The History of Indian Immigration in America

12 Dec

Bhagat Singh Thind, a US Army veteran, whose case for US citizenship reached the Supreme Court in 1923.

I’ve been reading Iris Chang’s “The Chinese in America: A Narrative History” and her comprehensive historical research has inspired me to learn more about Indian immigration to America (maybe for a possible book someday!) Some interesting facts I’ve collected:

  • approximately 90% of Indian immigrants before 1965 were Sikhs from Punjab who were worked in northern California farming. Their agricultural skills and familiarity with the warm climate helped make them successful.
  • Americans referred to these immigrants, regardless of their religion as “Hindoos.”  It took me a while to realize this was probably because there was another ethnic group in America commonly called Indians.
  • Pre-1947 (when India gained independence from Great Britain), Indian revolutionaries sought political asylum in America and attempted to organize Indians into fighting against the British by raising funds and returning to India.

It has been enlightening to read about overt racism and violence directed toward Indians in America since post 1965, our journey has been relatively smooth.  I feel these stories are important to my and future generations and I look forward to penning this chapter of history in a permanent form.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: