- Oliver D’Souza
The Delaware State Governor John Carney on Thursday signed House Bill 198 , a legislation that makes it mandatory for every school district to educate students about Black history as part of all educational programming beginning 2022-23 to make the people aware of the depth of the problems of Blacks in America, a lot of which contuse even today..
The governor went on to say “The only way we can secure our future is to understand and reconcile our past. We have a deep and proud history, but many of us don’t know the full story.”
“This bill is about helping all of us understand that full story – the good and the bad – so that we can secure a better future. Thank you to Representative Dorsey Walker and Senator Lockman for their leadership in passing this legislation.”
Under the new bill, district schools teach Black history in detail, including the role of slavery and development of US economy, along with contributions of Black people to American history, life, literature, politics, economy and culture.
The American insistence on minority protection known as affirmative action has been going on for very long, due to which the Black community in the US has been able to lift itself from the underdeveloped and lack of personal growth that followed them as a result of the slavery of their ancestors.
There is a lot our nation has to learn from this latest development. The Indian blacks – the dalits – have suffered the worst kinds of oppression that no Black in the US has ever experienced, and this is something that has been going on for 3,500 years.
Our founding fathers knew that in caste driven society in India, the Dalits and other scheduled tribes would never receive their due share in the nations economy, polity and society. This led to reservations for them.
While reservations have benefited them, and accountability has been abolished by law, the plight of the Dalits has marginally improved. The discrimination at all levels and all spheres continues, including regular murder and rape
The prime reason for this that we as a nation are not really committed to emancipating the plight of the poor and suffering. Discrimination and exploitation of the lower castes is in the national psyche.
A large part of the reason is that the general public neither is aware about the full scope of the problem, others actually condone it in keeping with their caste mentality, and the young non SC/ST/OBC has no idea of the plight of the Dalits.
The black Americans have largely found their freedoms and development to the extent they have, largely the affirmative action laws were implemented, and discrimination at any level is always challenged and addressed, even as incidents like the George Floyd one have been periodically happening.
Learning from the Americans, India too needs to make Dalit history part of the curriculum. Values of equality, fraternity and brotherhood need to be taught in the schools at an early age, even as the child undergoes inadvertent or advertent caste training at home and in the community.