The Indian Freedom Struggle and the Kenyan Diaspora

Values across the Ocean: 1916–1963

In: Matatu
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  • 1 , Kenya, Nairobi
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The connections between the Indian Freedom movement and the Kenyan Indian diaspora after the First World War led to the involvement of the Indian National Congress and Gandhi in the struggle of the Kenyan Indians for equality and equal treatment with the British white settlers in Kenya. The Congress considered that the success of the equality struggle in Kenya would also lead to equal treatment of Indians in India itself. This was consistent with the prevailing political goal of the freedom movement in India in 1919, which was self-rule through Dominion Status under the British Crown. But when the struggle of the Kenya Indians failed and equality was denied to them by the famous Devonshire Declaration in 1923, there the Indian freedom movement realized that this signalled unequal status and a denial of self-rule to India itself. Historic consequences followed. This was the turning point and over the years immediately after the Kenyan decision (1923–1929), the Indian National Congress changed its political aim from Dominion Status to Full Independence as a Republic, realized over the 17 years to 1947.

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