Fulfilling The Vision Of Babasaheb
By Vidya Sagar Anand
Inaugural address by Vidya Sagar Anand, Chairman,
Phoolan Devi International Memorial Committee, to the 18th National
Convention of BAMCEF, the All-India Backward (SC, ST, OBC) and Minority
Communities Employees Federation,
New Delhi, India, 16th December 2001
To the memory, inspiration and example of Phoolan Devi MP, a courageous
fighter and martyr for the rights of Dalits, women and all the
oppressed, in India and throughout the world. Phoolan was known to the
world as the 'Bandit Queen'. She takes her place in a long line of
heroines, from Joan of Arc to Rosa Luxembourg and Winnie Mandela, who not
only reminded the world of the oppresion of their sex, but
demonstrated forcefully and logically that the battlefield and debating
chamber are no longer a caste and sexist monopoly . The blood of the
martyrs waters the tree of freedom. Phoolan Devi's exeplary life and
supreme sacrifice will inspire tens of thousands, if not millions, to
liquidate sexist, racst and caste hegemony.
In this powerful address, Vidya Sagar Anand, the veteran, tireless and
indefatigable human rights campaigner, makes a compelling case against the
iniquitous oppression of the Dalits, and equally importantly, the
inevitability of their triumph and liberation.
A society must ultimately be judged by how it treats its most humble and
Earlier this year, I had the privilege to attend the United Nations
World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa. Much has been
written about that conference, not least about its supposed failure to
realise its objectives.
However, we need to look beyond the formality of government backed
resolutions. For me, the most important and most moving point about
Durban was that it brought together representatives of all the oppressed
peoples and communities in the world. Many of them have suffered for
millennia with the outside world either unaware of their plight or, probably
blind to it, or understandably involved in their own Resistance to similar
After Durban, things will never be the same again. Links were forged
and, just as Dr WEB DuBois, the great African-American scholar and
revolutionary, had declared in 1899 that the key issue of the twentieth
century would be the colour line, so, in Durban 2001, countless voices,
speaking a multitude of languages, were raised to declare that the 21st
century will be defined by the continuing struggle to bury racism and to
banish all forms of oppression and injustice.
There were two, perhaps many, Indias present in Durban. There was the
official India of the Brahminic establishment. There were also the
representatives of the Dalits, and especially some two hundred Dalit
women. Joined by sisters and brothers from the Muslim community, from other
bonded labourers, from Nagaland, Mizoram, Assam, Punjab, Kashmir and
elsewhere, these most wretched of the earth walked tall on the world stage
for the first time. And what dignity, courage, grace and
inspiration they imparted to it!
Needless to say, the rulers were not pleased. They, and their hangers
on, did everything in their power to force the Dalit issue off the
agenda. Karl Marx once said: "English reaction has its roots in
Ireland." Truly, Indian reaction has its roots in Dalit oppression. To
pursue its anti-Dalit crusade, the high caste BJP government ripped up
half a century of progressive Indian foreign policy at a stroke.
Out went opposition to Zionism and support for the Palestinians. Out
went solidarity with the African people and for their just demands for
reparation for colonialism and the slave trade. Anything and everything
to cobble together a dirty deal. India can never be a stable,
progressive society until the Dalit people, too, are able to say: "Free.
Free at last!"
By such means, the Indian government succeeded in removing the question of
caste oppression from the final government-level document. Naturally, many
of the Dalits were bitterly disappointed. Some of them even went on hunger
strike. But whilst the Indian authorities may have won a battle, they are
surely losing the war. The overwhelming majority of delegates and visitors
to Durban had their eyes opened to the India that dare not speak its name.
India is rightly honoured by the people of South Africa for its long
record of support for the ANC. But the South African people have now
come to know that, whilst their chains of apartheid have been severed,
they have hundreds of millions of brothers and sisters in India whose
oppression is even more cruel and wicked than that which they themselves so
recently endured. One of my abiding memories will be the rousing and
heartfelt welcome extended to the Dalit women by the African working class
at the mass demonstrations against globalisation and privatisation organised
by the COSATU trade union and the Durban Social Forum. As the ANC always
said: "When you strike the women, you have struck a rock."
The bonds forged in Durban are the new front of the Dalit freedom
struggle. In that ceaseless fight, the Dalit people have no stauncher,
truer, more passionate, more articulate, more principled or more
tireless advocate than Vidya.
