This article studies the trip to India in late 1928 by Bùi Quang Chiêu and Dương Văn Giáo. These two Vietnamese leaders of the Constitutionalist Party had been invited to participate in the Forty-third Indian National Congress as the “delegates from Annam.” On this occasion, they solemnly affirmed Vietnamese solidarity with the Indian anticolonial cause. Using Bùi Quang Chiêu’s long travelogue published upon his return to Cochinchina, this article seeks to underline a paradox: the Indian non-cooperation movement was discovered and described enthusiastically by the leader of the main Vietnamese nationalist movement who was himself in favor of colonial collaboration with the French in Indochina during the interwar period. This essay analyzes this paradox and presents a mirror-like reflection on the internal breakdown of colonial nationalism in Indochina in the 1920s and how French colonizers undermined it from the outside in a never ending quest for docile Vietnamese interlocutors.
- Bùi Quang Chiêu
- Dương Văn Giáo
- Colonial encounters
- Non-cooperation movement
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