Scope and Content of Collection
Title: South Asian collection
Bulk Dates: 1971-1977
Collection number: MSS-2004-05-01
Lin, Sharat G.
1.75 linear feet
San Jose State University. Library.
San Jose, California 95192-0028
Abstract: The South Asian Collection documents non-resident
South Asian political and cultural organizations in North America and abroad,
particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area from 1971-2004. The collection
consists of pamphlets, press releases, and open letters that related to the
cultural and political activities of several South Asian organizations. The
collection also contains documents from non-South Asian activist organizations
operating in the Bay Area during this period, including underground radical
groups and University of California at Santa Cruz student organizations.
Physical location: For current information on the location
of these materials, please consult the Library's online
Languages represented in the collection:
The collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to the San Jose State University Library
Special Collections & Archives. All requests for
permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing
to the Director of Special Collections. Permission for
publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections & Archives as
the owner of the physical items and is not intended to
include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be
obtained by the reader. Copyright restrictions also apply
to digital reproductions of the original materials. Use of digital files
is restricted to research and educational purposes.
South Asian collection, MSS-2004-05-01, San Jose State University Library
Special Collections & Archives.
Encoded by Sjuli Senn van Basel Wagemans. Revised by Veronica Cabrera.
Gift from Sharat G. Lin, 2004.
The nations of South Asia, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal,
have been a source of immigrant labor to the
United States since the eighteenth century. While all people of Asian origin
were summarily banned from immigrating to the United
States from 1913-1946, and were limited by per-country quotas for several years
Immigration and Naturalization Service
Act of 1965
transformed the circumstances of American immigration for
South Asians. This new act based immigration decisions on
the professional experience and education of individuals regardless of national
origin, resulting in a flood of South Asian,
particularly Indian immigrants in the late 1970s and during the technology
boom of 1995-2000. South Asian immigrants,
also referred to colloquially as
"countrymen," often maintain close ties to their countries of origin
and have established tightly knit immigrant communities in
the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. These communities continue
to follow the social and political happenings in
their homelands, and numerous organizations, foundations, and networks have been
founded to maintain these ties.
When the colony of India gained its independence from the United Kingdom in
1947, it was partitioned into two countries: the
Republic of India and Pakistan. Shortly after independence, rioting broke out
between the two nations based on religious and
cultural conflicts between Sikhs, Hindus, and Muslims, resulting in thousands of
deaths and the eventual migration of millions across
the newly drawn borders. In the years to come, several military conflicts would
take place between the two nations, including
Pakistan's invasion of Kashmir in 1965, and India's assistance to the Bangladeshi
territory during its fight for independence
in 1971. Based on the British parliamentary system, the new Indian government
was led by a Prime Minister, the leader of the
party with the majority of members in Parliament. Although this system was
based upon the popular vote, many Indians at home and
abroad were unhappy with the new government's policies and actions. There
were numerous allegations of
human rights violations and detainment of political prisoners, especially
during the State of Emergency declared by the once popular Prime Minister Indira
Gandhi in 1975.
Amid allegations of corruption and numerous protests demanding her resignation,
Gandhi declared a State of Emergency, suspending
civil rights and granting the government extensive powers. These conflicts,
coupled with problems of poverty, labor struggles,
and overpopulation, resulted in unrest from South Asians worldwide.
The community and student organizations they founded released
newsletters, held discussions, and organized protests to bring attention
to the problems of their countries both within the
immigrant community and to the international public.
Scope and Content of Collection
The South Asian Collection documents non-resident
South Asian political and cultural organizations in North America and
abroad, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area from 1971-2004.
Sharat G. Lin, a scholar on the Middle East and South Asia, acquired
these materials during his involvement with activist communities from
the 1960s through the 21st century. The majority of the collection
concerns South Asian political and cultural organizations in the United
States, with an emphasis on the San Francisco Bay Area. These materials
include serial publications, pamphlets, fliers, bulletins, newspaper
clippings, open letters, as well as printouts of emails, listservs,
and Web sites. Additional materials include publications and fliers
from other radical and student organizations regarding general political
activism from 1967-1976.
This collection is arranged into two series: I. South Asian Organizations,
1971-2004 (bulk 1971-1977); II. Non-South Asian Organizations,
The following terms have been used to index the description of this
the library's online public access catalog.
South Asians -- United States
South Asian diaspora
South Asian periodicals
South Asian political systems
Underground periodicals -- California
University of California, Santa Cruz -- Student publications
American Immigration Law Foundation. (2002). The Passage from India.
http://www.ailf.org/ipc/policy_reports_2002_India.asp. Retrieved February 5, 2008.
University of California Berkeley Library. (2001). "A New Beginning"
Echoes of Freedom: South Asian Pioneers in California, 1899-1965.
http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/SSEAL/echoes/chapter13/chapter13.html. Retrieved February 5, 2008.
Le, C.N. 2008. Socioeconomic Statistics & Demographics. Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America.
http://www.asian-nation.org/demographics.shtml. Retrieved February 5, 2008.