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Need of an organization like NAACP for Dalits of India

 

Dipankar Kamble

NAACP stands for National Association for Advancement of Coloured People. It is one of the oldest and most widely recognized civil rights organization founded in the year 1909 by one of a great civil rights leaders, W. E. B. Du Bois.

NAACP

In the year 1908, deadly race riots caused great distress in the city of Springfield, the capital of Illinois. This Anti-Black-Violence in the city of Springfield was the final breaking point that further led to the formation of NAACP (National Association for Advancement of Coloured People).

NAACP was a very important organization in the Civil Rights Movement that fought for various rights of African Americans and won many important rights. One of the victories was the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of Brown v. Board of Education that prohibited segregation in public schools.

There is an an urgent need for an organization like NAACP for Dalits and Tribals of India. Recently, we saw how SC ST POA Act was diluted, Dalit rights activist Chandrasekhar Azad is suffering in jail for over one year, minor boys in Uttar Pradesh are held in jails without any substantial reason. Thousands of youths were arrested after Bhima Koregaon assertion in Maharashtra, Recently, advocate Surendra Gadling, cultural activist Sudhir Dhawale, human rights activist Rona Wilson, Professor Shoma Sen and anti-displacement activist Mahesh Raut were arrested from different locations in Nagpur, Bombay and Delhi by the Maharashtra Police.

The African Americans formed NAACP as they reached their breaking point after the Springfield Anti-Black-Violence. I personally feel that the Bhima Koregaon assertion was our breaking point and we should create an organization like NAACP that will fight for us and our rights on different fora.

Dalit Adivasi Movement is a multi-dimensional movement. The movement must be on many fronts ie legal, social, political, cultural, technical etc.

An organization like NAACP will fight on the legal front to protect us and our rights.

Dalit Movement has always been like a younger brother movement, and the civil rights movement in America, an elder brother.

In the past, we have seen that the Dalit Panthers were also inspired by the American Black Panther Movement.

As Dr. Ambedkar remarked, we have so much to learn from our African American brothers and sisters. Dr. Ambedkar once contacted W. E. B. Du Bois to inquire about the National Negro Congress petition to the U.N., which attempted to secure minority rights through the U.N. council. This proves the point that Dr. Ambedkar was very much inspired and impressed by the American Civil Rights Movement.

The caste system and racism, both are very much similar to each other, and are closed stratification systems.

Hence we need an organization like NAACP for Dalits and Adivasis of India, so that a legal movement to protect Dalits and their rights can be started.

The organisation will include lawyers, economists, writers, journalists, retired bureaucrats who can work together and fight for our rights.

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 Dipankar Devesh Kamble is a student at National Law University, Nagpur, and Management member of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Education Society, Bramhapuri. He can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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