Facebook user who formed ‘I hate Ambedkar’ yet to be arrested

16/02/2011

The truant unidentified user of facebook who created a facebook page “I Hate Ambedkar” which caused around 400 people in Mumbai to come on the streets shouting Slogans is yet to be arrested. When the news of the hate community spread in Mumbai, a mob as big as 400 people came together in Khar and Bandra and created a ruckus. It was so bad that the authorities had to intervene.

The people were demanding the community to be blocked from Facebook and the unidentified person to be arrested. Five rioters were arrested by the police for destroying vehicles and for throwing stones. The police are surprised and have no clue as to who could have mobilized such a large group of people to a particular place.

The police are certain that no local people are involved. Reports are coming about the fact that all disturbances started when a local newspaper Lokmanya reported that a Punjabi boy has started a hate community against Ambedkar in Facebook. When asked questions Amitabh Gupta, Additional Commissioner of Police (West) said, “No local leader is involved, but we are finding out who gathered so many people for the protest. We called in additional force and restrained the protesters by 3.30 am.”

Talking about the issue K.M.M. Prasanna, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone IX, said that arrest warrant has been issued against the unidentified person and the police also approached the court in order to direct an order against the Facebook page. Giving feedbacks Mr Prassanna said, “The court said that the contents of the webpage were grossly offensive and may cause a law and order situation. It directed the authorities to take immediate steps with the Chief Technical Officer of Facebook, U.S., for blocking or deleting the page.” The person who is the accused is yet to be arrested by the police.

The recent Facebook controversy prior to Ambedkar hate community was the Vaseline controversy where the users could clear their facebook profile picture by removing the dark spots. This was done to promote Vaseline men product but the plan backfired.

http://ic-technews.com/others/3604-facebook-user-who-formed-i-hate-ambedkar-yet-to-be-arrested

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‘Hate page will be blocked by Tuesday night’

16/02/2011

MUMBAI: The web page ‘I hate Ambedkar’ on a popular social networking site was still up and running 24 hours after a mob went on rampage in Bandra and Khar. The city crime branch has written to the Central Emergency Response Team (CERT) in New Delhi asking the body to block the page, which was uploaded five days ago. “We are hoping the page will be blocked by Tuesday night,” said an officer.

The police have yet to identify the person who put up the page, but a case has been registered against the unknown party, said an official. The Khar police have registered a case of creating enmity between two communities against unidentified persons who uploaded the page on the web site.

Though the page is believed to have been put up on February 10, it was only on Monday night that Dr B R Ambedkar’s followers were alerted of its existence. The violence of the protests took the police by surprise. “Even the top hierarchy of the city police had no idea of the trouble that was brewing because of the webpage,” said a senior official with the crime branch.

Crime branch chief, Himanshu Roy, said: “We contacted CERT and Facebook on Monday night itself. We requested them to block the page. Both have asked for a formal court order copy. On Tuesday, we got an order from a magistrate court, scanned it and e-mailed it to them.”

“When we send a court order copy, a decision is taken immediately. We are hoping that CERT will first block the page in India. We will request Facebook to block the page globally,” said an officer with the cyber crime department.

The police are also tracking the person who created the page. “We should be able to identify the accused once we get the Internet Protocol address from the networking site’s server,” said an official. The police are confident that the creator of the profile page will be arrested in the coming days. TOI has learnt that the National Technology Research Organization-an anti-web crime organization under the National Security Advisor in the Prime Minister’s Office-is also looking into the case.

The social networking site has a ‘report abuse’ link for members who wish to bring any questionable content to the management. On the clicking the link, the user is given a series of reasons for why he or she wishes to report the page. One of the reasons listed is ‘contains hate speech or attacks an individual’.

The ” I hate Ambedkar” page has created uproar on the internet, with surfers conducting waging an online battle on other websites as well.

