Cosmopolitan Anticolonialism: The Transimperial Networks of the Hindusthan Association of Central Europe in Weimar Era Berlin

Category: Essay 0

In Weimar era Berlin, Indian students and anticolonialists networked with other exiled communities from subject and colonial nations through the Hindusthan Association of Central Europe (HACE), officially known in German as the Verein der Inder in Zentraleuropa, forging a form of cosmopolitan anticolonialism.[1] Already during the First World War, Germany had attracted anticolonial revolutionaries from across the world to Berlin, including from India, Egypt, Persia, Algeria, and Tunisia, who established anti-colonial groups with German funding to fight against the British and French empires. Among these, the Indian Independence Committee (IIC) was one of the more active and prominent groups.[2] As Berlin became a hub for anti-imperialists, in the 1920s exiles from other oppressive and colonial regimes – from Russia, China, Indonesia, and Persia – increasingly flocked to the universities in the German capital.[3] Transcending empires and nations, the exiled communities in Berlin networked through various student associations that often assumed a more cosmopolitan and political character when more radical anticolonialists joined.

Indeed, in Weimar era Berlin, veterans from the IIC such as Virendranath ‘Chatto’ Chattopadhyaya, Chempakaraman Pillai, M. P. T. Acharya, Tarachand Roy, Surendranath Kar, and L. P. Varma were joined by newcomers such as A. C. N. Nambiar and his wife Suhasini Nambiar (nee Chattopadhyaya, Chatto’s younger sister), Jaya Surya Naidu (son of the famous poetess Sarojini Naidu and Chatto’s nephew), Zakir Hussain, Muhammad Mujeeb, Khwaja Abdul Hamied, Gangadhar Adhikari, Monindra Kumar Sen, and Saumyendranath Tagore, many of them students at Berlin’s universities. In the German capital, they formed new and joined several existing anti-imperial organisations, the most important being the HACE, operating under the auspices of the Central Association of Foreign Students (Hauptgemeinschaft ausländischer Studierender). Founded in 1921, the HACE was a broad, all-encompassing organisation that brought together the growing Indian student population, mostly men but also a few women, and veteran Indian anti-colonial revolutionaries in Weimar era Berlin. Chatto’s younger sister Suhasini was one of the few women involved in the organisation. Despite its claim to cover central Europe, the HACE did not operate outside of Germany, or even Berlin for that matter, but there were other Indian student organisations in Munich and Vienna, for example.[4]

The social and political history of the HACE – and its transimperial networks – has elided scholarly attention to date, partly due to the lack of archival sources. In this essay, I draw primarily on contemporaneous newspaper reports from the Bombay Chronicle (Bombay) to illuminate the social and political activities of the HACE and to bring to light the ways in which these activities were entangled with other exiled communities in Weimar Berlin. While the HACE, according to Gerdien Jonker, ‘offered an academic rather than a political forum’ and was ‘mainly occupied with engaging in an intellectual encounter with German society and translating key concepts from one cultural tradition to the other’, as I explore in this essay, when some of the more radical Indians in Berlin joined in the early 1920s, the organisation often took on a more political role.[5] Indeed, when Chatto joined around 1922, the HACE merged with the Indian Club he was running at Georg-Wilhelm-Straße 7-11 in Halensee.[6] As K. A. Hamied recalled, the HACE was an organisation ‘where all Indians used to meet frequently and discuss mostly politics and the question as to how to make India free from British rule’.[7] In fact, Indians in the HACE often combined the social with the political, networking with other colonial and subject groups at their social events, thus constituting a radical cosmopolitanism.

