Suraj Milind Yengde

Suraj Yengde is a lawyer by profession, registered with the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa, India. After his Bachelors degree, he moved to Birmingham to pursue Master of Laws (LL.M.) in International Human Rights. Since then, he has worked with international organisations such as the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights as a secretariat to the Human Rights Council (Geneva), and Voice of Dalit International (London). He became interested in issues of discrimination, particularly those related to the caste system in India. His writing interests include critiques of socio-cultural inequality in India, and he contributes to the Human Horizons online forum, the Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre (PMARC) and, most recently, the Common Purpose/Commonwealth Study Conference. His PhD research is an ethnographic study of contemporary Indian labour migration to South Africa. It engages with the broader themes of South-south migration which seeks to argue for the southern experiences interpreted through southern theoretical models devoid of northern perception.

Alternatively, his on-going project compares caste practices and discrimination in India and Africa, labour migration in the Indian Ocean, and Indian Investment in Africa. Apart from academic work, he is a social activist, and has an interest in studying different cultures and languages in comparative perspective.

He writes in English, Hindi and Marathi. His articles are also translated in Spanish and Hindi. He authors a blog, PEACE > war, and is the editor of Noswal Times and “Uninstitutionalised Thought.” He is a regular contributor to the online media platforms providing critical commentary on contemporary issues.

 In addition to the above, Suraj holds several positions with the University as a Post graduate Research Student’s  Representative, Executive member of Post Graduate Association, a Member of Senate, Graduate Studies Committee and University Research Committee of the University of the Witwatersrand.

Currently, he is based in Cambridge, MA associated with the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University where he is finishing his PhD project. Simultaneously, he is working on the peripheral identities of the global south space, invoking the debates of the subordinate subalterns. 

Email: /

Thesis title: South-south migration: Ethnographic study of contemporary Indian labour migration to South Africa.

Areas of research : South-south mobility; Lifestyle Migration; Indian labour migration to Africa; Human Rights of Indian immigrants in the pre-1994 era; Indian investment in Africa; Caste studies

Publications (select)

“More than economic reasons’ of south-south migration: A case study of contemporary Indian labour migrants to Johannesburg,”AlterNation Interdisciplinary Journal for the Study of the Arts and Humanities in Southern Africa, University of KwaZulu Natal Press, forthcoming 2015.

“Are there any untouchables among Indian diaspora in South Africa? Practices and life of caste in Africa,” Economic and Political Weekly, Vol L, No. 37, September 12, 2015 

““Smartphone” migration: Emerging lifestyle and changing habits of Indian labour migrants in Johannesburg,” Social Transformations: Journal of the Global South, Vol. 2, No. 1, Feb. 2014, 3–33

Yengde, S  & Khobragade, J, ”Impact of Development Projects on the Internally Displaced persons in India: A Legal Perspective,” International Journal of Law and Legal Jurisprudence Studies¸ Vol. 1, Issue 4, July, 2014

“Gandhism in South Africa: Critical reflections of the great soul,” The Voice: Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies, Vol. 1, No. 2, April – June, 2014

Book Chapter

“First decade of apartheid: Indian activism in refuting the most controversial Group Areas Act,” In Dubey, A, 2015, Indian Diaspora in Development of Host and Home Countries: A Comparative Perspective (Routledge: New Delhi) forthcoming

“Globalisation and its effects on the weaker sections of Indian society” In, Kulshrestha D and Mtsaniya, V (eds.), 2015, Poverty Alleviation in India: Issues & Challenges (Manglam Publishers: New Delhi), pp. 298–312

Book reviews

La Grange Zelda, Good Morning, Mr Mandela. New York: Allen Lane. 370 pp., African Studies Quarterly, Vol 14, Issue 5, 2014, 174 – 176

Ambedkar, B R, Annihilation of Caste, Introduction by Arundhati Roy. New Delhi: Navayan, 2014. “Let’s counter the argument in similar fashion,” April 24, 2014

Non-refereed article or comment (select)

Maut ka Kua – The Death Well: A Response to Anne Allison’s Talk on “Greeting the Dead,” 09 July, 2015, Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism blog

“Indian Dalit towards oppressed African,” Samaji Nyaya Sandesh, Vol. 13, Issue 6, September, 2015 forthcoming, translated in Hindi

“Slum life, Res life!” Noswal Times, Vol. 1, No. 1, April 2014

“Let’s counter the argument in similar fashion,” April 24, 2014

“Mandelaism and Gandhism: Other side of the South African Legacy” Buddhist Voice, Vol. 1 (5) 2014, 38-49

“International Dalit Activism: Transnational efforts in fighting the world’s oldest surviving discrimination” Buddhist Voice, Vol.1 (2) 2013, 31-35

“Para la casta “pura” sí importa una violación en la India,” CEPRID, September 6, 2013

“For rape caste does matter in India,” Sanhati Journal Issue no. 10 (1), 2013, 1-7

Why now lower caste? An alternative to the derogatory,”, March 14, 2012

Conferences (select)

“South-South migration: A Case study of contemporary Indian labour migration to South Africa,” Capital, labour and south-south development Conference, The School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Ithaca, October 9-11, 2015

 “Indian activism in the first decade of apartheid: case study of the most controversial Group Areas Act and Indian response in refuting the discrimination,” Indian Diaspora in Development of Home and Host countries: A Comparative Perspective conference, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Kadi University, Gandhinagar, January 10-11, 2015

 ““Please comment in the section below.” Usage of social media space to advocate ideological message: case study of Indian elections 2014,” Democracy and Dalit Politics in Neoliberal Times, University of Edinburgh and Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, December 5-6, 2014

 “Economic aspects of South-South migration: A Case study of contemporary Indian labour migration to Johannesburg, South Africa,” 17th Nordic Migration Conference, University of Copenhagen, August 13-15, 2014

 “Fordsburg, Flea Market & Foreigners: Ethnographic study of Indian migrants in South Africa,” India in Africa: New Frontiers in South-South Relations conference, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, March 15-16, 2013