American Turban

Picture of the Day: Bhagat Singh Thind

From The Mutinous Mindstate of the Desi Diaspora:

United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind, 261 U.S. 204 (1923), was a case in which the United States Supreme Court decided that Bhagat Singh Thind, who was a Punjabi Sikh, settled in Oregon, could not be a naturalized citizen of the United States, because he was not a “white person” in the sense intended in the relevant 1790 statute governing naturalization. Although Thind argued that as an Indian he belonged to the Aryan and therefore the Caucasian race, the Court found that “the Aryan theory, as a racial basis, seems to be discredited by most, if not all, modern writers on the subject of ethnology,” and noted that “the Caucasic division of the human family is ‘in point of fact the most debatable field in the whole range of anthropological studies.’” The Court found that the authors of the 1790 statute probably ascribed to “the Adamite theory of creation” and understood “white people” in its popular, and not scientific, sense.

Image of Bhagat Singh Thind on the cover of the book “Doctorji”. Though the image is clearly from a long time ago, the book was published in 2010. Get your copy of the book at Amazon.

You can read more about Bhagat Singh Thind, a Sikh soldier in the US Army during World War I, at http://www.bhagatsinghthind.com.

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