Victor Lal

Victor Lal read law and international relations and politics at the University of Oxford before migrating to the study of history. He was Reuters, Wingate, Research Fellow and Research Associate at Oxford and Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London. His field of interest and study has been the history of constitution-making in the British Commonwealth, especially the ‘transportation’ and imposition of ‘Communal Constitutions’ during the colonial period which later gave rise to violent racial and ethnic conflicts in Kenya, Malaysia, Guyana,  Sri Lanka and in his native Fiji Islands.  As a direct descendant of Indian indentured labourers who were transported to Fiji in 1879, he is also very interested in the Indian Diaspora and has explored the relationship between Indian emigrants and ‘Mother India’, the retention and reproduction of Indian culture and tradition abroad, and the role of successive Indian governments to connect with Diaspora Indians. He has also explored the similarities and differences of the Diaspora Indians with the Diaspora Jews, Africans and Chinese. During his time at the Centre he will be conducting research titled 'The British Crown and the Crescent-Encounter and Accommodation of Islam in the Colonies'. He also hopes to convert his lecture, 'Religion, Violence, ISIS and Gandhi’s Encounter with Islam and Caliphate', which he delivered at the University of Tromsø, Norway in October 2015, into a monograph.