Vassar College Digital Library
This project aims to concurrently theorize how settler colonialism, white supremacy, and brahmanism manifests in North America through the actions and implications of high caste, first-generation Indian immigrants in the second half of the 21st century. I assert that dominant caste Indian settlers deal with being “a racial target for the anxieties of settlers reacting to capitalist abstraction”, as Iyko Day proposes, by leveraging the power within their high caste status. Chapter One explores terminology for people of color settlers and proposes the term ‘Indian settler’. Chapter Two explores how diasporic Hindu nationalism is influenced by Indian immigrants’ status as a settler by arguing that Hindu settler fragility is caused by settler anxiety over failure to achieve an economic status equal to white settlers. By looking at privileged South Asian immigrants, this paper differentiated itself from other work about Asian Settler Colonialism that is focused on indentured East/South East Asian laborers in Hawai’i or the American West coast. Methodologically, I combine political theory about setter colonialism and transnational reproductions of caste with ethnographic interviews, such as field notes from interviews I conducted in India, and my mothers experiences in Kerala and the US.
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