Indophobia refers to hostility towards
Indians and Indian cultureand prejudices against South Asianpeoples, including Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Sri Lankans. Although the term is also used to denote prejudices directed specifically at Indian nationals. Indophobia is formally defined in the context of anti-Indian prejudice in East Africaas follows: "Indophobia is a tendency to react negatively towards people of Indianextraction against aspects of Indian culture and normative habits" [Ali. Mazrui, "The De-Indianisation of Uganda: Does itrequire an Educational Revolution?" paper delivered to the East African Universities Social Science Council Conference, December 19-23, 1972, Nairobi, Kenya, p.3.]
Historical anti-India sentiment
By the late 19th century, fear had already begun in
North Americaover Chinese immigration supplying cheap labour to lay railroad tracks, mostly in Californiaand elsewhere in the West Coast.Fact|date=November 2007 In xenophobic jargon common in the day, ordinary workers, newspapers, and politicians uniformly opposed this " Yellow Peril". The common cause to eradicate Asians from the workforce gave rise to the Asiatic Exclusion League. When the fledgling Indian community of mostly Punjabi Sikhs settled in California, the xenophobia expanded to combat not only the East Asian Yellow Peril, but now the immigrants from British India, the Turban Tide, equally referred to as the Hindoo Invasion. [Chan Sucheng,Asian Americans: An Interpretive History,Twayne 1991] ["Shut the gate to the Hindoo invasion", San Francisco examiner, June 6, 1910] [ [http://www.ailf.org/ipc/barredzoneprint.asp Closed Borders and Mass Deportations: The Lessons of the Barred Zone Act] by Alicia J. Campi]
Among Nineteenth-century Indologists
The term "Indophobia" was first coined in western academia by American
Indologist Thomas Trautmannto describe negative attitudes expressed by some British Indologists against Indian history, society, religions and culture. [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=dhbwDFfE9J8C&pg=PA99&lpg=PA99&dq=indophobia&source=web&ots=G3Y5MxDQde&sig=yU2htlm28bCIPV_8AnUZRCQ9X70 Aryans and British India By Thomas R. Trautmann] ] Historians have noted that during the British Empire "evangelical influence drove British policy down a path that tended to minimize and denigrate the accomplishments of Indian civilization and to position itself as the negation of the earlier British Indomaniathat was nourished by belief in Indian wisdom." [ Trautmann 1997:113]
In Charles Grant highly influential "Observations on the ...Asiatic subjects of Great Britain" (1796), [Grant, Charles. (1796) Observations on the state of society among the Asiatic subjects of Great Britain, particularly with respect to morals; and on the means of improving it, written chiefly in the year 1792.] Grant criticized the Orientalists for being too respectful to Indian culture and religion. His work tried to determine the Hindu's "true place in the moral scale", and he alleged that the Hindus are "a people exceedingly depraved".
Lord Macaulay, who introduced English education into India, claimed: "I have never found one among them who could deny that a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of Indiaand Arabia." [http://www.atributetohinduism.com/FirstIndologists.htm] He wrote that Arabic and Sanskrit works on medicine contain "medical doctrines which would disgrace an English Farrier - Astronomy, which would move laughter in girls at an English boarding school - History, abounding with kings thirty feet high, and reigns thirty thousand years long - and Geography made up of seas of treacle and seas of butter". [Macaulay, Thomas Babington, 1835:242-243, Minute on Indian education.]
One of the most influential historians of India during the British Empire,
James Millwas criticised for being prejudiced against Hindus. . [Trautmann 1997:117] The Indologist H.H. Wilson wrote that the tendency of Mill's work is "evil". [H.H. Wilson 1858 in James Mill 1858, The history of British India, Preface of the editor] Mill claimed that both Indians and Chinese people are cowardly, unfeeling and mendacious. Both Mill and Grant attacked Orientalist scholarship that was too respectful of Indian culture: "It was unfortunate that a mind so pure, so warm in the pursuit of truth, and so devoted to oriental learning, as that of Sir William Jones, should have adopted the hypothesis of a high state of civilization in the principal countries of Asia." [Mill, James - 1858, 2:109, The history of British India.]
However, the Indologists were also often under pressure from missionary and colonial interest groups, and were frequently criticised by them.
Former British colonies in
Sub-Saharan Africahave many citizens of South Asiandescent. They were brought there by the British Empirefrom British Indiato do clerical work in Imperial service. In academic discourse, racial prejudices directed against these people from their host countries fall under the rubric of Indophobia.General Amin and the Indian Exodus from UgandaHasu H. Patel, Issue: A Journal of Opinion, Vol. 2, No. 4 (Winter, 1972), pp. 12-22doi:10.2307/1166488] The most prominent case being the ethnic cleansingof Indian (sometimes simply called "Asian") minority in Ugandaby the dictator Idi Amin..
According to H.H. Patel, many Indians in East Africa and Uganda were in the
sartorialand bankingbusinesses, where they were kept forcibly by the British colonialists. Since the representation of Indians in these professions was high, stereotypingof Indians in Uganda as tailors or Bankers was common.
Also, some Indians perceived themselves as coming from a more advanced culture than Uganda, a view not appreciated by Ugandans. However, such thinking was cultivated by the British, who held similar views, to cultivate racial divisions as part of a
divide and rulecampaign. Indophobia in Uganda thus predated Amin, and also existed under Milton Obote. The 1968 Committee on "Africanization in Commerce and Industry" in Uganda made far-reaching Indophobic proposals.
A system of work permits and trade licenses was introduced in 1969 in order to restrict the role of Indians in economic and professional activities. Indians were segregated and discriminated against in all walks of life. After Amin came to power, he exploited these divisions to spread propaganda against Indians involving
stereotypingand scapegoatingthe Indian minority.
Indians were stereotyped as "only traders" and so "inbred" to their profession. Indians were attacked as "dukawallas" (an occupational term that degenerated into an anti-Indian slur during Amin's time).Indians were stereotyped as "greedy, conniving", without any racial identity or loyalty but "always cheating, conspiring and plotting" to subvert Uganda.
Amin used this propaganda to justify a campaign of "de-Indianization", eventually resulting in the expulsion and
ethnic cleansingof Uganda's Indian minority.. About 25,000 British passpert holding Asians out of an estimated 80,000 expelled Asians (Indian-origin) settled in Britain [About 10,000 Indian citizens plus some 5,000 British passport holders went to India. Canada took most of Uganda citizens ( about 40,000and the rest were taken by other countries e.g. the US, Holland, Austira, Sweden, Denmark, etc. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/legacies/immig_emig/england/suffolk/article_1.shtml Uganda's loss, Britain's gain - BBC] ]
* Thomas R. Trautmann, "Aryans and British India", University of California Press (1997), ISBN 0-520-20546-4, [http://www.nd.edu/~milind/posts/tr_chap4 chapter 4: British Indophobia]
Idi Amin& Indophobia: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0047-1607(197224)2%3A4%3C12%3AGAATIE%3E2.0.CO%3B2-%23
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