Guide to the South Asian Collection

SJSU Library Special Collections & Archives
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
San Jose State University
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192-0028
Phone: (408) 808-2062
Fax: (408) 808-2063
© 2008
Trustees of the California State University. All rights reserved.

Guide to the South Asian Collection

Collection number: MSS-2004-05-01

SJSU Special Collections & Archives
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library

San José State University

One Washington Square

San José, CA 95192-0028

Phone: (408) 808-2062

Fax: (408) 808-2063


Processed by:
Sjuli Senn van Basel Wagemans
Date Completed:
Encoded by:
Sjuli Senn van Basel Wagemans
Revised by:
Veronica Cabrera
© 2008 Trustees of the California State University. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: South Asian collection
Dates: 1967-2004
Bulk Dates: 1971-1977
Collection number: MSS-2004-05-01
Collector: Lin, Sharat G.
Collection Size: 2 Boxes 1.75 linear feet
Repository: 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 catalog
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


The collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

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.

Preferred Citation

South Asian collection, MSS-2004-05-01, San Jose State University Library Special Collections & Archives.

Processing Information

Encoded by Sjuli Senn van Basel Wagemans. Revised by Veronica Cabrera.

Acquisition Information

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 more, the 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 desis, meaning "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, 1967-1976.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in 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. Retrieved February 5, 2008.

University of California Berkeley Library. (2001). "A New Beginning" Echoes of Freedom: South Asian Pioneers in California, 1899-1965. Retrieved February 5, 2008.

Le, C.N. 2008. Socioeconomic Statistics & Demographics. Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. Retrieved February 5, 2008.

Collection Contents


Series I:  South Asian Organizations 1971-2004

Physical Description: 1 Box

Series Scope and Content

The contents in this series document the activities of numerous organizations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and North America regarding South Asian culture and politics. Local activities regarding the Indian state of emergency (1975-1977), the Bangladeshi War of Independence (1971), and several campaigns to free political prisoners shape the early years, while issues of nuclear disarmament and the War on Terror influence the latter part of the collection.


This series is arranged alphabetically by organization name. When several small organizations share a common cause or parent organization, they are listed by that cause or organization.
Box/Folder 1/1

AIDS, Miscellaneous Organizations 1991-1992

Box/Folder 1/2

Alliance against Fascist Dictatorship in India, India Today 1976-1977

Box/Folder 1/3

Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia 1994-2002

Box/Folder 1/4

Amnesty International 1976-1979 1989-1995

Box/Folder 1/5

ANDOLAN: Organizing South Asian Workers 2000

Box/Folder 1/6

ASHA for Education 1991-1992

Box/Folder 1/7

Bangladeshi, Miscellaneous Organizations 1977-1988

Box/Folder 1/8

Berkeley (University of California), Miscellaneous Student Organizations 1975-1977 1991-1995

Box/Folder 1/9

BJP Watch/BJP Government Watch 1998

Box/Folder 1/10

Campaign for Justice in Bhopal 2000

Box/Folder 1/11

Center for South Asia (University of Wisconsin) 1994

Box/Folder 1/12

Center for South Asian Studies (UC Berkeley) 1975-1977 1987-2001

Box/Folder 1/13

CERAS/South Asia Research and Resource Center 1994-1999

Box/Folder 1/14

Coalition against Communalism [CAC] undated 1993-1995

Box/Folder 1/15

Coalition for and Egalitarian Pluralistic India circa 1999

Box/Folder 1/16

Committee against Political Repression in India [CAPRI] circa 1977

Box/Folder 1/17

Committee of Concerned Indian Students [CCIS] 1976-1977

Box/Folder 1/18

Committee for Freedom in India 1976

Box/Folder 1/19

Communist Party of Nepal 2002

Box/Folder 1/20

Concerned South Asians Coalition 1993-1996

Box/Folder 1/21

Conferences, Miscellaneous 1977 1995-1996

Box/Folder 1/22

Domestic Violence, Miscellaneous Organizations 1988-1994

Box/Folder 1/23

Forum of Indian Leftists [FOIL] 1999-2001

Box/Folder 1/24

Funds & Trusts, Miscellaneous undated 1992-2000

Box/Folder 1/25

Gadar Heritage Foundation 2003

Box/Folder 1/26

Gadar Memorial Center 1992-2000

Box/Folder 1/27

Group of Concerned South Asians [GOCSA] 1976

Box/Folder 1/28

Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh [HSS] 1994

Box/Folder 1/29

Hindustani Ghadar Party: Organization of Indian Marxist-Leninists Abroad 1971-1980