Member of the Afro-Asian People's Solidarity Organisation (AAPSO)
delegation to the Durban Conference
December 6, 2001
FULFILLING THE VISION OF BABASAHEB
Chair, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies & Gentlemen
I was delighted to receive your kind invitation to be your Chief Guest
at the 18th National Convention of the All-India Backward (SC, ST, OBC)
and Minority Communities Employees Federation and to inaugurate your
unique web site.
First permit me to pay tribute to your President, Mr Waman Meshram, a
charismatic, cerebral and courteous leader. It was my privilege to meet
your President in London. I was not the only one to fall under his
compelling spell. He was calm, composed and impressed all who met him with
his superb logic and his powerful intellect.
The Chinese have a proverb - a family in trouble always produces a great
son. The Dalits, who have had more than their fair share of problems and
tribulations, have produced some first rate leaders, starting with Dr
Babasaheb BR Ambedkar, that gigantic scholar, philosopher, jurist, statesman
and social reformer.
President Waman belongs to this magnificent tradition.
I think it will be appropriate, at this stage, to remind ourselves of
the prodigious achievements of Dr. Ambedkar. You are all familiar with
his spectacular academic achievements. His search for knowledge and
wisdom took him to many parts of the world. Some of the greatest
universities in the world, at which he studied, have recognised and
honoured his scholastic achievements.
Babasaheb Was Meticulously Thorough In Everything He Did
Dr Ambedkar was meticulously thorough and scrupulously honest. When he
returned to his Motherland, he threw himself into the struggle for
freedom with great courage and vision. For him freedom did not just mean
freedom for the old Brahminic order, but for all the people of India,
particularly his own grievously oppressed people, the Dalits.
He never deviated from that goal and for good measure he also espoused
gender equality, at a time when it was not fashionable, either in the
East or West.
Not all the so-called leaders of the freedom movement agreed with his
enlightened world view. True, some of them made noises about caste
equality, but in many instances this was just sheer hypocrisy. They
sought to preserve the old decaying order at all costs.
They tried by every means at their disposal, from outright threats to
cajolery and even bribery, to deflect Babasaheb from his chosen path.
There was emotional blackmail in the form of fasts. He was often
excluded from important Congress meetings which were dominated by a
And when it came to talks with the British, every effort was made to
keep him out, lest he embarrass his supposed colleagues with his just
demands for the liberation of his people.
Never Betrayed his People
But Babasaheb stood firm and, till his dying day, never betrayed his
people. His noble stand is aptly summarised by a famous religious
leader, who posed the question: "What does it benefit a man if he gains
the whole world and loses his own soul?"
In contrast, men of lesser intellect and questionable morality, who
ostentatiously paraded their self-importance and saviour-like qualities,
were reduced to dwarves in his towering presence. Some never forgave
Dr.Ambedkar for that, and tried to not only discredit him but to write him
out of history.
But history, not crude propaganda triumphed. Dr Ambedkar occupies a
glorious, unsullied chapter not only in the history of Indian
emancipation, but in the entire history of the oppressed of the world.
History has shown that Mahatmas, like phantoms, may raise dust, but they
soon evaporate into nothingness. They did nothing for the people, they were
but mendacious servants of the caste and bourgeois order.
May I apologise for my absence from this most august gathering. I so
looked forward to joining you, but sadly the poor state of my health
prevents me from doing so. However, though I may not be with you in
person, I am with you in spirit, emotion and solidarity.
Allow me to salute you with the eloquent words of Dr. Ambedkar:
"Noble is your aim and sublime and glorious is your submission
Blessed are those who are awakened to their duty to those among whom they
"Glory to those who devote their time, talents and their all to the
amelioration of slavery".
Ladies and gentlemen, we are living in turbulent times. The world has
become even more of an interdependent global village. Isolation is out of
The September 11 Catastrophe
The September 11 catastrophe of the Twin Towers not only underlined the
dangers in store, but demonstrated that the old world order based on the
exploitation of the supposedly weak on grounds of race, caste or gender can
no longer be tolerated.
No longer can the powerful be indifferent to, or ignore the universal
cry of social justice for the wretched of the earth.
Let me warn the oppressors that time is not on their side. The impunity
with which they heaped suffering, deprivation, degradation and
disadvantage on captive peoples, while nauseatingly parading their
"highly civilised", but in reality blood-stained history for centuries
is soon going to end.
The purveyors of fascist Brahminic ideology and their bourgeois cohorts
can no longer camouflage their spurious, offensive and repulsive
religious, social and traditional excuses for their criminal deeds.
