Social Scientist. v 7, no. 76 (Nov 1978) p. 75.

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of the position of Indians in different lands provides enough evidence to substantiate either view, or even other views representing intermediate situations.

Tinker describes at^lengththe dilemma of Indians in South Africa, Rhodcsia, and Ceylon where they arc perpetual non-belongcrs. They arc despised and discriminated against, and when they return home, there again they arc strangers as "their long sojourn in these inhospitable lands has largely detached them from their motherland" (p 50). Despite the adverse circumstances, there are a few who have "made it". In Africa for instance, there is an Asian sector of business in spheres where it does not compete with the dominant multinational corporations—like laundries, garages, and timber, all of which come under what is termed ^pariah' capitalism. However, the professionals, the middle-class, and other relatively better-off Indians in these countries do not take any interest in the miseries of other Indians, as they do not want

to risk their own prospects—this is true of Indian emigrants in other countries also.

On the other hand, Indians are a force to reckon with in countries like Mauritius, Guyana, and Fiji. where they constitute more than half the population; in Trinidad and Tobago also, they constitute about 37 percent of the population. This enormity in numbers enables them even to be successful competitors for political power in these countries, of which the Mauritius Premier Seewosagur Ramgoolam is a living example. Not that in general their lot is by any means enviable: they belong to the lowest rungs in the economic hierarchy providing cheap labour to sugar plantations owned by producing corporations based in metropolitan countries. More than 80 percent of the sugar workers in all these four states are Indians, but contact with India is practically nil except perhaps for memories of the ancestral village, or seeing an occasional Bombay film. Yet Indianncss survives more as a result of external neglect (lack of access to educatian) than of deliberate effort.

Lack of Commitment

A common remark about Indian emigrants is that they never identify themselves with the country of their adoption. They work there for some years, collect their savings and leave. ^They arc prepared to adapt, but not to the point of assimilation" (p 117). This ambivalencc of working in one country always with the idea of leaving it sooner or later makes them suspect in that country. This is what happened to Indians in Malaysia and East Africa. Even after independence, Indians hesitated to identify with the nation. By about 1970 they were caught in a situation of ^self-fulfilling prophecy?; ^this means that people precipitate the situation they most dread by taking action to forestall that situation." Convinced that it was time to quit, they started transferring money abroad and making arrangements to get away, which convinced

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