In a democracy of over 1 billion people it is very easy for a group of 50,000 to get lost and even forgotten. The Siddi tribe of Africa is not only lost in this vast country but also lost to history. Their story although documented by a few, still remains an unfinished sentence that is presently written for the history of India. They remain an invisible and forgotten people that everyone wants to forget they exist and that automatically the problem should go away.
For centuries , through no fault of their own, their forefathers were brought to till the soil, work the farms and make their owners rich. This custom has remained intact in 2014, not to the extent of the harsh treatment of their relatives, but certainly camouflaged in the modern day engineering of the world’s most inhumane of systems known as slavery.
The Siddi story is an interesting one. You look at them externally and you see Africans, but you peer into their souls, you hear them speak and you see Indian. Living in a country so large , and in the minority, it is easy to see how they are at a disadvantage .
A group with no political or economic power their influence is nil. It is only through the human trait of fairness and brotherly love they survive keeping their hopes alive. That hope is to one day be given the right to be called Indian citizens. These people ask for nothing more, nothing less. They are Indian but like a castaway child they are left to fend for themselves.
A democracy as advanced as India has a far way to go to mend this atrocity. Forgetting that they exist is not solving the problem. What has India got to lose? In fact it has everything to gain. It will allow the Siddi’s to fully integrate in the Indian society , deepening the existing and dynamic Indian culture, allowing integration of the races , maybe creating a superb mixture of Africans and Indians.
There is no such thing as purity of races. The last man to experiment with that idea life was thankfully stopped unceremoniously. The Siddi people cannot go anywhere. They are home. India is their home, not Africa. That’s their heritage. India must do the right thing. Give the Siddi their life back. Give the Sddi the opportunity their forefathers created for them. Give the Siddi their Indian wings.