State for India, 10 April 1926, Tel No 1808, IOR/L/PO/I/22 (i), f 21–22.
For an extended analysis of the work of the Paddison deputation, see Vineet Thakur and Sasikumar S. Sundaram, ‘India, South Africa and the Cape Town Agreement: a diplomatic history’, Indian Politics and Policy, 2 (2), 2019, pp 3–26.
Brief of Instructions Issued to the Delegates of the Government of India to the Conference with the Representatives of the Government of the Union of South Africa on the Indian Problem in the Union, Simla: Government of India Press, 1926.
Total expenditure on repatriates was £39,534; and bonuses and grants from 1922 to June 1926 amounted to £104,252. See ‘Indians in South Africa. Census deductions’, The Times, 22 March 1927, in E&O 2063/1927.
The origins of ‘assisted emigration’ go back to the early nineteenth century when, through the Ripon Regulations, the British government allocated funds to send emigrants to the Australian colonies. See Philip Harling, ‘Assisted emigration and the moral dilemmas of the mid-Victorian imperial state’, Historical Journal, 59 (4), 2016, pp 1027–1049.
Memorandum, f 9. Also see G.L. Corbett to Lord Athlone, 24 December 1926, Asiatics: Conference on Indian question – Confidential reports furnished to His Excellency Mr. G.I. Corbett, SAB GG 916, 15/1377, NASA.
Gandhi, ‘An honourable compromise’, Young India, 24 February 1927, in Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (henceforth CWMG), Vol 38, pp 160–162. Also see ‘Round table conference conclusions’, Indian Opinion, 25 (8), 25 February 1927, pp 55–58; ‘An honourable compromise’, Indian Opinion, 25 (9), 4 March 1927, p 64; ‘Indo-Union Agreement: well received by all parties in India’, Indian Opinion, 25 (13), 1 April 1927, pp 91–92.
‘Mr. Sastri sails for South Africa’, Times of India, 9 June 1927, p 11; ‘Bristling with dangers and difficulties’, Times of India, 7 June 1927, p 10; ‘Au revoir Sastri’, The Bombay Chronicle, 8 June 1927, p 7.
Technically, the High Commissioners and the Privy Councillors were placed at the same level in the order of precedence. When Sastri’s successor, Kumra Reddi, joined, the same privileges were extended to him.
See ‘Position of the Right Hon’ble V.S. Srinivasa Sastri P.C., Agent of the Government of India in South Africa for the purpose of diplomatic etiquette’, Education, Health and Lands Department, Overseas A, Proceedings, November 1927, Nos 117–125, NAI; ‘India: question with regard to status of Mr. Sastri raised by consular body in Pretoria’, SAB, GG-917, 15/1408, NSA.
‘Instructions for the guidance of the Right Hon’ble V.S. Srinivasa Sastri P.C. in South Africa during his tenure of office as Agent’, Education Departments, Overseas Branch, F No 38, June 1927, National Archives, New Delhi.
Sastri’s hesitation in making his reasons clear also makes one suspect that he did not want to admit publicly that the purity of the Brahman family household could not be maintained in a job that would require frequently hosting people outside of his caste. We know from Kondana Rao’s account that, for the most part, he was strict in his observance of purity within the house.
J.D. Tyson, ‘Abstract diary of Mr. Sastri’s term of office in South Africa’, 17–25 June 1927, in ‘Material for a study of Srinivasa Sastri’s term as agent of the government of India in South Africa, comprising a review of his speeches and extracts from Tyson’s diaries 1927–29’, Papers of Sir John Tyson, MSS EUR/E/341/48, IOR&PP, BL. Also Tyson to Folk, 21 June 1927, MSS EUR/E/341/16.
For a history of the South African Indian question, see Mesthrie, ‘From Sastri to Deshmukh’; Bridglal Pachai, The International Aspects of the South African Indian Question 1860–1971, Cape Town: Struik, 1971; Essop Pahad, ‘The Development of Indian Political Movements in South Africa, 1924–46’, DPhil thesis, University of Sussex, 1972; P. Aiyar, The Tyranny of Colour, Durban: E.P. and Commercial Printing Company, 1942.
Many of Sastri’s speeches in South Africa are reproduced in Sastri Speaks. However, Tyson prepared summaries of almost all of Sastri’s speeches (in which Tyson was present). They are in MSS EUR/E/41/48.
See ‘N.I. Congress on education: statement submitted to the commission’, Indian Opinion, 26 (15), 20 April 1928, pp 106–109; and ‘Education Inquiry Commission’, Indian Opinion, 26 (14), 13 April 1928, pp 97–98.
Sastri to Habibullah, 23 September 1927, P. Kondana Rao Papers, Subject File 1, f 79–80. For Habibullah’s response, see Habibullah to Sastri, 10 October 1927, VSS Papers (I), Correspondence: M. Habibullah.
Sastri to Habibullah, 15 November 1927, P. Kondana Rao Papers, Subject File 1, f 72–74; Kondana Rao to Patwardhan, 5 November 1927, P. Kondana Rao Papers, Subject File 2 (Part 1), f 24–25; ‘Indian training college. Proposed site in Centenary Road’, Natal Mercury, 9 November 1927.
