What Gandhi Didn’t See: Being Indian in South Africa
117 in stock
|Author||Zainab Priya Dala|
|Binding||Hardback with jacket|
|Ships By||2-3 days|
From the vantage point of her own personal history—a fourth-generation Indian South African of mixed lineage—indentured as well as trader class, part Hindu, part Muslim—Dala explores the nuts and bolts of being Indian in South Africa today.
From 1684 till the present, the Indian diaspora in South Africa has had a long history. But in the country of their origin, they remain synonymous with three points of identity: indenture, apartheid and Mahatma Gandhi.
In this series of essays, Zainab Priya Dala deftly lifts the veil on some of the many other facets of South African Indians, starting with the question: How relevant is Gandhi to them today?
It is a question Dala answers with searing honesty, just as she tackles the questions of the ‘new racism’—between Black Africans and Indians—and the ‘new apartheid’—money; the tussle between the ‘canefields’ where she grew up, and the ‘Casbah’, or the glittering town of Durban; and what the changing patterns in the names the Indian community chooses to adopt reflect.
In writing that is fluid, incisive and sensitive, she explores the new democratic South Africa that took birth long after Gandhi returned to the subcontinent, and the fight against apartheid was fought and won.
In this new ‘Rainbow Nation’, the people of Indian origin are striving to keep their ties to Indian culture whilst building a stronger South African identity. Zainab Priya Dala describes some of the scenarios that result from this dichotomy.
Zainab Priya Dala is a freelance writer and psychologist. Her debut novel What About Meera won the inaugural Minara Aziz Hassim Literary Prize in South Africa and was longlisted for both the Etisalat Prize for Fiction (the most prestigious literary prize for African fiction) and the Sunday Times Barry Ronge Fiction Prize (South Africa’s largest literary award). Her second novel, The Architecture of Loss, has been published to much critical acclaim. Her short stories were awarded second prize in the Witness True Stories of KwaZulu Natal and she has written opinion pieces for The New York Times Magazine, Marie Claire and Elle. In 2017, she received an Honorary Fellowship in Writing at the International Writers Program at the University of Iowa. She has lived and worked in Dublin and now lives in Durban, South Africa.