By Nasreen Ali, Virinder S Kalra et al
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Extra resources for A Postcolonial People: South Asians in Britain
So Babu Mohammed helped get a passport that would specifically allow me to travel to holy places in the Middle East, but could only be used to travel to other countries if it was stamped by a Pakistani embassy. I took a ship to Iraq, eventually arriving in Baghdad. I got the Pakistani embassy there to stamp my passport allowing me to travel to Walayat. I was helped by some of Babu Mohammed’s contacts to catch a flight to London. On the aeroplane I wore my best suit, I had a five pound note in my pocket and a paper with addresses given to me in Karachi by Babu Mohammed.
Such a postcolonial presence cannot be explained outside the rupturing of the membrane, which separated metropole from periphery, or the space of law and peace from the space of violence and chaos. The intrusion of the periphery into metropole (which is, as we noted, constitutive of the postcolonial condition) can no longer be contained within the interior of the metropolitan nation-states. ‘Race-relations’ which have for far too long been conceived as matters of domestic policy are being subverted by the increasing difficulty of sustaining the act of spacing that divides it from international relations; the myth of the national majority historically and politically distinct from developments surrounding the ethnically marked and colonially overdetermined minority should now be laid to rest.
Our colonial reference to whiteness in parentheses should perhaps also be made explicit at this point. As Edward Said pointed out, the colonial relation meant the rule of the white man, it was a way of being in the world and appropriating that world. The ‘white man’ was a hegemonic disposition, a dominating cadre of comportments that made possible a specific authoritarian colonial cultural style: ‘Being a White Man was therefore an idea and a reality. It involved a reasoned position towards both the white and the non-white worlds.