ABSTRACT: This article explores the three themes of civic nationalism, imperial identities and Punjabi migration by focusing on the life of Sundar Singh, a migrant to Canada who came to prominence in the early 1900s, through his speeches. Sundar Singh employed the idea of equal status of all British subjects in the British Empire to argue for the migration of Sikhs to Canada and other British settler societies and their being treated with respect and fairness on their arrival in their new homes. Although Singh's claim to Britishness was rejected in many sections of Canadian society, it was supported by some white Canadians. The article suggests that British identity of the Empire's Dominions could, in some circumstances, be a force for the inclusion of South Asians. The article also illustrates the way in which developments in India impacted upon those of the diaspora across the British Empire. This idea is developed by demonstrating the importance of the triangular relationship between India, the United Kingdom and Canada as highlighted by the issue of Punjabi migration within the British Empire.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Cultural Studies
- Sociology and Political Science
- British Empire