Read more: ‘Hate page will be blocked by Tuesday night’ – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Hate-page-will-be-blocked-by-Tuesday-night/articleshow/7504883.cms#ixzz1E74m7pEZ


‘I hate Ambedkar’ page on Facebook triggers protests

16/02/2011

Derogatory remarks about B R Ambedkar on the social networking site provoke a gathering of nearly 500 to resort to stone pelting and tyre-burning at Bandra, Khar and Andheri

Chaos erupted on the roads and bylanes of Bandra and Khar late last night after someone created a page termed ‘I Hate Ambedkar’ on Facebook.

The site allegedly also contained some derogatory comments about Ambedkar and as the news spread, a huge crowd of around 500 people gathered at Pali Naka in Bandra and on Carter Road shouting slogans and pelting stones on passing cars and buses.

Another massive crowd gathered at the Khar police station to protest and demand police action.

The protest did not stop there and people continued their rampage and set car tyres on fire at Khar and then joined other protesters forming a huge mob on Andheri Link Road.

The police finally decided to call in SRPF platoons and the situation was brought under control.

Watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyj4yzPf7PY

 

http://www.mid-day.com/news/2011/feb/150211-B-R-Ambedkar-Facebook-Pali-Naka-mumbai.htm


Facebook page on Ambedkar sparks row

16/02/2011

VINAYA DESHPANDE

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Crowd damages public property in Khar, Bandra areas

More than 200 people damaged public property and indulged in rioting in the suburban areas of Khar and Bandra here late on Monday night, protesting a derogatory page on Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar on the social networking site, Facebook.

The police resorted to lathicharge to disperse the rioters, K.M.M. Prasanna, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone IX, told The Hindu.

Offence registered

Mr. Prasanna said an offence was registered in the Khar police station against unknown persons who created the ‘I hate Ambedkar’ profile. Two separate cases of rioting have also been registered.

“We also approached the court today [Tuesday] to direct a competent authority to take action for blocking the derogatory page,” he said.

He said the court issued an order to the Director, Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Government of India, in the matter.

‘Grossly offensive’

“The court said that the contents of the webpage were grossly offensive and may cause a law and order situation. It directed the authorities to take immediate steps with the Chief Technical Officer of Facebook, U.S., for blocking or deleting the page,” he said.

Elaborating on the way the events unfolded, he said a local Marathi newspaper Loknayak carried an article on Monday stating that a “Punjabi munda had opened a page on Facebook and given a distorted profile of Mr. Ambedkar.”

“At around midnight, more than 200 people gathered outside Khar police station. A delegation demanded that we register a complaint and immediately arrest the person who has opened the page. They also demanded that the website be blocked immediately,” Mr. Prasanna said.

Stone-pelting

He said that by the time they could look into it, the crowd started rioting, shouting slogans, and pelting stones. “They blocked S.V. Road, Linking Road. Many of them were drunk. There were many women too among the protesters. We resorted to lathicharge. But after we dispersed them, they damaged around 20 vehicles in the area,” he said.

Regarding the page on Dr. Ambedkar, a case has been registered under Sections 295, 153, 505 of the Indian Penal Code read with section 66 (a,b) of the IT Act, he said.


  • Police have approached court to block the derogatory page
  • Court fears the contents may cause law and order situation
  • http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/article1459918.ece
  •  


    Facebook asked to block defaced Ambedkar page

    16/02/2011

    MUMBAI: Armed with a court order, city police asked popular social networking site Facebook to block a page, which allegedly carried a defaced photo of Dalit icon Babasaheb Ambedkar.

    According to police, the photo was posted in a page ‘We Hate Ambedkar’, created by an unknown user.

    “Initially, when we contacted Facebook they said that they can’t block the link unless there is a court order,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy said.

    Crime branch sleuths today got an order in this regard from a local court and sent a scanned copy to the Facebook office in the United States of America, he said.

    Police has registered a case under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act against the unknown person for posting the photo on the website, Roy said adding that further investigations in the case are on.

