Social Text 86, Vol. 24, No. 1, Spring 2006. Â© 2006 by Duke University Press. Sridevi Menon Whereas India and West Asia are central conceptual sites of Europeâs Asia, in Americaâs Asia India occupies a liminal space, and West Asia is absent. âdot-busters,â neo-Nazi youth had attacked South Asian immigrants and their stores. The irony of Tripathiâs suggestion was of course lost on the Indian consul-general. Tripathiâs remarks reveal his naÃ¯vetÃ© about U.S. racial formation as well as the arrogance of a Hindu nationalist imaginary that equates âIndiannessâ with a Hindu ethnicity. The experiences of South Asian Americans and immigrants after 9/11 underscore the irrelevance of such endogenous assertions of ethnicity, particularly at a time of American national crisis. Moreover, the attempt to distance a Hindu ethnicity from a Muslim and Arab other draws attention to the precarious place of South Asians in the U.S. imaginary. At a time when Asian American difference was subsumed by the anxiety about the Muslim and Arab other, South Asians found that the Asian pan-ethnicity they had assumed and claimed as âAsian Americansâ did not prevent the blurring of their identity with those of immigrants and American citizens of Middle Eastern descent.
Social Text – Duke University Press
Published: Mar 1, 2006