The HACE was initially primarily a social student organisation for Indians in Berlin and operated alongside other foreign student associations. The first president was Tarachand Roy, a lecturer in Hindi at the University of Berlin, and the secretary was Kanailal Ganguly.[8] A veteran of the Ghadar Party in the United States, Surendranath Kar became president in 1923 until his sudden death in November 1923. The HACE held a wake to Kar at the Indian Club in Halensee.[9] At some point in 1924, Zakir Husain, who was then studying in Berlin and later became the third president of independent India, became president of the HACE.[10] After Husain left Berlin in late 1926, Roy became president of the organisation again, while P. J. Reddy, a young student at the Technical Academy (Technische Hochschule), became its secretary. In his capacity as secretary, Reddy facilitated contact between M. K. Gandhi in India and the Chinese Student Association in Berlin in May 1927, signalling the cross-cultural exchanges between Indians and Chinese in the Weimar era.[11] Throughout the mid-to-late 1920s, the HACE had a revolving cast of presidents, vice-presidents, and secretaries, Hindus and Muslims united in the cause for Indian cultural life in exile and, in some ways, it served as an unofficial representation of India in Berlin.[12] In addition to the regular monthly meetings, often held at the Indian club house in Halensee and later, from April 1927, in the Alexander von Humboldt-Haus (today’s Literaturhaus) in Fasanenstraße 23 in Charlottenburg, the HACE organised social events such as Winter Festivals and cultural evenings that were targeted at both Germans as well as other exiled communities.

The Social and Cultural Life of Indians in Berlin

A brief exploration of some of the social events organised by the HACE illuminate the transimperial and cosmopolitan character of the association, revealing the entangled lives of exiled communities in Weimar Berlin. For example, on 21 December 1925, under the auspices of the HACE, the Indians in Berlin held a ‘National Evening’ in the White Hall at the Charlottenburg Palace, which drew in more than ‘500 guests of different nationalities and classes’.[13] A report of the event in the Bombay Chronicle noted: ‘[t]he Hall was decorated with [Indian National] Congress flags (white, green, red), pictures of political leaders as well as with mottos written in Devanagari, Urdu, and German characters’. While it was a social event for all Indians in Berlin, it was still political in nature. In fact, as the report stated:

[a]fter the opening song ‘Bande Mataram’ by Mr. S. K. Haldar, Mr. M. Mujeeb, the Vice-President, in welcoming the guests on behalf of the Hindusthan Association of Central Europe, Berlin, explained that as the Indian National Congress with Mrs. Sarojini Naidu at its helm would meet next week in Cawnpore, the Indians who are far away from dear old country express their hearty greetings to that national body through that gathering. That is why it was called National Evening.

After the opening and welcoming address, Husain and Roy delivered lectures, followed by words from ‘Prof. Dr. Hahn, the Chief Physician of Berlin Government Hospital, Prof. von Glasenapp, and Dr. Wagner’. While billed as a ‘National Evening’ and connecting with German prominent figures, it was a truly transimperial event, where ‘representatives of other associations, viz., Russian, Persian, Turkisthan, and Chinese, expressed their good will and moral support to Indians in their struggle for freedom’. The evening ended with a burlesque written by Naidu, then living in Berlin, as well as a ‘performance of Caucasian folk dancing’.[14]

On 24 July 1926, the HACE held a ‘Summer Festival’ in the Kurfürstenpark in Halensee. Attended by several students and lecturers from the University of Berlin, the Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung reported that only the ‘brown skins and occasional turbans’ revealed that this was an Indian gathering, suggesting that it was well-attended by Germans as well.[15] Five months later, on 17 December 1926, the HACE held another ‘Indian Evening’ to welcome Jawaharlal Nehru, who had arrived with his father, Motilal Nehru, in the autumn. Organised with only a week’s notice, the event attracted ‘nearly 300 people of all nationalities of the East and West’, replete with Indian songs and recitals, an ‘Indian dance by an Italian lady called Mme. Vernice married to a Russian painter of fame’, accompanied by Jawaharlal Nehru on piano.[16] In fact, though it was Jawaharlal Nehru’s 36th birthday but he still attended the ‘Indian Evening’. The most spectacular event of the evening was a performance by the African American dancer Louis Douglas, who turned up after his performance at the Opera House had finished around midnight, and ‘showed his great powers in the “Impression of Dances” in which he is a master’. Accompanied by his wife, Douglas presented ‘[a]ll the serious, comical, melancholy – as well as acrobatic – sides of Euro-American dancing’, as the audience ‘cheered him several encores to which he gracefully responded by several other dances’. The HACE had paid for the hall and the jazz band, while all performers performed for free, and there was ‘plenty of dancing which lasted up to 3 o’clock at night’.[17]