    Meanwhile, police has arrested five persons, who were among the about 300 people protested outside the Khar police station, demanding that the defaced photo be deleted from Facebook.

    The five had allegedly vandalised a few vehicles and pelted stones in the wee hours of Tuesday, police said.

    Read more: Facebook asked to block defaced Ambedkar page – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/news/internet/Facebook-asked-to-block-defaced-Ambedkar-page/articleshow/7503705.cms#ixzz1E6y90Rkh


    Protests over anti-Ambedkar webpage

    16/02/2011
    Express News Service Wed Feb 16 2011, 04:05 hrsMumbai:
    Security was tightened near the Babasaheb Ambedkar statue in Khar on Tuesday 

    Security was tightened near the Babasaheb Ambedkar statue in Khar on Tuesday
    Facebook, Defaced photo of Dalit icon on ‘I Hate Ambedkar’ community leads to violence in suburbs

    An anti-Ambedkar page on Facebook triggered protests in the western suburbs of Bandra and Khar in the early hours of Tuesday. The Khar police arrested five protesters and booked several others for rioting after they vandalised a few vehicles and threw stones.

    “No local leader is involved, but we are finding out who gathered so many people for the protest. We called in additional force and restrained the protesters by 3.30 am,” said Amitabh Gupta, Additional Commissioner of Police (West).

    Following nearly three hours of protests, the Mumbai Police assured the followers of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar that action would be taken against unidentified people who had formed an online community, ‘I Hate Ambedkar’, on the social networking site.

    By Tuesday evening, the police acquired an order from a Bandra magistrate’s court directing that a defaced photograph of Ambedkar be deleted from the webpage and the community be blocked.

    “We have also registered a case against an unknown person for hurting religious sentiments under Section 153 of the Indian Penal Code. We will now take the help of cyber crime officers and Facebook to trace the unknown person and arrest him,” said an officer from Khar police station.

    Police said around 400 people gathered outside the Khar police station at 12.30 am, demanding that the defaced photo of Ambedkar be deleted from Facebook. When the police sought time, the mob got agitated, said an officer.

    … contd.

    Posted: Wed Feb 16 2011, 04:05 hrs
    Security was tightened near the Babasaheb Ambedkar statue in Khar on Tuesday 

    Security was tightened near the Babasaheb Ambedkar statue in Khar on Tuesday
    The protesters then began damaging cars and burning tyres near the Ambedkar statue on 18th Road near Carter Road in Khar west. Motorists were stopped and asked to take a different route.

    A motorist said he was on his way to South Mumbai when he was approached by a protester who asked him to take a U-turn if he wanted to save his car. “After dropping a colleague in Juhu, I was going towards Bandra Linking Road when a man aged about 25 stopped me and asked me to take a different route or my car would be broken,” said Ronak Kotecha, senior producer for a television channel.

    “When we moved ahead, we saw the entire road barricaded, people burning tyres and glass pieces scattered on the road,” said Kotecha who finally reached South Mumbai via the Western Expressway.

    Former MP and Republican Party of India leader Ramdas Athawale threatened to launch a statewide agitation to protest against the insult to Ambedkar. “People are expressing their anger at various places spontaneously. Our demand is that the people responsible for uploading the image on Facebook be punished,” he said.

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Protests-over-anti-Ambedkar-webpage/750758/


    AFRICAN DIASPORA IN THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT

    12/02/2011

    THE GLOBAL AFRICAN COMMUNITY

    H I S T O R Y   N O T E S


    A girl from the Yanadi tribal group in South India

    AFRICAN DIASPORA IN THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT

    Posted by RUNOKO RASHIDI


    CASTE DISCRIMINATION A WORLDWIDE PROBLEM FOR ALL BLACK PEOPLE
    AND COLLECTIVE RESISTANCE IS NEEDED TO DEFEAT IT

    When you come to the tribals there is absolutely no controversy regarding the race of these people.
    They are clearly, physically, Africoid, they are linguistically distinct, religiously distinct.

