“The Typical Ghadar Outlook”: Udham Singh, Diaspora Radicalism, and Punjabi Anticolonialism in Britain (1938-1947)
Keywords:Udham Singh, Indian Workers' Association, anticolonialism, labor militancy, Britain, Punjab
Punjabis in interwar Britain, who had migrated for economic opportunity but had been politicized during successive upheavals at home, admired Ghadar’s radical solidarities with nationalist and anticolonial movements. This article focuses on peripatetic Punjabi radicals, often working as pedlars and sailors, to enhance the current understanding of the vibrant relationship between the Ghadar Party and Punjabis in Britain. This article contextualizes Udham Singh’s martyrdom by examining the uses to which his name and image were put in radical publications. Furthermore, the Indian Workers’ Association, formed in the midst of the Second World War, was integral to articulating a Ghadarite anticolonialism in Britain, which was animated by the trial and memorialization of Udham Singh. Thus, this article argues that labor migration and the global transmission of Ghadar Party publications was integral to the Ghadar movement’s influence on the struggle against imperialism in Britain in the 1930s and 1940s.
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