Guide to the South Asian Organizations in North America Collection MSS.2004.05.01

Processed and encoded by Sjuli Senn van Basel Wagemans. Revised by Veronica Cabrera. Collection reprocessed and finding aid revised by Rita Wang in 2017.
SJSU Special Collections & Archives
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
San José State University
One Washington Square
San José, CA 95192-0028

Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: SJSU Special Collections & Archives
Title: South Asian Organizations in North America Collection
Identifier/Call Number: MSS.2004.05.01
Physical Description: 1 Box (1.25 linear ft.)
Date (inclusive): 1967-2004
Abstract: The South Asian Organizations in North America Collection documents South Asian political and cultural organizations in North America and abroad from 1967-2004.


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.

Preferred Citation

South Asian Orgnaizations in North America Collection, MSS-2004-05-01, San Jose State University Library, Special Collections & Archives.


This collection is arranged into two series: I. South Asian Organizations, 1971-2004 (bulk 1971-1977); and II. South Asian Politics, 1967-1999.

Scope and Contents

The South Asian Collection documents South Asian political and cultural organizations in North America and abroad, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area from 1967-2004. The collection consists of pamphlets, press releases, and open letters that related to the cultural and political activities of several South Asian organizations. There is a pre-dominant focus on India and general South Asia.

Conditions Governing Use

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.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Processing Information

Encoded by Sjuli Senn van Basel Wagemans. Revised by Veronica Cabrera. Collection reprocessed and finding aid revised by Rita Wang in 2017.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

South Asia -- Politics and government
India -- History -- 20th century
Associations, institutions, etc. -- South Asia


Series I. South Asian Organizations 1971-2004

Scope and Contents

This series contains documents on information and events related to various North American organizations focused on South Asian countries including India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan.