There is going to be an inexorable chain reaction from which the
Brahminocracy their apologists and defenders cannot escape. It is not
only international pressure which will turn the spotlight on their vile
crimes, but more importantly, the Dalit people are increasingly
demonstrating that they are no longer passive victims, but powerful
players in the shaping of the new order of freedom and social justice,
and the destruction of the nefarious caste system.
The writing is on the wall. Tyrants throughout history, especially those
with delusions of grandeur about being permanently in the saddle of the
armies of death and destruction, have sooner or later bitten the dust.
As someone said, the bigger they are, the harder they fall.
The Entire Mass of Indian Humanity
This is surely going to be the case in Mother India, which is now the
only region in the world in which the majority are cruelly oppressed. We
will not rest until Mother India succours, not only a few chosen sons
and daughters, but the entire mass of Indian humanity.
The mightiest power on earth has suddenly and rudely been awoken to the
hard, inescapable facts of global injustice. No amount of brute force
and economic might can preserve the current fortress of man's inhumanity
to man. The days of the privileged elite living in luxury at the expense of
the majority are over.
For centuries, the weak and underprivileged have been under the cosh,
the whip, the bullet and the bomb of the exploiters and rapists of our
But now the epoch of the opium of religion, false gods and fraudulent
"mahatmas" and "soothsayers" is mercifully drawing to a close.
Spare a Thought for the Ancient Dalits
We marvel at some of the stupendous achievements of man, in art,
architecture, and engineering. However, let us spare a thought for the
slaves, helots and the ancient Dalits, without whose blood, sweat and
tears, these wonders would never have come into existence.
This applies equally to the pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China,
and the Taj Mahal. This is the uncomfortable truth about these so-called
creations of man's limitless genius.
Permit me to pay tribute to the unsung, voiceless masses of the world
who, from conception to the grave, have toiled to keep inequities in
Let me also salute the voiceless millions of my sisters and brothers who
endured and continue to endure the agony and pain inflicted on them by
their so-called masters.
They should take encouragement from the fact that the nature of the
anti-Brahminic tyranny is gradually changing, despite the power of their
vicious servants, the police, the army, the bureaucracy and the security
forces. The latter are finding it increasingly difficult to crush the
Dalit resistance. International opinion, as was demonstrated in Durban,
South Africa, at the historic anti-racist conference in September, is
also rallying to their side, ironically in the same way that it once
rallied to the support of the anti-apartheid struggle in that country.
Terrified of Public Opinion
In Durban, the oppressors were so terrified of public opinion that they
shamelessly entered into dirty deals, backed by threats and blackmail,
and material inducements, in their attempts to keep caste off the
Ladies and gentlemen, the irony of the Durban conference was that South
Africa's liberation owed much to the rightful intervention of New Delhi,
which provided generous material and diplomatic support to the ANC
Phoolan Devi - Martyr of the Dalit Resistance
But apartheid has not been completely eliminated - it is alive, well and
thriving in India.
Ladies and gentlemen, may I state that I speak here today not only as an
ardent supporter of Dalit liberation, but in my capacity as Chair of the
Phoolan Devi Memorial Committee. Phoolan Devi was, of course, one of the
most potent and heroic martyrs of the Dalit Resistance.
In the noble spirit of the oppressed, beloved Phoolan, and the thousands
of other martyrs who have selflessly given their lives in the struggle for
Dalit freedom, it is unacceptable that, in the 21st century, upper caste
oppressors, in the so-called largest secular democracy, still
contemptuously chant the poisonous mantra:
'Two Dalits to be assaulted every hour. Three Dalit women to be raped
every day. Two Dalits to be murdered every day. Two Dalit houses to be
burnt every day.'2
Ladies and gentlemen, these are not figures plucked from my imagination,
but are from officially reported cases.
Yet, the Human Rights Charter of the United Nations, while taking note
of socially obnoxious practices based on race, religion, language and
gender, inexplicably excludes caste from these categories.
Fascist Sabotage of the Durban Conference
Whatever the original reason for this omission, we should no longer
accept such an arbitrary exclusion. The same people who did their worst at
the Durban Conference are behind it. We should lobby hard, in a more
favourable political climate, to remedy this grave omission.
According to Dr Ambedkar, the caste system is one of graded inequality and,
in the words of that great and fair-minded poet, Rabindranath Tagore, "a
gigantic, cold-blooded repression".