Another event deserves mention. At an ‘Indian Winter Festival’ held on 20 January 1928, the new president of the HACE, Gangadhar Adhikari, a student at the University of Berlin and prominent communist, delivered the welcoming speech followed by ‘an Indian song on the harmonium by Mr. Das of Hyderabad’.[18] Later in the evening, Das accompanied ‘Miss Sinha, a young Bengali lady, who happened to be here for some reason or other, attired in her Indian national costume’ on violin while she sang two songs. In addition to Das on violin, ‘a Javanese student in exile from Holland’ also ‘performed Javanese and European songs on violin’. The night also featured ‘a first class Russian Balalaika Band playing Russian and Georgian music to the extasy of the audience’ as well as Russian-Caucasian dances. A Chinese magician, who was ‘an expert on the German variety stages’, performed his tricks to the ‘gaping surprise of the onlookers’, though his tricks were ‘very much like Indian [tricks] but more appealing to the European audience’. It was certainly a lively event with ‘plenty of dance to the Jazz Band till 3 next morning’. While the event attracted many Indians and other nationalities, attendance at the HACE’s social events had begun to dwindle by that time: ‘meetings were attended by scarcely a dozen Indians’, which made them ‘miserable in the eyes of the European guests unlike the Chinese functions here’, one report noted.[19]

A cursory look at these events organised by the HACE reveal not only the lively community and social life of the Indians in Berlin, but also open a window onto the cross-cultural, cosmopolitan, and social world of anticolonialism. At these events, the social was political. Indeed, while the HACE organised social events that drew in other colonial subjects and exiled communities, the organisation did not shy away from more political events. This manifested itself in several ways.

The Anticolonial Politics of the Hindusthan Association of Central Europe

As evidence of the central role of Berlin in the global landscape of anticolonialism, when prominent Indian independence leaders came to Berlin during trips to Europe, the HACE often hosted meetings for these figures, even if they did not always agree with their politics. In doing so, the HACE was one of the global nodes of anticolonialism that connected activists from Germany to India and across the colonial world. For example, when Indian National Congress (INC) leader Motilal Nehru and his son, Jawaharlal, visited in late 1926, Chatto arranged for Jawaharlal Nehru’s attendance at the founding congress of the League Against Imperialism (LAI) in Brussels in February 1927 as a representative of the INC.[20] He also arranged for the attendance of Mohamed Barkatullah, a veteran of the Ghadar Party, then living in Berlin. The HACE was represented in Brussels by Naidu, Hamied, and Monindra Kumar Sen, while Nambiar represented the Indian newspaper The Hindu, and Chatto officially represented the Hindoo Journalists Federation in Europe.[21] A month after the Brussels congress, the HACE held their first meeting in the Alexander von Humboldt-Haus in Fasanenstraße, the headquarters of the Association of Foreign Students, to decide on their official relationship with the LAI. Naidu reported on the Brussels congress and suggested that the HACE should become a member of the LAI, but in the end, after protests from Acharya, it was decided that everyone could join individually to maintain the HACE’s independence from the Comintern.[22]

(Indian delegates at the inaugural congress of the League Against Imperialism, Brussels, 10–15 February 1927. From left: Virendranath Chattopadhyaya (no. 8), Suhasini Nambiar (no. 9), Jawaharlal Nehru (no. 10); from right: Jaya Surya Naidu (no. 3), Mohamed Barkatullah (no. 4), in: Das Flammenzeichen vom Palais Egmont, Berlin 1927, Facing Page 174)

