Australian life changed very little after Federation in 1901; English hegemony was alive and well. This was in complete contrast to how India and most other colonised countries behaved. India’s independence was obtained after years of bloodshed and their independence was accompanied by a wave of nationalism as a result of these struggles.
After India obtained their independence, changes were introduced across most levels of society as they shed the shackles of colonisation, particularly in governance and law enforcement. These changes were followed by an increase in national and individual self-confidence and pride, regardless of ethnic or religious backgrounds.
The peoples of India knew who they were: they shed most of the effects of English hegemony and they were able to expand, develop and rekindle their suppressed national identities, Whereas Australia was still struggling to find a strong national identity.
After Federation Australia was unable to grow a strong national identity because it never really gained it’s independence and unlike India and other colonised countries Australians after Federation did not completely understand who they were. MOST STILL DON’T. Because the same dominant Protestant Ruling Class and their values were in place after Federation as they were before Federation and this same dominate Protestant Ruling Class was closely aligned to England and to the Monarchy.
The Federation of Australia was a friendly parting of the ways: if it was a parting! There was little ethnic reasoning driving Federation; this was not the case in most Asian and African Countries and also in India. Nor was there a demand for a more Nationalistic approach in Australian society after Federation because a large proportion of Australian society had descended from the British and those that had not felt comfortable with the stable British model of Administration.
There was also a large element of fear in the Australian community because of the small population and feeling isolated in the Asia Pacific Region and because of this fear a vast majority of Australians felt the need for British protection.
Another reason for the lack of nationalistic fervour was that Australia was the first country in the world that did not have to fight for their independence and the Colonising power (England) was seen by the Australian public as paternalistic; a position that the English had cultivated and still does.
This peaceful transition in Australia was in complete contrast to India whose Independence came as a result of years of struggle and bloodshed and whose people had to endure centuries of harsh administration which at times was brutal and showed no concern for the feelings or welfare of the local people. This was in complete contrast to how the English behaved in Australia.
Are Indians An Ethnic Minority? Vols 1-5
© Len Kenna 3.12.2015