For centuries, the Dalits were even prevented from protesting about
their inhuman condition. All that a Dalit woman could do was to lament:
"Hush, my baby, Don't cry, my treasure,
Weeping is in vain,
For the enemy will never,
Understand our pain,
For the ocean has its limits,
Prisons have their walls around,
But our suffering and our torment,
Have no limit and no bound.''4
In a paper submitted to the World Peace Conference in Canada as far back as
1942, Dr Ambedkar expressed his anxiety over the continuing cases of abuses
of the human rights of the Dalits:
"What I fear is that the problems of the Untouchables may be forgotten,
as it has been so far. That would indeed be a calamity. For the ills
which the untouchables are suffering, if they are not as much advertised
as those of the Jews, are not less real. Nor are the means and the
methods of suppression used by the Hindus against the untouchables less
effective because they are less bloody than the ways which the Nazis have
adopted against the Jews. The anti-Semitism of the Nazis against the Jews
is in no way different in ideology and in effect from the
Sanatanism of Hindus against the untouchables. The world owes a duty to the
untouchables as it does to all suppressed people to break their
shackles and set them free.''5
Where Do We Go From Here ?
Dr Ambedkar was prophetically right. The oppression of the Dalits
continues unabated in India.
So, ladies and gentlemen, where do we go from here? How do we, in the 21st
century, show our solidarity in words and deeds to help consign the evil of
caste to the dustbin of history?
Like most of you gathered here today, and perhaps in some degree more, we
from the Diaspora also suffer discrimination and oppression. It is a
salutary fact and a profound lesson that, whatever our caste status and
origin, when we leave our homes for the imperialist heartland's, we join the
ever swelling ranks of the global Dalit community, the wretched of the
earth, in the international apartheid system of inequitable
capitalist economics. Therefore, we can share experiences and empathy,
though gained in different circumstances, for a similar reason: accident of
Ladies and gentlemen, the great fighter for the oppressed, the
anti-slavery warrior from the United States of America, John Brown
exhorted the oppressed thus:
"Sometimes there comes a crack in time itself
Sometimes a thing that has stood for so long,
As if it were a load star,
Sometimes there comes a force that suddenly
Will not have it any more.
Call it fate, man-soul, inner voice.
That force exists,
When it moves,
It will break into bits an actual wall
And change the scheme of things.''
Dr Ambedkar, in complete agreement with John Brown, went further and said:
"You must abolish your oppression yourselves.
Do not depend for its abolition upon God or superman.
Your salvation lies in political power and not in making pilgrimages and
observance of fasts.''
Ladies and gentlemen, you must heed the sagacious advice of Dr Ambedkar and
A Bridgehead between Communities
Today, ladies and gentlemen, you have a great well of resource and
support, both here in India and out there in the wider world.
You have to create a bridgehead between communities, villages, towns,
cities, different provinces, in a word, an entire country. So that
wherever there is need to combat oppression, the full might of
collective Dalit power will intervene.
You should create a situation where no private 'militias' of upper caste
thugs could descend upon the villages of innocent Dalits to rape,
pillage and burn. If you are sceptical about the government upholding
the rule of law, create your own rapid reaction force of fighters,
writers, theoreticians and the great information highway.
You should also form a network with the Diaspora so that we can also
marshal support, material and moral, for our struggle.
The Power of the Media
Ladies and gentlemen, one of the most important weapons the oppressor
has been using against the weak is the power of the media. In its subtle
and covert way it has been brainwashing and indoctrinating the masses
for centuries. Its power, of late, because of developments in science
and technology, has increased manifold. We have to meet them on their
So I say, bring out journals, newspapers and magazines and set up websites
and provide information and organisation and make your enemies shudder and
shake with fear. That is the first sign that he is cracking.
On the domestic front, form co-operatives, withdraw your business from
the Brahminical run enterprises. Support your own lawyers and set up
your own tribunals to settle your disputes. Emulate the effective
boycott strategy of the Irish and the African-Americans. Remember you
are many and they are few and they cannot do without you as either
labourer and consumer.
Emulate Mahatma Phule
Ladies and gentlemen, I am glad that you are also embracing the power of
education. You ought to build on the work of Mahatma Phule and other
pioneers, setting up schools and universities whose syllabuses accord with
your own philosophy of liberation. These should be the nurseries, the
intellectual breeding grounds of the thinkers and doers destined to
rewrite history and destroy the caste system.