In early February 1928, the Indian Statutory Commission, also known as the Simon Commission after its chairman Sir John Allsebrook Simon, travelled from Britain to India to study the potential for Indian constitutional reform and the prospect of greater autonomy for India. The Simon Commission did not include any Indian delegates and was met with widespread condemnation from all major Indian organisations and figures, including the INC and Nehru, Gandhi, and Muhammed Ali Jinnah. On 10 February 1928, the HACE held a public meeting, ‘considered to be the first propaganda meeting of the Association’, to condemn the Simon Commission as well.[23] After speeches from Naidu, Adhikari, and Bakar Ali Mirza, a student at Oxford University then visiting Berlin, a Yugoslavian student spoke and compared British rule in India to the former Ottoman rule in his country and a Russian student drew comparisons to Tsarist rule in Russia. While remaining politically independent from the INC, the HACE passed a resolution ‘congratulating the [Indian National] Congress on its courage in adopting the independence goal as their resolution and wishing it Godspeed in its new programme’.[24]

Throughout 1928, as several Indian leaders travelled to London for talks with the British government, many of them passed through Berlin. S. Srinivasa Iyengar, a veteran Indian freedom fighter and INC-member, had condemned the British Labour Party for supporting the Simon Commission and staged numerous protests in India. In Berlin, he delivered a lecture on the INC and independence at the University of Berlin as well as at the HACE’s headquarters in the Alexander von Humboldt-Haus, ‘covering chiefly the question of unity regardless of religion, caste, or province, as well as the problem of mass organisation’.[25] Addressing the unique position of the Indians in Berlin, ‘Mr. Iyengar said that he finds the German people and German educational and industrial institutions much more sympathetic to Indians than are institutions in England’.[26]

In India in 1928, Yusuf Meher Ali, a young freedom fighter and socialist leader, had founded the Bombay Youth League and become a vociferous critic of the Simon Commission. In November that year, at the initiative of A. A. Shaikh, the new secretary of the HACE, the HACE held a meeting to support the Bombay Youth League. At the meeting, it was resolved to ‘support the Bombay Youth League and particularly youths of the Bombay Presidency for doing an intensive propaganda against the Simon Commission that had been thrust upon the people of India’.[27] Another strong critic of the Simon Commission was the veteran Indian nationalist leader Lala Lajpat Rai. When the Simon Commission reached Lahore, Lajpat Rai staged a massive non-violent protest, but the police retaliated and Lajpat Rai was severely injured. He died from his injuries on 17 November 1928. A few days later, the HACE held a special condolence meeting to condemn the brutality of the Government of India and the police.[28] While the HACE united the Indians in Berlin and connected them to other subject and colonised communities in exile, the organisation was also well-informed about the political situation in India and, to some extent, focused less on the plight of Indians in Berlin.

Lajpat Rai was not the only veteran Indian nationalist leader to pass away during those years. From within their own ranks, the former secretary of the HACE, P. J. Reddy, had tragically died in a boxing match on 30 January 1929. At a special meeting a week later, which brought together Naidu, Varma, Acharya, Roy, and Shaikh, the HACE moved to send their condolences to the family and establish a Reddy Memorial Fund to ‘commemorate the memory of one who devoted all his energies to the welfare of the association’.[29] Similarly, when the veteran Indian revolutionary Shyamaji Krishnavarma, founder of the Indian Home Rule Society, India House in London, and editor of The Indian Sociologist, died in Geneva on 30 March 1930, the HACE took notice.[30] Perhaps most striking, when Motilal Nehru, former president of the INC, died on 6 February 1931, the HACE held a meeting to commemorate his death. Attended by many Indians and Germans side by side, the HACE passed the following resolution: ‘The Hindusthan Association of Central Europe and friends lament with the entire Indian nation in the great tragic loss caused by the death of Pandit Motilal Nehru and hopes that the soldiers of freedom will double their speed inspired by the great memory he has left behind’.[31] Transversing India and Germany, these commemoration events in Berlin connected the HACE to a longer history of the Indian revolutionary movement in exile, while also connecting the organisation to contemporary events in India.

