Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Matthew Pinsker

Second Advisor

David Commins




During World War II, advocates for India’s independence attempted to raise awareness and support in the United States by aligning their cause with the liberal and Wilsonian spirit of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration. To amplify their voice, these activists used internationalist rhetoric to initiate a coalition of Indian-Americans, journalists, politicians and leading liberals, forming a coordinated network—the India Lobby.

My thesis addresses several key questions about lobbying activities. Who comprised the India Lobby and what strategies and tactics did they deploy to mobilize American opinion makers and to influence government policy in favor of India’s fight for independence? How does the development of an India Lobby fit into the context of the history of lobbies in the United States? Was the India Lobby successful? More broadly, how should historians define success for lobbying efforts? By focusing on the leadership of the Lobby and by using their correspondence, newsletters and reminiscences, this project will demonstrate how the India Lobby evolved a mobilization strategy from two distinct stages of rhetorical and recruitment tactics, and how this evolution produced tangible results by 1945.