This series is arranged alphabetically by organization name.
Box 1, Folder 1

AIDS, Miscellaneous Orgs 1991-1992

Box 1, Folder 3

Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia 1994-2002

Box 1, Folder 4

Amnesty International 1976-1995

Box 1, Folder 5

ANDOLAN: Organizing South Asian Workers 2000

Box 1, Folder 6

ASHA for Education 1991-1992

Box 1, Folder 7

Bangladeshi, Miscellaneous Orgs 1977-1988

Box 1, Folder 8

Berkeley (UC), Miscellaneous Student Organizations 1975-1995

Box 1, Folder 9

BJP Government Watch 1998

Box 1, Folder 10

Campaign for Justice in Bhopal 2000

Box 1, Folder 11

Center for South Asia (University of Wisconsin) 1994

Box 1, Folder 12

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

Box 1, Folder 13

CERAS: South Asia Research and Resource Center 1994-1999

Box 1, Folder 14

Coalition Against Communalism (CAC) 1993-1995

Box 1, Folder 16

Committee Against Political Repression in India (CAPRI) 1977

Box 1, Folder 17

Committee of Concerned Indian Students (Berkeley) 1976-1977

Box 1, Folder 18

Committee for Freedom in India 1976

Box 1, Folder 19

Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) 2002

Box 1, Folder 20

Concerned South Asians Coalition 1993-1996

Box 1, Folder 21

Conferences, Miscellaneous 1977-1996

Box 1, Folder 22

Domestic Violence, Miscellaneous Orgs 1988-1994

Box 1, Folder 23

Forum of Indian Leftists (FOIL) 1999-2001

Box 1, Folder 24

Funds and Trusts, Miscellaneous 1992-2000

Box 1, Folder 25

Gadar Heritage Foundation 2003

Box 1, Folder 26

Gadar Memorial Center 1992-2000

Box 1, Folder 27

Group of Concerned South Asians (GOCSA) 1976

Box 1, Folder 28

Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) 1994

Box 1, Folder 29

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

Box 1, Folder 30

India Alert 1990-1998

Box 1, Folder 31

India Awareness Group 2002

Box 1, Folder 32

India Development Service 1977-1994

Box 1, Folder 33

India Forum 1975-1979

Box 1, Folder 34

India Literacy Project 1992-1996

Box 1, Folder 35

India Progressive Action Group 1991-1993

Box 1, Folder 36

Indian People's Association in North America (IPANA) 1976-1990

Box 1, Folder 37

IPANA: New India Bulletin 1976

Box 1, Folder 38

IPANA: India Now 1978-1982

Box 1, Folder 39

IPANA: WANGAR 1976-1979

Box 1, Folder 40

Indian Progressive Study Group, Association of ((A)IPSG) 1976-1999

Box 1, Folder 41

Indian Students Association (UC Berkeley) 1971-1984

Box 1, Folder 42

Indian Students Association: Publications: The Bridge, India Student 1971-1976

Box 1, Folder 43

Indian Worker's Movement 1976-1977

Box 1, Folder 44

Indians for Collective Action 1991-1993

Box 1, Folder 45

Indians for Democracy 1976-1977

Box 1, Folder 46

Indians for Democracy National Convention 1975-1977

Box 1, Folder 47

Indians for a New Democracy in India Association (INDIA) 1976

Box 1, Folder 48

Indo-American Political Foundation (IAPF) 2002

Box 1, Folder 49

International South Asia Forum (INSAF) 1999-2002

Box 1, Folder 50

Jana Shakti 1995

Box 1, Folder 51

Kashmiri Overseas Association 1992

Box 1, Folder 52

Movement in India for Nuclear Disarmament 1999

Box 1, Folder 53

Narmada Bachao Andolan 1994-1996

Box 1, Folder 54

New India Coalition 1976-1977

Box 1, Folder 55

Non-Resident Indians for Secularism & Democracy (NRISAD) 1992-2001

Box 1, Folder 56

Non-South Asian Orgs, Miscellaneous 1976-2002

Box 1, Folder 57

Pakistan-India Friendship Society 1990-2002

Box 1, Folder 58

RACHANA: An Experiment in Rural Development 1976-1978

Box 1, Folder 59

SABRANG Alert 1999

Box 1, Folder 60

SAHARA: South Asian Helpline and Referral agency 1992

Box 1, Folder 61

SAMAR: South Asian Magazine for Action & Reflection 1992

Box 1, Folder 62

Satya Vani 1976

Box 1, Folder 63

Scientific Workers' Forum: West Bengal 1998

Box 1, Folder 64

Sikh Organizations, Miscellaneous 1976-1991

Box 1, Folder 65

South Asia Citizens Wire 1998

Box 1, Folder 66

South Asia People's Organization (SAPO) 1977-1978

Box 1, Folder 67

SAPO Documents 1978

Box 1, Folder 68

South Asian Center of Toronto 1976

Box 1, Folder 69

South Asian Resource Center 1980

Box 1, Folder 70

South Asians for Collective Action (SACA) 1990-2004

Box 1, Folder 71

SACA Newsletter 1991-1996

Box 1, Folder 72

Southern California Bengali Cultural Association 1975

Box 1, Folder 73

Student Orgs, Miscellaneous

Box 1, Folder 74

SWARAJ 1976-1977

Box 1, Folder 75

TOUCH: The Organization for Universal Communal Harmony 1993

Box 1, Folder 76

Trikone: Lesbian and Gay South Asians

Box 1, Folder 77

Unknown Organizations, Miscellaneous 1976-2003

Box 1, Folder 78

Women's Organizations, Miscellaneous 1993


Series II. South Asian Politics 1967-1999

Scope and Contents

This series contains documents, flyers, articles, and newspaper clippings from 1967-1999 pertaining to South Asian politics, namely the Bangladesh War of Independence, famine in India, FREA, and the 1970's state of emergency in India.


This series is arranged alphabetically by folder title.
Box 1, Folder 79

Bangladesh War of Independence 1971-1972

Box 1, Folder 80

Indian Politics 1967-1999