(HACE meeting in the Alexander von Humboldt-Haus, Fasanenstraße 23, 6 May 1930, to protest the arrest of M. K. Gandhi in India. Saumyendranath Tagore is standing and speaking, M. P. T. Acharya is sitting on the floor in the back, and Jaya Surya Naidu is sitting to the far right, Wikimedia Commons, Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-09732 / CC-BY-SA 3.0,,_Berlin,_Inder_protestieren_gegen_Verhaftung_Gandhis.jpg)

The failure of the Simon Commission led to a series of Round Table Conferences in London in the early 1930s. Prominent Indian leaders such as B. S. Moonje, the president of the Hindu Mahasabha, and V. J. Patel, a member of the INC, visited Berlin in connection with the meetings.[32] Arriving in Berlin in early April 1931 after his visit to London, the HACE arranged tea for Moonje in the ‘Indian restaurant of Mr. Sobhan’ and also invited Fritz Grobba, the new head of the Oriental Section of Department III of the German Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt).[33] After a welcome speech by Tarachand Roy, Mr. Alim, the new president of the HACE, asked Moonje to prevent communal quarrels in India and join Gandhi’s non-violence campaign. Moonje blamed the quarrels on ‘black sheep in all camps’ and advocated instead for an Indian army, which had been promised by the British in the Round Table Conferences.[34] Naidu and the new secretary of the HACE, Ram Manohar Lohia, also addressed the meeting and denounced Moonje’s militaristic ideas.

When Patel visited in early July 1931, he struck a different tone than Moonje. Rather than blaming communal problems on ‘black sheep in all camps’, Patel said that it was the British who fanned the flames of dissent and exploited communal quarrels to keep India under British rule. Hindus and Muslims, he said, were united in their struggle against the British. Much to the dismay of many of the Indian communists in Berlin, Patel also denounced communism and warned against another foreign doctrine influencing Indian politics and the freedom struggle. During his week-long stay in Berlin, Patel gave talks to various audiences at the Hotel Eden as well as the University of Berlin under the auspices of the HACE as well as the Indian National Union in Berlin, a new rival organisation set up by Devendra Nath Bannerjea.[35] While perhaps disagreeing with some of these visiting Indian leaders, the HACE still hosted meetings to discuss their ideas. At the same time, the fact that many of these figures visited Berlin points to the importance of the exiled Indian community in Weimar era Berlin.

However, by that time, the HACE’s importance had started to diminish. At some point in 1930, the HACE moved to premises at Burgstraße and then on to Klopstockstraße 55. By then, the HACE was marred by internal disagreements, largely between the older generation and newer students. In fact, when the prominent Indian nationalist Subhas Chandra Bose arrived in Berlin in July 1933, he found the general body of students at loggerheads with some of the older permanent residents.[36] As it happened, in the early 1930s, the HACE’s activities declined before the association eventually ceased to exist around 1933 due to internal disagreements, after little more than ten years of existence. On the advice of Bose, Indian students in Berlin decided to organise a new Indian Students’ Association to replace the defunct HACE and invited older Indian residents to join as associated members, an invitation that many accepted, though Pillai declined and ‘vainly tried to thwart’ the new organisation.[37]

The end of the Weimar era and the arrival of Bose, in many ways, foreshadowed a new era for the Indians in Berlin. Along with the HACE, the older generation disappeared. Some were expelled by the Nazis, while some left voluntarily, and others even collaborated with the Nazis.[38] For more than a decade, however, the HACE was both a central cultural and political organisation for Indians in Berlin. It transcended student politics and embraced national politics, serving as a connection between politics in India and Indians in exile. At the same time, it connected the Indians in Berlin to other exiled communities, especially communities from subject or colonial nations, forging a form of anticolonial cosmopolitanism in the Weimar era.

Further reading

Brückenhaus, Daniel: Policing Transnational Protest: Liberal Imperialism and the Surveillance of Anticolonialists in Europe, 1905–1945, New York 2017.

Jonker, Gerdien: On the Margins: Jews and Muslims in Interwar Berlin, Leiden: 2020.

