By Nasreen Ali, Virinder S Kalra et al
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Additional resources for A Postcolonial People: South Asians in Britain
The circulation of the concept of racism as ideology marked the disavowal of the violence of normalised Western colonialism and the reinforcement of the ascribed moral and political distinction between Europe and non-Europe, the West and the rest, white and non-white, centre and periphery. The ideology of racism, symbolised in the political experiments and fantasies of the Nazis, became in the Western imaginary the template for the racial ‘state of exception’. The idea of the state of exception describes those circumstances under which the juridical order is suspended and emergency powers or martial law, or governmental powers unbound by existing law, are exercised (Agamben, 2005).
Thus the postcolonial analytic has tended to focus on politics as practices of cultural representation. g. nationalism, so-called fundamentalism). While useful within the realms of cultural studies, this has left unattended transnational political questions of power and coloniality, which can only be summarised under the theme of interrupted decolonisation, as a persisting and relevant idea in the contemporary age. In this sense the postcolonial becomes an idiom for reflecting on the historical logics of decolonisation and mobilising its contemporary logics—if by decolonisation we understand both the removal and elimination of the forms of coloniality described above.
Almost all the jobs available to them were those that the white workers did not want. In the main these were unskilled jobs involving unsociable hours of work, poor working conditions and low wages. Hence Asian workers came to occupy some of the lowest rungs of the British employment hierarchy. Additionally, as ex-colonial subjects, they belonged to a group whose country was once ruled by Britain. From the beginning, therefore, the encounter between Asians and the white population was circumscribed by colonial precedents.
A Postcolonial People: South Asians in Britain by Nasreen Ali, Virinder S Kalra et al