When Afro-American scholar Runoko Rashidi was detained in Thiruvananthapuram in 1998

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Categorical Information Service

KOZHIKODE: Famend Afro-American historian and scholar Runoko Rashidi (67) who handed away on August 2 in Egypt had a  bitter expertise of detention in Thiruvananthapuram means again in 1998. He was detained and despatched again with out permitting to take part in a scheduled perform on April 11, 1998.

Rashidi led a 14-member overseas delegation comprising historians, students and artists to attend ‘Afro-Asian cultural programme’ at College senate corridor. The programme was organised by Kerala Dalit Panthers (KDP) with then dwelling secretary L Natarajan as the important thing speaker, in accordance with  KDP founder chief Okay Ambujakshan.

“There was no opposition to his programme when it was charted and spot was issued. Moreover Natarajan, senior journalist BRP Bhaskar was additionally collaborating. However when Rashidi and crew arrived in Thiruvananthapuram airport, they have been acquired by the police. We, the organisers, weren’t allowed to contact them. Later, the overseas delegation was put up in a lodge for a day and despatched again the following day. The a lot awaited perform did not occur. A deeply humiliated Rashidi cried and stated that he would by no means come to Kerala once more. Neither the police nor the then E Okay Nayanar authorities had given any clarification for the detention,” reminisced Ambujakshan.

The delegation was coming to Kerala after conducting comparable cultural programmes in Kolkata and Mumbai. Runoko Rashidi had individually come to Kerala the earlier 12 months and attended programmes in Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam. “We discovered a political conspiracy after his detention. After the detention incident, L Natarajan was demoted from the house secretary submit. An officer from Dalit neighborhood, he was not given a submit for a while,” Ambujakshan stated.

Rashidi was keenly keen on exploring African presence in Asia and was known as in Dalit circles because the worldwide ambassador of Ambedkarism. “He was a famend champion of black individuals and their voices. He discovered the atrocities confronted by Dalits in India just like the plight of blacks w0rld-wide and campaigned towards it. I used to be invited to be a part of a web based dialogue on exploring the similarities between Afro-Asians and Indian Dalits scheduled to be held subsequent month,” Ambujakshan stated.

Kottayam girl’s photograph in Rashidi’s FB cowl

Rashidi had lately put a Kerala girl’s image as the quilt of his Fb web page with the tagline, ‘A Dalit sister from South India’. The lady, Rajani Palaambarambil, from Kaduthuruthi, Kottayam, caught his consideration after the publication of her autobiography final month. “I used to be shocked to find out about his
demise. I used to be deeply honoured by his gesture of referring to me and hoped to satisfy him as soon as,” Rajani advised TNIE


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