Kuck, Nathanael: Anti-colonialism in a Post-Imperial Environment—The Case of Berlin, 1914–33, in: Journal of Contemporary History 49/1 (2014), pp. 134–59.

Laursen, Ole Birk, Anarchy or Chaos: M. P. T. Acharya and the Indian Struggle for Freedom, London 2023.

Louro, Michele: Comrades Against Imperialism: Nehru, India, and Interwar Internationalism, Cambridge 2018.

Manjapra, Kris: Age of Entanglement: German and Indian Intellectuals Across Empire, Cambridge 2014.

Oesterheld, Joachim: Aus Indien an die Alma Mater berolinensis – Studenten aus Indien in Berlin vor 1945, in: Periplus: Jahrbuch für Außereuropäische Geschichte 14 (2004), pp. 191–200.

[1] Nathanael Kuck: Anti-colonialism in a Post-Imperial Environment—The Case of Berlin, 1914–33, in: Journal of Contemporary History 49/1 (2014), pp. 134–59.

[2] Jennifer Jenkins, Heike Liebau, Larissa Schmid: Transnationalism and Insurrection: Independence Committees, Anti-colonial Networks, and Germany’s Global War, in: Journal of Global History 15/1 (2020), pp. 6179.

[3] Fredrik Petersson: Hub of the Anti-Imperialist Movement: The League against Imperialism and Berlin, 1927-1933, in: Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies 16/1 (2013), pp. 49–71.

[4] Joachim Oesterheld: Lohia as a Doctoral Student in Berlin, in: Economic and Political Weekly 45/40 (2–8 October 2010), pp. 85–91.

[5] Gerdien Jonker: On the Margins: Jews and Muslims in Interwar Berlin, Leiden 2019, p. 55.

[6] Education in Germany, in: Modern Review (February 1922), p. 255; Orientals in Berlin and Munich: S I S and D I B reports, L/PJ/102, file 6303/22, India Office Records, British Library, London. In some reports, Chatto’s Indian Club in Halensee is referred to as ‘Hindustan House’, not to be confused with the Indian restaurant Hindustan Haus, which opened in Uhlandstraße in 1929.

[7] K. A. Hamied: An Autobiography: A Life to Remember, Bombay 1972, p. 36.

[8] German Interest in Indian Culture, in: Modern Review (May 1922), pp. 630–1.

[9] Die Indische Kolonie Berlins, in: Vorwärts (15 November 1923), p. 6; Bhupendra Nath Datta, In Memoriam of Surendranath Kar, in: United States of India 1/7 (February 1924), pp. 5–6.

[10] Joachim Oesterheld: Zakir Husain: Begegnungen und Erfahrungen bei der Suche nach moderner Bildung für ein freies Indien, in: Petra Heidrich, Heike Liebau (eds.): Akteure des Wandels: Lebensläufe und Gruppenbilder an Schnittstellen von Kulturen, Berlin 2001, p. 113.

[11] Mohandas K. Gandhi: Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, XXXIII, January–June 1927, New Delhi 1969, pp. 315–6.

[12] Jonker, On the Margins, p. 64.

[13] Indians in Berlin: A National Evening, in: Bombay Chronicle (1 March 1926), p. 9.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Indisches Sommerfest, in: Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (26 July 1926), p. 3.

[16] Our Berlin Letter: Reception to Pundit J. Nehru, in: Bombay Chronicle (19 January 1927), p. 10.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Our Berlin Letter: An Indian Winter Festival, in: Bombay Chronicle (13 February 1928), p. 9.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Michele Louro: Comrades Against Imperialism: Nehru, India, and Interwar Internationalism, Cambridge 2018, pp. 31–3.

[21] List of Delegates and Organizations attending the Congress against Colonial Oppression and Imperialism, League against Imperialism Archives, ARCH00804, International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam.

[22] A Berlin Letter: The Brussel Congress Criticized, in: Bombay Chronicle (9 April 1927), p. 15; Ole Birk Laursen: Anarchy or Chaos: M. P. T. Acharya and the Indian Struggle for Freedom, London 2023, pp. 144–5.

