A case of strategic ethnicity? the Natal Indian Congress in the 1970s

Goolam Vahed, Ashwin Desai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This article focuses on the revival of the Natal Indian Congress (NIC) in 1971 in the context of what is retrospectively known as the Durban moment. The early 1970s witnessed the emergence of the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) as well as a resurgence of working class collective action that was to form the embryo of the independent labour movement later in the decade. This article examines the debates surrounding the revival of the NIC, in particular whether this reinforced an exclusive ethnic identity while dampening broader non-racial responses, and whether and how the NIC's revival impacted on debates about participation in government-created structures such as the South African Indian Council (SAIC).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-47
Number of pages26
JournalAfrican Historical Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2014


  • 'Durban Moment'
  • Apartheid
  • Black Consciousness Movement
  • Dadoo
  • Gandhi
  • Natal Indian Congress
  • South African Indian Council
  • United Democratic Front

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History


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