Dr. Suraj Yengde is one of India's leading public intellectuals and a noted scholar of caste. He is the author of the bestseller Caste Matters and co-editor of award winning anthology The Radical in Ambedkar.
Caste Matters went to reprint within a week of its publication date. It was recently featured in the prestigious "Best Nonfiction Books of the Decade" list by The Hindu.
Suraj is currently a senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and an inaugural postdoctoral fellow at the Initiative for Institutional Anti-racism and Accountability (IARA) at Harvard University.
Suraj has studied in four continents (Asia, Africa, Europe, North America). He is also India’s first Dalit Ph.D. holder from an African university (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg) in the nation's history.
Suraj is a published author in the field of caste, race, ethnicity studies, and inter-regional labor migration in the global south. Currently, he is involved in developing a critical theory of Dalit and Black Studies.
Suraj has been nominated for India's highest literary award "Sahitya Akademi" and is a recipient of the "Dr. Ambedkar Social Justice Award" (Canada, 2019) and the "Rohit Vemula Memorial Scholar Award" (2018).
Suraj was recently featured on the BBC World Service, and WGBH Boston's multi-part series on Caste in America sponsored by the Pulitzer Center. Suraj inaugurated a popular column 'Dalitality' at the Indian Express that centers on the issues of caste in India. Dalitality is the currently the only column in print media to have Dalit centric opinions.
Suraj's cover story for the Caravan magazine explores the important question of 'Race, Caste and what it will take to make Dalit Lives Matter?' It is the first extensive treatment of the Dalit-Black question.
Suraj is an academic activist and a noted public intellectual in the transnational movement of Dalit rights. He is actively involved in building solidarity between Dalit, Black, Roma, Indigenous, Buraku and Refugee people’s in the Fourth World project of marginalized peoples.
He is an International Human Rights attorney by qualification from India and the UK, who is also an anti-caste and anti-racism advocate, syndicated columnist at The Hindustan Times, The Huffington Post, The Print, The Citizen, Globe & Post, The Mexican Times, The Conversation, among others. His writings have appeared in Al Jazeera, BBC, The Hindu, The Caravan, LiveMint, The Sunday World, The Wire.in, Mail & Guardian Africa, Saturday Star, Open Democracy. He is frequently invited by the media and corporations to offer expert advice on the issues of caste, migration, race relations and international law. Economic Times did a feature on him on the ocassion of Independence Day.
Suraj has worked with leading international organizations in Geneva, London, and New York. Suraj is also an activist in the transnational movement of Dalit rights. He is a co-convener of Dalit-Black Lives Matter symposium and the Dalit and Black Power Movement. He runs a monthly Ambedkar Lecture Series at Harvard. He is an associate editor of Southern Journal of Contemporary History, and former associate editor of CASTE: A Global Journal on Social Exclusion published by Brandeis University Library.
His recent work with the philosopher Cornel West has received global attention and calls for unity between African Americans and Dalits.
Suraj has delivered over 300 lectures, keynotes at international academic conferences and seminars across the world on the issues of casteism, racism, institutionalized discrimination, diversity and inclusion.
Suraj offers consultations to the government and non-governmental policy-making bodies on the issues of human rights, social justice, cross-border migration and organizational strategies for campaigns and advocacy. He is a convenor of the "India for Diversity" movement.
Suraj also holds a research associate position with the department of African and African American Studies, and a non-resident fellow at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. He is also a convenor of the Dalit Film Festival.
photo credit: Meredith Nierman