The Union government realized this, and looked to explore other avenues with Sastri, such as extending emigration to Kenya. Notes of Mr. Sastri’s interview with Dr. Malan, on the 11 July, 1927 at, VSS Papers (I), Subject File 12, f 13–15.
Sanyasi and Chaturvedi, A Report on the Emigrants Repatriated to India; Uma Dhupelia-Mesthrie, ‘South Africa to India: narratives of a century of repatriation (1871–1975)’, Paper presented at Centre for African Studies, Leiden University, 12 September 2019.
See Sanyasi and Chaturvedi, ‘A report’, p 58. The Indian government also appointed a committee to enquire into the working of the special office in Madras dealing with the assisted emigrants. See ‘Report submitted to the Government of India by Hon’ble Mr. G.A. Natesan and Mr. J. Gray on the working of the special organization in Madras or dealing with emigrants returning from South Africa under the scheme of assisted emigration’. The report is appended in the Sanyasi and Chaturvedi report.
Kondana Rao to Patwardhan, 31 July 1927, P. Konadana Rao Papers, Subject File 2 (Part 1), f 15–17; Sastri to Habibullah, 28 August 1927; Sastri to Habibullah, 16 December 1927, P. Konadana Rao Papers, Subject File 1, f 64–66.
Others, like John L. Roberts, took a maximalist position and insisted that Indians as citizens of the British Commonwealth had the same rights as the English, so could not be called illegal. See ‘Sunday’s mass meeting: Mr. Sastri’s stirring speech to take condonation’, Indian Opinion, 26 (32), 17 August 1928, pp 237–238.
‘Condonation of illegal entrants’, Subject File 1, f 34–39. Also see Memorandum: Condonation of the illegal entry of Asiatics, Subject File 1, pp 40–41; Sastri to Habibullah, 6 April 1928, Subject File 1, f 43–46, all in P. Kondana Rao Papers.
See ‘Sunday’s mass meeting: Mr. Sastri’s stirring speech to take condonation’; ‘Condonation scheme explained in Maritzburg: Mr Sastri’s exhortation’, Indian Opinion, 26 (33), 24 August 1928, pp 245–246; ‘Mr. Sastri’s eloquent appeal to Transvaal Indians’, Indian Opinion, 26 (36), 14 September 1928, p 270.
See ‘Cape Conference’, Indian Opinion, 26 (36), 14 September 1928, p 267–268; ‘Cape Indian Provincial Conference’, Indian Opinion, 26 (36), 14 September 1928, p 272; ‘TBIA meeting at Pretoria – terminated in disorder’, Indian Opinion, 26 (31), 10 August 1928, pp 233–234.
See Sastri to Duncan, 19 October 1928, BC 294, D1/32/2; Duncan to Sastri, 23 October 1928, BC 294, D1/32/3; Sastri to Duncan, 25 October 1928, BC 294, D1/32/4; Sastri to Duncan, 6 November 1928, BC 294, D1/32/5; Sastri to Duncan, 9 May 1929, BC 294, D1/32/6, in Patrick Duncan Papers, University of Cape Town.
Sastri to Habibullah, 9 March 1928, VSS Papers (I), Subject File 12, f 48–49; Konadana Rao to Patwardhan, 11 March 1928, P. Kondana Rao Papers, Subject File 1, f 53; also, Habibullah to Sastri, 12 March 1928, VSS Papers (I), Correspondence: M. Habibullah.
See Kondana Rao to Patwardhan, 30 November 1927, P. Kondana Rao Papers, Subject File 2 (Part 1), f 25–27; Copy of Mr. Habib Motan’s letter to Mr. Sastri, 19 November 1927, P. Kondana Rao Papers, Subject File 1, f 108–110.
Sastri to Irwin, 15 July 1928, VSS Papers (I), Correspondence: Lord Irwin. In India, several names were being considered, including that of Bajpai and Maharaj Singh. See Tyson to Folk, 22 August 1928; and Tyson to Birch Reynardson, 14 October 1928: MSS EUR/E/341/17.
See, Mesthrie, ‘From Sastri to Deshmukh’, p 180; Mesthrie, ‘Reducing the Indian population to a “manageable compass”’; Dhanee Bramdaw, Out of the Stable, Pietermaritzburg: Natal Witness, 1935, pp 16–18.
For a defence of the Brahman leadership as the preservers of order and peace in anti-colonial politics and a lament on its passing after the First World War, see: G. Annaji Rao, ‘Passing of the Brahmana’, New India, 25 July 1919.
On Sastri’s style of politics see, Ray T. Smith, ‘V.S. Srinivasa Sastri and the moderate style in Indian politics’, Journal of South Asian Studies, 2 (1), pp 81–100; Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan, ‘Moderating revolution: V.S. Srinivasa Sastri, Toussaint Louverture, and the civility of reform’, The Comparatist, 41, 2017, pp 133–152.
G.A. Natesan, ‘The Rt. Hon. Srinivasa Sastri’, f 39; also see, Kondana Rao, Sastri, pp 386–387. Sastri was a vocal supporter of women’s suffrage, although as part of the Southborough Committee he agreed with others in not recommending a women’s vote because there was not enough demand for it.