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American Sympathy for India’s Untouchables

Compiled by Alice Itty Email Compiled by Alice Itty
July 2016
American Sympathy for India’s Untouchables


Snapshots from Indian-American history
this month, that year


July 31, 1946
– In a letter responding to B.R. Ambedkar, W.E.B. Du Bois enclosed a statement made by the National Negro Congress to the United Nations Council. Du Bois also wrote that he had “every sympathy with the Untouchables of India.”

Du Bois (1868-1963) was an American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, author, and editor. Ambedkar (1891- 1956) held multiple careers as an Indian jurist, economist, politician and social reformer who inspired the Dalit Buddhist movement and campaigned against social discrimination against Untouchables (Dalits), and supported the rights of women and labor. He was independent India’s first law minister and the principal architect of the Constitution of India.

Alice Itty is a volunteer for the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA). She currently works for the Alliance for Downtown New York. This column’s material is from SAADA. https://www.saada.org/.

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