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Postcards from the Past

Compiled by Sindya N. Bhanoo Email Compiled by Sindya N. Bhanoo
June 2015
Postcards from the Past

 

 

First Indian woman to receive her degree in medicine in the United States.

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June 18, 1883 – A letter from Anandibai Joshee, the first Indian woman to receive her degree in medicine in the United States, to Alfred Jones requesting admission to the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania.

Joshee described her qualifications and added that her mission was “to render to [her] poor suffering countrywomen the true medical aid they so sadly stand in need of and which they would rather die of than accept at the hands of a male physician.” Joshee returned to India after receiving her M.D. in 1886, but died shortly thereafter of tuberculosis. Her ashes were sent back to Poughkeepsie, NY, where they are buried.

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Bihar-born Eqbal Ahmad charged with conspiring to kidnap Henry Kissinger.

 

June 15, 1971 – A newspaper clipping from the Chicago Sun-Times about a recent lecture given at Lake Forest College by political science professor Eqbal Ahmad, one of the Harrisburg Seven, anti-war activists indicted on charges of conspiring to kidnap Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and plant explosives in federal buildings.

Ahmad refused to discuss the charges against him during the lecture because he did not want to “carry on the extrajudicial trial which began some two months ago.” In 1972, after fiftynine hours of deliberations, the jury declared a mistrial. Born in Bihar in the early 1930s, Eqbal Ahmad and his brothers moved to Pakistan; he lived a life that crisscrossed the globe, as a journalist, an activist, and in the words of Noam Chomsky, a “counsellor and teacher.” Edward Said cited Ahmad as one of his two most influential political and intellectual mentors.

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Americans urged to support the Indian freedom struggle.

June 1, 1919 – A pamphlet published by the Friends of Freedom for India titled “India’s Challenge to American Radicals” urges sympathetic Americans to stand against British imperialism and support the Indian freedom struggle.

The Friends of Freedom for India were a New Yorkbased group founded by Sailendra Nath Ghose and Agnes Smedley that drew support from the Industrial Workers of the World and the Socialist Party to lobby for the rights of immigrants to engage in political activity, which the U.S. clamped down on during World War I under pressure from the British government.

 

 


Sindya N. Bhanoo contributes to the Observatory column in the Science section of The New York Times. She is also a board member of South Asian American Digital Archive. This column’s material is from SAADA. https://www.saadigitalarchive.org/.



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