Tag Archives: Police atrocity

India’s Obsession with Elitism is Leading it to Ignore the Marginalized: Rupande Mehta

Guest post by RUPANDE MEHTA

Chances are you have heard about Sureshbhai Patel, a 57 year old man, beaten and left temporarily paralyzed by Alabama police. His only crime: while he was out for a walk, a neighbor reported a ‘suspicious’ and ‘skinny black guy’ in the neighborhood causing him extreme distress and nervousness to leave his wife alone at home.

Several elements of this case bring back the ghosts of Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner, two black lives taken away by police brutality – despite being unarmed, Sureshbhai was subjected to “extreme force” and suspected not because he was Indian but because he resembled a black guy – but also bring to the forefront the enormous emotional and financial support generated not only from Indians but also Americans who rallied behind Sureshbhai and the injustice meted out to him. In a matter of six days, donations worth $190,000 were garnered to help the Patel family with medical bills. The incident also provoked Alabama’s governor to apologize for police’s use of “excessive force” and to initiate an investigation by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, along with the one being conducted by the FBI. Continue reading India’s Obsession with Elitism is Leading it to Ignore the Marginalized: Rupande Mehta

Desecrating Memory – The Paramakudi Police Shootings: V Geetha

Guest Post by V. GEETHA

Readers of Kafila might have heard of the horrific shootings that took place at Paramakudi and Madurai on September 11. Officially seven people died when police opened fire on dalits who had gathered to pay their respects to Immanuel Sekaran, a dalit leader who was brutally killed in 1957 in circumstances that pointed to the complicity of dominant caste thevars in carrying out this murder.  (The thevars are an important constituent of the ‘Mukkulathor’ complex of castes that includes the kallars and the maravars.) Subsequently, U Muthuramalinga Thevar, Forward Bloc leader was arrested in connection with Sekaran’s death – he stood trail and was released two years later, because the case against him was not established and proved. (Thevar was proud of his anti-communism and his Hinduism; to him he claimed that patriotism and theistic belief constituted his very vision, they were the ‘eyes’ through which he saw the world.) Continue reading Desecrating Memory – The Paramakudi Police Shootings: V Geetha