The First wave of Indian immigrants arrived in South Africa as indentured labourers, followed by a second wave known as Passenger Indians - individuals that paid their own fare. Being the last wave of immigrats to enter the British Colony, the Indians saw themselves, and were perceived by the Africans, Coloureds and Whites, as a homogenous group originating from India.The apartheid state as well as the anti-apartheid organisation saw advantages in considering the Indians a homogenous entity. The author, however, is of the opinion that the Homogeneity attributed to people of  Indian origin in South Africa, was the result of  pragmatic concerns relating to their social, economic and political status. A preliminary survey corroborates the author’s hypothesis and shows how stratification as the basic foundation of so-called Indian identity is further  being transformed to meet the challenges of new, democratic South Africa.

Publishers: Kwela book and SAHO

Edited: Abebe Zegeye

Soft cover: ISBN 0-7957-0135-7