North Borneo was ‘planned’ to become part of India (1934)

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What makes news articles from the past interesting is that the choice of words and sentences are, by today’s standards and perceptions considered unacceptable. Take this news article as an example, it clearly shows the atmosphere of living in the colonial-imperial world where social class profiling (according to one’s race) were mentioned explicitly. This news article reported the issue of South Africans of Indian descent being threatened with expulsion from their White counterparts. Indian government (which then was a British crown colony) wanted the issue be solved by planning to acquire some other colonies administered by their British master for the benefits of Indian community. And as the news article here further reported, tropical regions of Africa and British Guiana were not continuously considered. Only North Borneo offered to be administered by India, if given the green light by the Indian government.

Article source: The Indian Express, 2 July 1934

Apa yang membuatkan petikan akhbar dari masa lampau menarik adalah pemilihan perkataan dan ayat yang, jika dilihat dari sudut piawaian dan persepsi masa kini dianggap tidak boleh diterimapakai. Sebagai contoh, petikan akhbar ini menjelaskan secara terperinci suasana hidup dalam dunia penjajahan di mana perincian kelas sosial berdasarkan bangsa seseorang dijelaskan dengan amat terperinci. Petikan akhbar ini melaporkan satu isu di mana rakyat Afrika Selatan berketurunan India diancam pengusiran oleh rakyat berkulit Putih negara itu. Kerajaan India (yang pada masa itu merupakan wilayah penjajahan Britain) mahu isu tersebut diselesaikan dengan merancang untuk mendapatkan beberapa tanah jajahan tadbiran pihak British yang lain untuk kebaikan masyarakat India. Petikan akhbar ini juga melaporkan bahawa kawasan tropika di Afrika dan British Guiana tidak diberi pertimbangan selanjutnya. Hanya Borneo Utara sahaja yang menawarkan untuk ditadbir oleh India, jika ia mendapat lampu hijau dari kerajaan India.

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