After Imperialism, India has washed out many strains from its history. The presence of African communities in different parts of India is one of them. More or less, we all are aware of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Africans were chained and sold to different parts of the world by practicing a horrific lie of racism. Like other countries, India also didn’t get spared from witnessing that truth. Today, we are going to unearth another truth named ‘Slave Caste’, which still very much exists in our land.
Slave Caste– An Introduction
For decades, India is witnessing slavery and casteism. They couldn’t travel through the road of freedom and liberty. This country had to struggle and is struggling even today to earn freedom for their countrymen. Caste in India existed in many shapes and forms, and its hierarchy can prove to be evil to many.
In South India, caste distinction was always prominent. We are aware of the presence of a hierarchy of castes like Namboothiri and Nair. How they used to dominate and press lower castes under their feet. By that time, British colonialism got established, and they used to import slaves in sweaty vessels from far-off land like Africa. The British made them work for them as bonded slaves. After Independence, they left our land but disowned these groups of slaves and left them here. They started growing in clusters as tribes without identity or recognition, neither in our country nor in theirs. As a result, they continued to stay here and got entitled as ‘Slave Caste’.
Are You Aware Of the Siddi Community – a slave caste of India?
We are all aware of Dalits and casteism, or ill-treatments that happen to them under the shade of marginalization. But, how many of us know about the very existence of the Siddi community in our land even today? In parts of Karnataka, Gujarat and Hyderabad, they are growing in numbers. At present, there are 850,000 of them, and it is a shame that we are not aware of them. We are not taking any initiative to better their situation. This hybrid community of India and Africa is getting cornered. They are currently suffering from an existential crisis and need our help. They are neither recognized as Indians nor Africans and are deprived of acquiring citizenship too.
The Slave Cate- Their Struggle And Survival
Siddi Community is an ethnic group of African descent who still knows how to cherish their culture. We, under the veil of racism, failed to give them that respect they deserve from us. Till now, they didn’t see any development for themselves. Apart from tribal dance and a few shows of craftsmanship, they don’t have any source of income. No NGOs or foreign organizations are coming forward to help them or create basic infrastructures like hospitals and schools. Our constitution left little or no space for them. Our government has already turned its back on them.
Maybe we are destroying another page of history. It’s time to buckle up and earn the deserved space for them from the undeserved ones before it is too late. This time we shouldn’t witness another unclaimed extinction of race and ethnicity.