Ambivalent Relationships: The Portuguese State and the Indian Nationals in Mozambique at the Aftermath of the Goa Crisis

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Grounded in written historical records and oral sources, this exploratory article addresses the Portuguese policy that targeted Indian nationals settled in Mozambique in the aftermath of the liberation/occupation of Portuguese India in December 1961. It equally tackles the views, concerns, and responses developed by Indian nationals to cope with their confinement in internment camps, frozen assets, seizures and liquidation, and deportation. The analysis evinces the inbuilt ambivalence in the way Portuguese colonial authorities constructed the internment of Indian nationals as humanitarian and protective measures, while displaying their dispossession and repatriation as harsh retaliatory political measures, at odds with the purported political and legal principles of colonial governance based on Portuguese Luso-tropical exceptionalism. The differentiated impact of such political measures, far from being univocal and uncompromising, is discussed as marred by innumerable contradictions resulting from the Portuguese economic vulnerability and dependence on Indian subaltern elites in Mozambique. Furthermore, the article presents a particular analytical sensitivity to the ambivalence surrounding the modes in which men and women of Indian origin related to Portuguese colonial power and responded to its governance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-34
Number of pages34
JournalItineratio: Journal of Imperial and Global Interactions
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2020



  • Mozambique
  • Goa crisis
  • Colonialism
  • indian citizens
  • forced displacement

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