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“Behind the white curtain”: Indian students and researchers in Australia, 1901–1950

“Behind the white curtain”: Indian students and researchers in Australia, 1901–1950 Academic scholarship on the White Australia Policy (WAP) has highlighted the history of Asian migration, early perceptions and policy-making initiatives. Prominent scholars have also pointed out the impact of the British Empire and WAP on Australia–India relations and early Indian migrants in Australia. Drawing on the debate concerning international students in Australia, our purpose in this article is to recover the role of Indian students in the story of Australian–Indian connections.Design/methodology/approachThe article aims to highlight the reasons behind the involvement of the Australian government in the provision of scholarships and fellowships to Indian students and researchers at Australian universities during the period of WAP. To achieve this, it uses contemporary Australian newspaper reports to explore the popular representations of sponsored Indian students and researchers in Australia from 1901 to 1950.FindingsThe article concludes that the prevalence of this racially discriminatory immigration policy created a dissatisfaction among Indians, and some Australian sources of agitation, that helped chip away at the Australian government’s admission policies and the gradual demise of WAP.Originality/valueThis article contributes to the historiography and the effects of colonialism on Australian–Indian relations and debates on policy formation based on ideas of whiteness. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png History of Education Review Emerald Publishing

“Behind the white curtain”: Indian students and researchers in Australia, 1901–1950

History of Education Review , Volume 50 (2): 14 – Oct 5, 2021

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0819-8691
DOI
10.1108/her-07-2020-0044
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Academic scholarship on the White Australia Policy (WAP) has highlighted the history of Asian migration, early perceptions and policy-making initiatives. Prominent scholars have also pointed out the impact of the British Empire and WAP on Australia–India relations and early Indian migrants in Australia. Drawing on the debate concerning international students in Australia, our purpose in this article is to recover the role of Indian students in the story of Australian–Indian connections.Design/methodology/approachThe article aims to highlight the reasons behind the involvement of the Australian government in the provision of scholarships and fellowships to Indian students and researchers at Australian universities during the period of WAP. To achieve this, it uses contemporary Australian newspaper reports to explore the popular representations of sponsored Indian students and researchers in Australia from 1901 to 1950.FindingsThe article concludes that the prevalence of this racially discriminatory immigration policy created a dissatisfaction among Indians, and some Australian sources of agitation, that helped chip away at the Australian government’s admission policies and the gradual demise of WAP.Originality/valueThis article contributes to the historiography and the effects of colonialism on Australian–Indian relations and debates on policy formation based on ideas of whiteness.

Journal

History of Education ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 5, 2021

Keywords: Whiteness; White Australia Policy; India; British subjects; Scholarships

References