The Indians of Natal: Resistance to Apartheid, 1971-1985 by Davinder S. Dhillon

ABSTRACT OF THESES

This thesis highlights the ebbs and flows of the Indian minority's struggles against 

the systematic and unjust segregation of mankind along racial lines. Their  courage and 

principled resistance  as well  as their  fears  as  a minority during the period of 1971 to 

1985, are captured in this study. 

It begins  by  briefly tracing the  community's struggles from  the early  1860s, 

against  the racist laws that targeted them,  to  how by  the  1950s closer inter-ethnic ties 

were forged with the other oppressed groups and joint struggles against apartheid were 

launched. 

The political  and socio-cultural resistance of the community  in the province  of 

Natal,  during  the  period  concerned, is the subject  of  detailed  scrutiny.  Based upon 

primary materials collected by the author from  South Africa, the thesis seeks to capture 

the dynamics of Indian resistance during these tumultuous years. 

The political resistance of the Natal Indian Congress (NIC) led Indian community 

is  zeroed  on  in  chapters two  and  three.  The efforts  of  the  NIC  to  galvanise its 

constituency, which  had  turn apathetic  during  the 1960s under the weight  of state 

repression,  are  scrutinised. The  NIC's  links with and  contributions  to the African 

National Congress' wider anti-apartheid resistance also remains  a  constant theme.  The 

development of inter-ethnic unity between the oppressed communities is also highlighted. 

This unity which grew from strength to strength, finally received  a setback, the Inanda 

violence  in  1985. It damaged Indo-African ties, leading  to  alterations in the resistance 

dynamics that had been developing.

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