Suraj Milind Yengde


Suraj Yengde is India’s first Dalit Ph.D. holder from an African university in the nation’s history.Suraj specializes in the inter-regional labor migration policies with a focus on global south migration. He is also a published author in the field of Caste, Race and Ethnicity studies. Currently, he is involved in developing a critical theory of Dalit and Black Studies.

Suraj is a passionate Human Rights attorney, who is also an anti-caste and anti-racism advocate, columnist at The Huffington Post, The Indian Express, The Mexican Times, and The Conversation. His writings have appeared in the Sunday World, Mail & Guardian Africa, Saturday Star. He is frequently invited by the media to offer expert advice on the issues of caste, migration, race relations and international law. He was featured in the independence day magazine of The Economic Times magazine.

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.

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