As is well known, the Indian government is the voice and mouthpiece of
the dominant social order. Seventy-eight per cent of Dalit households
have no electricity and about 70 per cent no sanitation. Nearly half of
160 million Dalits live below the poverty line. Sixty per cent of Dalit
children, under four years of age, suffers from malnutrition. The infant
mortality rate exceeds 90 per 1000 births.6 According to Naoko Yuzwa,
leader of the Dalit women's delegation in Durban : "Dalit women suffer
triple oppression. They were oppressed by being made members of the
lower caste, for being women, and for being workers.''7
The Brave Dalit Sister at Durban
This brave Dalit sister added: "We do not have rights from foetus to
afterlife. The government has initiated forced sterilisation which only
targets Dalit women. As toddlers we cannot play with other children. As
teens, we are segregated to the back of classes in schools and have no
rights to higher education. We cannot drink from the same wells as the
upper caste. Even in death, they rob us of dignity, we cannot be buried
or cremated in the same graveyards as the upper castes.''8
Babasaheb was never a preacher. He believed strongly in leadership by
example and this he magnificently exemplified until his last breath.
Man, in his view, especially oppressed man with a passion for freedom
and justice, was indomitable. He has demonstrated throughout history,
that there are no chains in the world, no prisons, no dungeons of
torture, that can hold him back from his cherished goal to live a life
free of persecution, oppression and exploitation.
Babasaheb was contemptuous of the colour bar, the caste bar, the gender
bar and the slave bar. Nothing, he insisted, should stand in the way of the
full development of the human personality. This calls for iron
resolve, steely determination and unshakeable courage and integrity.
Ambedkar's own noble example cruelly exposed the lies and the hypocrisy of
those who contended that individual fulfilment and salvation were the sole
preserve of a privileged, self-anointed elite.
Hindu Deity Murders Shudra Rishi
A slave was much better than a Dalit. For a slave could be freed by
manumission. He could attain any status in society he desired providing
he had the requisite qualifications. Many slaves, after acquiring their
freedom, went on to become emperors in ancient Rome. In Indian history,
too, we have had a slave dynasty ruling medieval Delhi. In slave tainted
society a slave's qualities were always rewarded. But it was not so for the
Dalits. A Shudra, Rishi Lomharsha, who was an acclaimed scholar of the
Vedas, was accepted as a teacher in one of the many institutions of
learning of the time. When Balram, a Hindu deity saw the Shudra, a Dalit,
sitting on a teacher's seat, he was so enraged that he murdered him in cold
The enlightened scholars of that seat of learning, on hearing of this
cowardly and senseless act, told Balram that, although the Rishi was
from the Shudra caste, he was such a formidable scholar that he had not
only become a Brahmin but also their teacher.
Ladies & Gentlemen, even in antiquity the despicable caste system
decided one's fate on the trivial basis of accident of birth. One's
intellectual and moral strength counted for nothing.
In India of today, the media, both written as well as electronic, is
being manipulated by those who want to perpetuate and strengthen the
evil caste system.
The Hindu Merchants of Deceit
Ladies and Gentlemen, by harping on old and ancient past glories, those
merchants of deceit in the Brahminic ruling class, with their militias
named after Hindu Gods, like Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal, Ranbir Sena and so on,
are trying desperately to ward off the Armageddon that stares in the face.
Be they victims from the Dalit community, the Muslim, Christian and
Buddhist communities, the atrocities committed by these modern day Ku Klux
Klans is unacceptabler. Whether they are drugged thugs or men with filled
religious hatred, they must be vigorously combated.
A call must go out to all minorities and people of good will everywhere
in the world to come together to defeat these evils masquerading in
India in pseudo-religious garb. All people from all minorities should
come together with enlightened souls from everywhere to see that
oppression and suppression of the weak and the helpless ceases
forthwith. The whole world was shocked by the destruction of the ancient
Buddhist sculptures by the mindless Taliban thugs in Afghanistan. These
sculptures were not only of great spiritual value to those like
Babasaheb who are followers of the Lord Buddha. They were the priceless
cultural heritage of mankind, recognised as such by UNESCO. Yet what
hypocrisy it is for the BJP-led government to condemn theTaliban sacrilege,
when it is their own Home Affairs minister who roudly boasts of leading the
mobs who tore down the sacred Babri Masjid.
Evil of Caste Defiles Diaspora
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are feeling the impact of these evils even in
the Diaspora. With their web sites, temples and other means they are out
to disseminate poison and break up our united movements against racists.