    –Horen Tudu, Researcher and Pan Africanist

    Oct. 10, 2006

    Few people are aware that India’s 160 million untouchables or Dalits are descendants of Africans who once ruled the Indus Valley. But caste discrimination affects all black people, who are regarded as untouchables, even in the US and UK.

    Few people are aware that India’s 160 million untouchables or Dalits are descendants of Africans who once ruled the Indus Valley. But caste discrimination affects all black people, who are regarded as untouchables, even in the US and UK.

    It may seem ironic to many that India’s untouchable castes known as Dalits, who are despised and condemned in Hindu scriptures for the colour of their skin and who are oppressed and exploited are distant relations to Africans, who were dehumanised in order to justify their enslavement to enrich the West.

    But two papers published by African scholar and physicist Cheikh Anta Diop in 1955 and 1967 were translated from French to English and published as: The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality in 1974. In this book, as well as establishing the African origins of Egypt, Diop also revealed that Africans known as Dravidians created the Indus Valley civilization.

    Dravidians are a linguistic group under which many different groups fall, but many scholars aside from Diop, including: Chiek Tidiane N Diave, S R Santharam and U.Pupadhyaya Susheela O.Uphadyaya, have found both linguistic and cultural links between Dravidians and Africans.

    Diop wrote: “…The Indo-Europeans never created a civilization in their own native lands: the Eurasian plains. The civilizations attributed to them are inevitably located in the heart of Negro countries in the southern part of the northern hemisphere: Egypt, Arabia, Phoenicia, Mesopotamia, Elam, India. In all those lands there were negro civilizations when the Indo-Europeans arrived as rough nomads during the second millennium.”

    Diop described Dravidians as a type of the black race with: “Black skin, often exceptionally black, with straight hair, aquiline nose, thin lips, an acute cheekbone angle. We find a prototype of this race in India: the Dravidian.”

    But the real irony of the caste system is that is that it is a corruption of a social system invented by the early African civilizations, according to a 19th century French anthropologist called Francois Lenormant, whom Diop refers to in his book: “The Aryas of India…adopted it, borrowed it from the Kushite populations.”

    Today, the descendants of the Dravidians live under the scourge of what is often referred to as: “India’s hidden apartheid.” In a 1999 report by Human Rights Watch called: Broken People: Caste Violence Against India’s Untouchables, the extent to which the caste system affects the lives of a population almost three times the size of the UK was revealed:

    “Untouchables may not cross the line dividing their part of the village from that occupied by higher castes,” the report stated. But segregation is just the tip of the iceberg. As well as Dalits being forbidden to worship in the same temples as other castes, from using the same wells, and drinking from the same cups, they are denied land that is legally theirs, made to perform degrading tasks and are often subjected to violence, including the rape of Dalit women.

    Horen Tudu was born in Bangledesh into the Santhal tribal group but grew up in the USA. He is a researcher and staunch Pan Africanist who has written extensively about African descendants in the Indian subcontinent. Asked whether Dalits are aware of their African heritage, he told Black Britain: “I do believe that they are starting to understand that the upper caste function from the paradigm of the Indo Europeans and that the Dalits and the tribals themselves are indigenous and that the proto Australoids are African.”

    But aside from the Dalits, India’s tribal groups make up another 84 million of its population. Tudu told Black Britain: “When you come to the tribals there is absolutely no controversy regarding the race of these people. They are clearly, physically, Africoid, they are linguistically distinct, religiously distinct; you can connect their spiritual systems to the spiritual systems in Africa – there is no ambiguity there.”


    Caste Discrimination Affects Black People Everywhere

    “If they do employ Dalits it will be on less wages and there is no kind of interaction.
    Temples are separate; there is no inter-dining or inter-marriage.

