Browse by author: Seema Sohi

Archives of Anticolonialism, Surveillance, and Solidarities

What I found in the archives was beyond what I could have imagined. In uncovering the broad, innovative, and heterogeneous forms of political activism that these migrants engaged in, I found that the archives of early South Asian American history are archives of anticolonial mobilization, state surveillance, and racial solidarities. They allow us to see that South Asian Americans have not been marginal to U.S. history. 

The Ghadar Party

In November 1913 a group of Indian revolutionaries gathered at their newly established headquarters on a San Francisco hilltop to raise a red, yellow, and green flag that represented freedom, brotherhood, and equality. Signifying the values of the free India that they envisioned, these men were members of the Ghadar Party, a revolutionary group of Indians who sought to overthrow the British empire through armed revolution.

From 1917 to 2017

In addition to the “Barred Zone” provision, the 1917 Immigration Act increased the statute of limitations for deportation from three to five years for any “alien” deemed to have subversive or dangerous political beliefs or associations, namely those that could be construed as aligned with or advocating the principles of anarchism. While it may seem as if these two critical provisions of the Act had little to do with one another, they were in fact deeply intertwined.