[23] Indians in Berlin: Simon Commission Boycott Approved, in: Bombay Chronicle (14 March 1928), p. 9.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Bound for Moscow: Mr. Srinivasa Iyengar’s Indictment of British Labour Party: Ex-Congress President Greeted in Berlin, in: Bombay Chronicle (6 August 1928), p. 9.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Bombay Youth League: Support of the Hindusthan Association of Central Europe, in: Bombay Chronicle (17 December 1928), p. 8.

[28] Lala Lajpat Rai, in: Bombay Chronicle (21 January 1929), p. 7.

[29] A Tragic Accident in Berlin, in: Bombay Chronicle (4 May 1929), p. 9.

[30] Late Shamji Krishna Varma, in: Bombay Chronicle (7 April 1930), p. 5.

[31] Hindusthan Association of Central Europe: Tribute to Late Motilalji, in: Bombay Chronicle (9 March 1931), p. 7.

[32] Politische Beziehungen Indiens zu Deutschland, RZ 207/77415, Politisches Archiv des Auswärtiges Amts, Berlin.

[33] Dramatic Portrayal of National Movement, in: Bombay Chronicle (4 April 1931), p. 9.

[34] Ibid.

[35] “Congress Has Decided to Win Freedom First”, in: Bombay Chronicle (27 July 1931), p. 7; India’s Salvation Lies in the Hands of Indians Alone, in: Bombay Chronicle (28 July 1931), p. 9; Mr. Patel Sees Storm Ahead, in: Bombay Chronicle (10 August 1931), p. 1. Maria Framke: Manoeuvring Across Academia in National Socialist Germany: The Life and Work of Devendra Nath Bannerjea, in: N.T.M., 31/3 (2023), pp. 307–32.

[36] Mr. Subhas Bose Goes to Berlin, in: Bombay Chronicle (28 August 1933), p. 7.

[37] Ibid.

[38] Daniel Brückenhaus: Policing Transnational Protest: Liberal Imperialism and the Surveillance of Anticolonialists in Europe, 1905–1945, New York 2017, pp. 169–81; Maria Framke: Shopping Ideologies for Independent India? Taraknath Das’s Engagement with Italian Fascism and German National Socialism, in: Itinerario 40/1 (2016), pp. 55–81.

Author profile

Dr Ole Birk Laursen is a historian of modern South Asia, with a particular focus on anti-colonialism, transnationalism, exile, and anarchism. He has published extensively on the history of South Asian anti-colonialism in early twentieth-century Europe, and his first book "Anarchy or Chaos: M. P. T. Acharya and the Indian Struggle for Freedom (London: Hurst, 2023), traces Acharya’s life, activities, and movements across India, Europe, North America, the Middle East, and Russia, the book explores the lived experience of transnationalism and transimperialism in the first half of the twentieth century. In doing so, it illuminates connections and dissonances between empires and nation-states as well as intellectual discourses on freedom during the struggle for independence.

- Spaces of Indian Anticolonialism in Early Twentieth Century London and Paris, in: South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 44/4 (2021), pp. 634-650.
- “I have only One Country, it is the World”: Madame Cama, Anticolonialism, and Indian-Russian Revolutionary Networks in Paris, 1907–1917, in: History Workshop Journal, 90 (Autumn 2020), pp. 96–114.
- “Anarchism, pure and simple”: M. P. T. Acharya, Anti-Colonialism and the International Anarchist Movement, in: Postcolonial Studies, 22/3 (2020), pp. 241–255.
- Anti-Colonialism, Terrorism and the “Politics of Friendship”: Virendranath Chattopadhyaya and the European Anarchist Movement, 1910–1927, in: Anarchist Studies, 27/1 (2019), pp. 47–62.
- Anarchist Anti-Imperialism: Guy Aldred and the Indian Revolutionary Movement, 1909-1914, in: Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 46/2 (2018), pp. 286–303.

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