    –Maria Doss is from the Bhagwan Valmiki Trust in London.


    Maria Doss at a campaign in Norway organised by the International Dalit Solidarity Network.

    The Bhagwan Valmiki Trust (BVT) is a community organisation based in London which aims to promote development, education and awareness among the Valmiki community in the UK. A Dalit sub-caste, Valmikis are descendants of the sweeping class from the Punjab region of Non-Aryan groups including Greeks that came into the sub-continent. Because of their non-Aryan ancestry they were placed into the lower caste groups. They traditionally carry out menial and degrading jobs such as cleaning toilets, removing human excrement with their bare hands.

    Maria Doss, a member of BVT told Black Britain that in India the relationship between Africans and Dalits is really only known among the“intelligentsia,” as opposed to the majority of Dalits who are uneducated. He said they had “lost their cultural identity,” and see themselves as Indians rather than African descendants. But Doss said that he would welcome an alliance between Africans and Dalits to collectively fight against caste discrimination.

    Discrimination against Dalits is not restricted to India and as Doss explained to Black Britain: “Is very much alive in the UK.” In July of this year, a report called: No escape: Caste discrimination in the UK, by the Dalit Solidarity Network outlined the extent to which caste discrimination manifests itself in the UK among Indian communities both at school and in the workplace.

    Doss told Black Britain: “Even at the hospital where I work as a supervisor I can see clear caste discrimination between two groups.” One female worker aged 55 told Doss: “If my son marries from that caste my father will kill me.”

    He told Black Britain: “That is why we say that caste discrimination is worse than racism, because it is violent and direct but hidden. You cannot see the enemy.” Yet higher caste Indians who are often in positions of power are able to exert control over the lives of Dalits living in the UK.

    Doss told Black Britain: “If they do employ Dalits it will be on less wages and there is no kind of interaction. Temples are separate; there is no inter-dining or inter-marriage.” But he said that even among Dalits themselves there is little interaction.
    “Bhuddists look down on Ravidassis and Valmikis,” he said.

    Doss told Black Britain: “I have been to many places, colleges, churches and ordinary places, campaigning against these issues…we know what we need and what we can do. We try to bring them (Dalits) together.”

    BVT have been liaising with networks in India and is hoping to establish a Dalit reconciliation centre in the UK in order to unite the various Dalit sub-castes for the purpose of strengthening the Dalits as a whole to collectively fight the caste discrimination that affects them all. Black Britain asked Doss whether he felt it was important for Dalits to know their history and the origins of the caste system that put them at the bottom of society: “Yes it is very important for our movement,” he said.

    Tudu pointed out that because of poverty among Dalits in the Indian subcontinent, it tends to be higher castes individuals who actually travel, but wherever they go their socio economic caste system travels with them. He told Black Britain in the USA the first wave of Indian immigrants never interacted with African Americans and: “Always treated them with contempt.”

    The reason for the hostility is because: “They actually see the Anglo Saxons as super Brahmins or ultra high caste Hindus…within their perverse world view, in terms of social status, race and skin colour. So they have always had this irrational hatred towards the African Americans that the African Americans themselves do not really understand.”

    Tudu went on to relay a familiar picture in the UK which has caused underlying racial tensions in Birmingham, London and other areas where Asians live in close proximity to Africans and African Caribbeans: “A lot of Indian shopkeepers and other Pakistani groups have come into the US, gone specifically into depressed urban areas and have made money off the local people and treated them very badly. You have to also understand that most upper caste Hindus view Africans, African Americans or African Caribbeans in the UK as untouchables. That’s a distinction that must be made.”

    The important thing to note here is that it is not just Dalit immigrants from the Indian subcontinent who are victims of caste discrimination in the UK and USA but continental Africans, African Caribbeans and African Americans. Citing Hinduism as the basis for this discrimination, Tudu told Black Britain: “It is obsessed with racial purity and the keeping of the race separate in order to also endorse white supremacy.”