Box/Folder 1/30

India Alert 1990-1998

Box/Folder 1/31

India Awareness Group [IAG] 2002

Box/Folder 1/32

India Development Service [IDS] 1977 1993-1994

Box/Folder 1/33

India Forum Publication 1975-1979

Box/Folder 1/34

India Literacy Project ( AKSHARA) [ILP], The Beacon 1992-1996

Box/Folder 1/35

India Progressive Action Group (UT Austin) 1991-1993

Box/Folder 1/36-1/39

Indian People's Association of North America [IPANA] 1976-1990

Box/Folder 1/40

Indian Progressive Study Group, (Association of) [(A)IPSG] 1976-1977 1992-1999

Box/Folder 1/41-1/42

Indian Student's Association (UC Berkeley) 1971-1984

Box/Folder 1/43

Indian Workers' Movement 1976-1977

Box/Folder 1/44

Indians for Collective Action 1993-1993

Box/Folder 1/45

Indians for Democracy (Indian Opinion) [IFD] undated 1976-1977

Box/Folder 1/46

Indians for Democracy National Convention 1975-1977

Box/Folder 1/47

Indians for a New Democracy in India Association [INDIA] 1976

Box/Folder 1/48

Indo-American Political Foundation [IAPF] 2002

Box/Folder 1/49

International South Asia Forum [INSAF] 1999-2002

Box/Folder 1/50

Jana Shakti 1995

Box/Folder 1/51

Kashmiri Overseas Association, Inc. 1992

Box/Folder 1/52

Movement in India For Nuclear Disarmament [MIND] 1999

Box/Folder 1/53

Narmada Bachao Andolan [NBA] 1994 1996

Box/Folder 1/54

New India Coalition 1976-1977

Box/Folder 1/55

Non-Resident Indians for Secularism and Democracy [NRISAD] 1993-2001

Box/Folder 1/56

Non-South Asian, Miscellaneous Organizations 1976-1977 1993-2002

Box/Folder 1/57

Pakistan-India Friendship Society 1990-1992 2002

Box/Folder 1/58

RACHANA: An Experiment in Rural Development (Austin) 1976 1978

Box/Folder 1/59

SABRANG Alert 1999

Box/Folder 1/60

SAHARA: South Asian Helpline and Referral Agency 1992

Box/Folder 1/61

SAMAR: South Asian Magazine for Action & Reflection [ SAMAR] 1992

Box/Folder 1/62

Satya Vani 1976

Box/Folder 1/63

Scientific Workers' Forum: West Bengal 1998

Box/Folder 1/64

Sikh Organizations, Miscellaneous 1976-1978 1991

Box/Folder 1/65

South Asia Citizens Wire/Web Dispatch ( [SACW] 1998

Box/Folder 1/66-1/67

South Asia People’s Organization [SAPO] 1977-1978

Box/Folder 1/68

South Asian Center of Toronto 1976

Box/Folder 1/69

South Asian Resource Center 1980

Box/Folder 1/70

South Asians for Collective Action [SACA] 1990-2004

Box/Folder 1/71

SACA Newsletter 1991-1996

Box/Folder 1/72

Southern California Bengali Cultural Association 1975

Box/Folder 1/73

Student Organizations, Miscellaneous 1972-1978 1988-2000

Box/Folder 1/74

Swaraj by Free J.P. Campaign 1976-1977

Box/Folder 1/75

TOUCH: The Organization for Universal Communal Harmony 1993

Box/Folder 1/76

Trikone (Lesbian and Gay South Asians) undated

Box/Folder 1/77

Women's Organizations, Miscellaneous 1993

Box/Folder 1/78

Unknown Organizations 1976-1977 1988-2003

Box/Folder 1/79

Newspaper Clippings 1976-1999

Box/Folder 1/80-1/81

Subject Files 1971-1976

Box/Folder 1/80

Bangladesh War of Independence 1971

Box/Folder 1/81

Indian State of Emergency 1975-1976


Series II:  Non-South Asian Organizations 1967-1976 1971-1977

Physical Description: 2 Boxes

Series Scope and Content

The contents in this series documents political activism in the San Francisco Bay Area not related to South Asia. Publications of local radical underground organizations (1973-1976) are included. Several publications of the University of California, Santa Cruz document student activism and campus politics from 1967 to 1971. Additionally, several subject files chronicle campus meetings, protests, and other activities regarding national and international issues on the campus.


This series is arranged into three sub-series, each arranged alphabetically by organization, publication, or subject.
Box/Folder 1/82-1/86

Underground Bay Area Organizations 1973-1976

Box/Folder 1/82

Bay Area Research Collective undated circa 1975

Box/Folder 1/83

New Dawn Party undated 1975-1976

Box/Folder 1/84

New World Liberation Front undated 1975-1976

Box/Folder 1/85

Radical Student Union [RSU] (UC Berkeley) 1973-1976

Box/Folder 1/86

Miscellaneous Radical Organizations 1974-1975

Box/Folder 2/87-2/98

University of California, Santa Cruz Student Publications 1967-1975

Box/Folder 2/87

Asian American Political Alliance Newsletter 1969-1970

Box/Folder 2/88

At Bay 1969

Box/Folder 2/89

The Cowell Rebel (Cowell College) 1969

Box/Folder 2/90

Liberator 200 (College V) 1969

Box/Folder 2/91

Merrill Field Program Newsletter (Merrill College) 1971

Box/Folder 2/92-2/96

Stevenson Libre (Stevenson College) 1967-1975

Box/Folder 2/97-2/98

This Week’s Issue (Merrill College) 1968-1971

Box/Folder 2/99-2/102

University of California, Santa Cruz Subject Files 1969-1970

Box/Folder 2/99

Chicago Conspiracy 1970

Box/Folder 2/100

Ecological Issues 1970

Box/Folder 2/101

Vietnam March 1970

Box/Folder 2/102

Vietnam Moratoria 1969