With the help of their few 'God men' and some diplomats of questionable
integrities they are seeking to infest our communities abroad in order
to get financial contributions for their dubious and immoral repression
However, with a two-pronged campaign, both from here and within the
Diaspora, we should be able to expose and defeat these evil men and
their nefarious designs.
The other danger that faces your communities in India is from the
multinational companies. Whether they are in media or other fields of
business, they are out to make a fast buck. For India is a huge market.
With their modern techniques, where packaging is more important than
substance and presentation is more important than the message, they pose
a great danger to the local and indigenously based small-scale industry
which still forms the backbone of the Indian economy. I appeal to you to
be vigilant and prepare yourself and your communities not to be taken in
by apparent short-term gains.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is very important to bond together at local,
district, provincial and national levels to be able to apprise, from top
to bottom, all the minority communities of the dangers of inaction.
Always remember that these evil monsters are out to pick us off one by
one. But we must remind everyone of the noble words of the German Pastor
Niemoeller, who lamented:
First, they came for the Jews, but I did nothing as I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the communists, and again I did nothing, for I was
not a communist
When they came for the socialists, I did nothing, for I was not a
When they came for the trades unionists, I did nothing for I was not a
When they came for the gypsies, I did nothing, for I was not a gypsy.
Finally when they came for me, there was nobody left to do anything for
Ladies and Gentlemen, let this message go out to every hamlet and
village in India, and every corner of the globe, that enough is enough:
that we shall never allow the rogues, the charlatans and the criminals
to pass. We shall defeat them. And we shall consign their evil caste
system into the dustbin of history.
Dr Ambedkar lived and led by example. He did not believe in sitting in a
distant commander's tent relaying instructions to the foot soldiers. He
was always in the thick of the action.
Ambedkar's vision for the future was that no bar of caste, sex, wealth
or privilege should prevent the full growth and development of the human
personality, the ultimate man in all his unfettered cultural, spiritual,
material and historic glory.
Ladies and Gentlemen, let us make this the sole mission of our lives -
to try to fulfil the vision of Babasaheb.
I thank you for listening to me.
1. Ambedkar Centenary Souvenir, London 1991. Page 2
2. Development Council of the Church of India, Leaflet at Durban =
Conference. Page 1
3. Memorandum & Written by Samata Sainik Dal, alias Social Equality Army
WCAR Durban, South Africa, August Sept. 2001, Page 1
4. Ibid. page 17
5. The Untouchables Claim to Human Dignity. M. Lederie Published, Samata =
Sainik Dal, Social Equality Army. Quoted at back of cover.
6. Mwanda Jubasi - The Plight of the Untouchables, Sunday Times, Durban,
Sept. 2, 2001, Page 3
8. Megan Power, Castingout Caste, Tribune, Durban, 2/9/2001.
9. The Heritage of the Dalits, Published by Vyakti Vikas Kendra, India.
10. Anand, V. S. The Enigma of Enoch Powell. London, 1969. Page 2
We wish to thank the following for their
help, co-operation, and inspiration.
Rt. Hon. Tony Benn, Jeremy Corbyn, MP, John Austin, MP, Mildred Gordon,
Ex- MP, Keith Bennett, G. D. Govender, Mohanlal James Mungal, Dr. Harry
Persaud, K. B. Gamre, Professor Mohamed Arif, Councillor Madhav Patil,
Mr. & Mrs. Hirekar, Yogesh Varhade, M. S. Bahal, S. Bagul, Dr. R. K.
Lotay, Councillor Dhiren Basu, Dr. Harold Hillman, Joanna Lumbang, S. K.
Gupta, R. K. Mahan,
Councillor Kanta Patel, and Raja Mahmud Hussain Kiani.
VIDYA SAGAR ANAND
VIDYA SAGAR ANAND is one of the pioneering social historians of our
times. For over 40 years, long before mainstream British publishing
houses began to embrace multicultural issues, Vidya boldly struck out in
the direction of a balanced and objective version of history.
His cogent analyses and his unearthing of hitherto undiscovered or
concealed documents is brilliantly reflected in his innumerable books
and other publications.
A pioneer of equality of opportunity in the Labour Party, he has served
on countless committees and was the candidate for the Westminster and
European Parliaments. Vidya is the Chair or Patron of numerous community
organisations and is also a Freeman of the City of London. Like a famous
German scholar, Vidya subscribes to the view that philosophers have
merely interpreted the world, the point is to change it.