    Caste Discrimination and White Supremacy on the Indian Subcontinent

    “They actually see the Anglo Saxons as super Brahmins or ultra high caste Hindus…within their perverse world view, in terms of social status, race and skin colour. So they have always had this irrational hatred towards the African Americans…”

    –Horen Tudu, Researcher and Pan Africanist


    Horen Tudu (centre) with other Santhals from the village of
    Dinajpur in Bangladesh

    If the early Aryan invasion on the Indian subcontinent, much like chattel enslavement has left a legacy of obsession with skin colour. Tudu told Black Britain that Unilever markets a skin bleaching cream
    called: Fair and Lovely which he noticed on a recent visit to Bangladesh in a television advertisement:
    “They show this …girl with dark skin who can’t get a job, can’t get married, is doing poorly in her studies and all of a sudden she uses this bleaching cream and her life is much better – and they’re marketing this kind of stuff.”

    Tudu said that the aim of marketing bleaching creams in the region is: “To destroy the self-esteem of the local people.” He branded Bollywood as“Openly racist…because they don’t allow anybody who is dark skinned in there and they are 100 per cent Brahmins.” Bollywood producers are“Ashraf Muslim ethnicities who are descendants of non-black people,” he said.

    Tudu told Black Britain that Pakistanis are also non-black people closely related to people in the Middle East : “And also have contempt for Africans and blacks.” Upper caste Indians and Pakistanis have even gone to the extreme of creating their own ethnic group called Desi , because they are so desperate to believe they are Caucasians.

    He told Black Britain: “I find this skin colour issue to be very debilitating, if you look at the psychological state of the indigenous people. They are being pounced on in every single way,they are really trying to destroy these people inside out [and] it’s very shameful.”

    In Bangladesh dark skinned, short people assume a lowly status in society, despite the fact that 80 per cent of its population is of that appearance: “But you have individuals of foreign origin who are ruling the country and who are not indigenous to Bangladesh, but they are promoting their white supremacist ideals on the local people,” Tudu said.

    Bangladeshi women suffer most from self-loathing and a lack of confidence, despising their broad, flat noses and fuller lips and comparing themselves less favourably to the fair-skinned women portrayed in Bollywood movies: “It’s very, very sad to see a group of people with so much self-hatred and so much of a lack of consciousness [because] they have no concept of their history,” he said.

    One form of resistance chosen by Dalits as a means of escape is conversion to Buddhism, an action advocated by Dr B R Amdedkar, an Indian who was born into the Dalit castes who overcame discrimination to become a scholar, lawyer and architect of the Indian constitution as well as the political leader of the Dalits. He was also a Buddhist revivalist who advocated conversion to Buddhism as a means of escaping discrimination.

    Diop suggested that Buddha was a black Egyptian priest who was driven out of the City of Memphis by Cambyses. Iniyan Elango, M.D, is the author of a book called Without Malice: The Truth About India. Elango suggests: “Gautama Buddha, the Black revolutionary who founded the egalitarian religion of Buddhism to counter and destroy the bigotry of Hinduism, was a Black prince. But the Hindus highjacked Buddhism and killed Buddhists in large numbers. The Buddhist missionaries fled to other parts of Asia and spread the message of the Buddha in China and other parts of Asia. Those indigenous Dravidians who were loyal to Buddha and resisted the caste system became the untouchable outcastes (Dalits).”

    Horen Tudu concurs with this view describing Buddha as a tribal from north-east India: “He protested against this racism coming from the Brahmins and the Hindus and he created his own spiritual system that was for the black people and for the indigenous people there.” Tudu also feels that Hindus appropriate these indigenous beliefs, incorporating them into the Hindu system as a means of control by trying to pass off the Buddha as a Hindu god.

    Speaking to Black Britain about the reason Dalits choose to convert to Buddhism, Doss explained: “Today most Dalits feel that they should be Buddhists.” But many state governments in India have introduced legislation to prevent Dalits from converting.

