Glasgow Indian Union


Glasgow, G1 1BX
United Kingdom
Other names: 


Date began: 
01 Jan 1911
Precise date began unknown: 

The Glasgow Indian Union (GIU) took up a number of political issues concerning Indians in Glasgow. Following the Special Restriction (Coloured Seamen) Order of 1925, which registered seamen as 'alien' if they did not have documentary proof of their nationality, the Glasgow Indian Union lodged a letter of protest to the India Office. Sixty-three Indians in Glasgow had been registered as aliens. In 1943, the GIU appealed to the British Government for the immediate release of M. K. Gandhi from prison.

The membership of the Glasgow Indian Union appeared to consist of a mix of students, Indians who had settled in Glasgow, and lascars. Government surveillance reports in 1923 noted concerns about some of the radical tendencies of its members. However, the GIU was not merely a political union, but provided a social meeting place for Indians in the Scottish city. In 1941, for example, the GIU held a meeting to commemmorate the death of Rabindranath Tagore with readings from his plays and poems.

Secondary works: 

Maan, Bashir, The New Scots: The Story of Asians in Scotland (Edinburgh: John Donald, 1992)

Visram, Rozina, Asians in Britain: 400 Years of History (London: Pluto Press, 2002)

Archive source: 

Glasgow Indian Union to India Office, 17 February 1926, HO45/12314, National Archives, Kew

L/E/9/953, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

L/PJ/12/159, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Glasgow Herald, 16 August 1941, 1 March 1943