The first meeting between Dalits and Black Panthers in history took place on May 28 and 29 in Nanded, Maharashtra. Nanded is mentioned as the center of the Ambedkarite movement in Maharashtra. Many Panthers were born on the lines of Nanded, they gave their lives for the movement. The first International Dalit-Black Panther Conference was held in Nanded on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Indian Dalit Panther. The conference was organized by Rahul Pradhan, President of Yuva Panther, and Azad Samaj Party Maharashtra.
Dalit Panther co-founder J. V. Pawar and Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan, Rohith Vemula’s brother Raja Vemula also was present at the two-day international conference. And Black Panther Michael McCarty (USA), Dr. Jakobi Williams, Henry Gaddis were present.
J. V Pawar said in the conference, “Dalit Panther and Black Panther were born only on street. and in the world only two movements being studied. one is a black panther and another Dalit panther.”
Various events were organized during the two-day international conference. There were programs like reading poetry, singing Bhim Geete, rap-singing, drama, and showing short films.
Why is the visit historic?
The Black Panther was born in the United States in 1966, and the Dalit Panther of India was born in 1972 in Mumbai. Both organizations were militant and aggressive. The Dalit Panther was born out of both the Black Panther’s influence and the Ambedkarite ideology.
After the day of Mahaparinirvana of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, a Dalit Panther organization was formed which was fighting the extremist youth leading the Dalit movement. On 29th May 2022, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Dalit Panther, Rahul Pradhan, President of Yuva Panther and Maharashtra Chief of Azad Samaj Party, organized the International Dalit-Black Panther Conference.
In this connection, the American Black Panthers were invited to India. So this visit of Dalit and Black Panther has to be called historic.