    Black Britain asked in what way converting to Buddhism would change the fortunes of the Dalits if they remain in the same caste even after conversion. He explained:
    “As a community of Buddhists together, they are quite different – very strong. It empowers them socially and economically and they would proudly say they are neo-Buddhists.”Doss admitted that whilst conversion to other religions “hasn’t helped,” conversion to Buddhism “is helping and creating an identity.”

    Some Dalits, especially in Bangladesh have turned to Islam because of its absence of caste and to escape oppression whilst others have converted to Christianity, sometimes merging it with their indigenous beliefs.

    The African Influence on Dalit Resistance

    Given the fact that Dalits are closely related to Africans and that globally Africans are victims of caste discrimination (whether they are aware of it or
    not) makes them natural allies in resistance of it. Tudu told Black Britain: “If you go to Bangladesh, for example, you’ll find in various regions that you cannot distinguish those people from [Africans ]. You’ll see people darker and more physically African than any person in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

    He also feels that in terms of the political development of Dalit organisations: ”I think you can compare these movements directly to the struggles of the African Americans in particular.” Since the 1970s resistance movements modelled on black pride have sprung up all over the Indian subcontinent including the Dalit Panther party, based on the Black Panthers which has several branches.

    Tudu told Black Britain: “This kind of consciousness among the Dalits is making the upper castes and Hindu fundamentalist parties very scared.” He explained that many people are unaware that the Dalits are descendants of Indian tribals that fought against the Aryans who were later brought into the caste system by force.

    But in terms of politicised Dalit groups: “They mentally function from this indigenous African paradigm.” Scholars like Runoko Rashidi who is US based is essentially the voice of the Dalits in the US. He has written several books on the subject, most notably African Presence in Early Asia.

    Rashidi has worked with many African American scholars including John Henrik Clark as well as other prominent Dalit scholar activists such as V.T Rajshekar. Tudu explained: “There are quite a few Dalit intellectuals who are promoting this African centred belief. In fact, I believe all of them function from an African centred paradigm.”

    Periyar E.V.Ramasamy is considered the father of the Dravidian Nationalist Movement and founder of Dravidar Kazhagam, the first Dravidian political party in India. He pioneered the idea of self-respect among Dalits: “That is, why should an indigenous person or black person within the Indian subcontinent accept low status within this Aryan supremacist framework? They should have self respect and promote their own identity,” Tudu told Black Britain.

    Tudu believes that many radical elements in Dalit movements: “Were influenced by the struggles of African Americans,” but furthermore that the time is right for a resurgence of Pan Africanism to deal with white supremacy and the oppression of black peoples. Commenting on the way that Marcus Garvey was able to mobilise millions of Africans across the globe in the last century, he told Black Britain:

    “We need something like that to unify the world’s oppressed and fragmented black masses. If you look at any country in the world, you’ll find that the poorest members of the society, the persons that have the lowest social status have African origin.”

    This particularly applies to indigenous people such as the Africans on the western coast of Mexico who are descendants of slaves and the tribals in India and Bangladeshi who have become victims of oppression in their own country. Commenting on the upper castes in India Tudu remarked: “We regard these people as foreigners. I myself am a direct descendant of the indigenous people – black people of the Indian subcontinent and I consider those individuals to be foreigners and I see all African people worldwide as my brothers and sisters.”

    Like Doss, Tudu is adamant that resistance and the solutions for black people lies in education of self: “I think the critical effort should be directed toward the education of [our] people. We need to have our own scholars doing this research [and] we need to resurrect our history. We have to know where we come from – all of us worldwide.”

    Tudu told Black Britain that the ideology of Pan Africanism has a major role to play: “All of us can take credit for each other’s accomplishments and that we are one people. That is all African people are one united people, not fragmented based on language or tribe, we’re all the same.”

    Article from – Black Britian News
    23/10/2006