The US Congress and the Subcontinent

  • Iftikhar H. Malik


South Asian political-economic affairs echoed in the US Congress occasionally during the 1940s but not frequently or regularly. Under pressure from their constituents, consisting of American liberal church groups and a few select members of academia and the press, a small number of Congressmen would occasionally issue a policy statement on India, generally to be inserted in the Congressional records. The devastation caused by famines in the 1940s or the subcontinent’s geo-strategic importance were emphasised in such statements. In addition, the question of the naturalisation of South Asian-Americans, long declared ineligible because of their origin in ‘the barred zone,’ found scattered support among American legislators. Generally, the south, midwest and southwest remained indifferent to India-related issues. Throughout the 1940s there was never a full-fledged debate on India either in the House or the Senate. On the other hand, the American press exhibited an increased interest in South Asian developments. On the whole, India remained a State Department preserve with routine dispatches travelling to and fro. Even the White House lacked any consistency under FDR, while the Truman administration manifested a belated and inadequate interest in Indian independence.


South ASIANS Partition Plan Princely State American Troop Congressional Record 
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  1. 17.
    For details see Iftikhar H. Malik, U.S.-South Asia Relations, 1784–1940: A Historical Perspective (Islamabad, 1988) pp. 334–5.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Iftikhar H. Malik 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iftikhar H. Malik
    • 1
  1. 1.St Antony’s CollegeOxfordUK

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