First East Indian Immigrants and U.S. Citizenship based on Whiteness

The first East Indian Hindu to acquire American citizenship obtained it by arguing that he was Caucasian or a “free white.” It was the year 1913, the U.S. at the time granted citizenship to “free white persons.” He was Akhay Kumar Mozumdar. Ironically, he also was one of the first Indians to have his citizenship revoked based on the landmark case United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind, 261 U.S. 204 (1923) which ruled that Indians do not fit the definition based on the common usage of the term “white” and do not look white even though…