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Melancholia of FreedomSocial Life in an Indian Township in South Africa$
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Thomas Blom Hansen

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691152950

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691152950.001.0001

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Charous and Ravans

Charous and Ravans

A Story of Mutual Nonrecognition

(p.97) Chapter 3 Charous and Ravans
Melancholia of Freedom

Thomas Blom Hansen

Princeton University Press

This chapter studies the theme of racism and fear of Africans among people of Indian origin. The relationship between indentured Indians and Zulu speakers in the province of Natal was tense and contentious throughout the twentieth century. The large riots in 1949 in Durban when Indian homes were attacked by African workers, as well as subsequent conflicts in 1985 and after apartheid, left a legacy of apprehension between the two communities that periodically erupt in racist allegations from both sides. The chapter also explores the tension between the so-called “racism's two bodies”—notions of surface and substance—in racial practices among Indians. It argues that the influx of large numbers of Africans in Chatsworth has transformed the idea of the area as a knowable site of cultural intimacy.

Keywords:   racism, Africans, Indians, Natal, apartheid, racial practices, Chatsworth, cultural intimacy

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