indian american


The Last Battle of the American Revolution was fought in India?

Most people believe that the American Revolution ended in 1781 when American and French forces defeated Cornwallis at Yorktown.  This is not true, as it would take two years for a peace treaty to be signed, in between which American and British forces would continue to clash in numerous small skirmishes and battles.  In addition, the American Revolution was a world war, with the French and other allies clashing with British forces in the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and Asia.  After Yorktown, some of the largest and bloodiest battles that was part of the world wide conflict occurred.  The last battle of what was technically a part of the American Revolution began on the 7th of June, 1783 in southern India.

Tipu Sultan, the ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore, was a big fan of the American Revolution, seeing himself and his kingdom as likewise being oppressed by the British Empire.  When America declared its independence in 1776, he sent a congratulatory letter to the Continental Congress offering his support.  After the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, much of Europe would ally with the US, including France, Spain, the Netherlands, and various other kingdoms..  It was then that the American Revolution morphed into a world war.  Even Morocco became an ally, offering safe harbor and protection to American ships in Moroccan waters and ports.  In 1778, Tipu Sultan and the Kingdom of Mysore joined the alliance and declared war against Britain.  The following war in India would be known as the 2nd Anglo Mysore War.

On the 7th of June, 1783 the British landed a force of 1,500 regular troops and 10,000 Sepoys (Indian troops under the employ of the British Army) near Cuddalore, India.  There they were opposed by a garrison of 5,800 Mysorean troops, 2,400 Mysorean marines, 2,500 French, and 2,000 allied Indian soldiers.  The British would lay siege to the city, bombarding the city and building breastworks surrounding it.  On the 20th of June, a small French fleet arrived to break the siege, but was easily defeated by a much larger British fleet.

Major combat operations began on June 20th, with the British attempting to storm the city.  Wave after wave, assault after assault was beaten back by the Mysoreans and French.  Then the French mounted a foolhardy counterattack, a bloody one in which hundreds of French soldiers were massacred and many more captured.  Among them was Jean Bernadotte, future Marshal of France under Napoleon Bonaparte and King of Sweden.

For the next several days the siege continued with neither side gaining an advantage.  Then on June 30th, word arrived the the US, France, and Britain had agreed to a preliminary peace agreement.  Both sides agreed to a ceasefire, and eventually the British and French withdrew.  Both the British and Mysorean/French forces had suffered around 1,000 killed each.  The war officially ended on September 3rd, 1783 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris.  Britain and the Kingdom of Mysore signed a separate peace treaty called the Treaty of Mangalore.  War with Britain would resume in 1789 with the Third Anglo Mysore War, and the destruction of the Kingdom of Mysore with the Fourth Anglo Mysore War in 1799.


(via Wool Power! Navajo Sheepherding Shines at ‘Sheep Is Life’)

Photos from the Diné “Sheep Is Life” Celebration

“On June 19 & 20, Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona, hosted the celebration. A tribute to Navajo sheepherding and weaving culture, Sheep is Life included demonstrations and workshops on traditional shearing, skirting, washing, carding, dyeing [plant dyes], spinning, weaving, felting and other fiber arts.”

There is good reason to keep Hamilton on the $10 bill. After all, he was the first Treasury secretary and the creator of the foundations of the American financial system. But there’s no reason to add another portrait to that bill.

A better idea is to remove Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill and replace him with a distinguished woman from American history. Jackson was a slave owner whose decisions annihilated American Indian tribes of the Southeast. He also hated paper currency and vetoed the reauthorization of the Second Bank of the United States, a predecessor of the Federal Reserve. Jackson is in the history books, but there’s no reason to keep him in our wallets.

Alright Disney, you’ve done princesses with all the natural hair colors, you’ve done African American, Latina, American Indian, and Chinese princesses. Please please please make the next princess of a normal body type


The racist response to the Spelling Bee is further proof America isn’t ready to talk about minority success

On May 29, they became co-champions of an especially hard-fought Scripps National Spelling Bee.

In the past few years, the 89-year-old competition has seen a striking pattern in which Indian-American contestants have lifted the winner’s trophy eight consecutive times and in 13 of the past 17 outings. Their streak feeds into years of conversation around race, achievement and immigrant success — all tied to problematic notions of what it means to be “American.”

Read more | Follow policymic 


Comedian Hari Kondabolu launches hilarious Bobby Jindal hashtag

In his recent presidential announcement, Bobby Jindal willfully distanced himself from his Indian roots. “I’m done with all this talk about hyphenated Americans. We are not Indian-Americans … we are all Americans.” This didn’t sit well with Hari Kondabolu, so he gave Jindal the skewering he deserves.

It is interesting to note that most mascot names were chosen, and ceremonies using the feathers, drums, and clothing were developed, from the 1920s to the 1950s. During this period of time and up until 1978 it was illegal for Native people to practice their religion. Native people could be, and often were, imprisoned for using these same items in ceremonies. Ironically, while nonnative people were using sacred objects in mimicking the Indians at sports events, Native people had to stand by and watch their culture mocked while they themselves could not participate in the same activities in a religious way. This was not an honor then, and it is not an honor today.
—  Eugene Tapahe, What’s Wrong with Indian Mascots, Anyway?

Never Alone and the need for American Indian narratives in games

“I’m proudly American Indian.

I grew up going to stomp dances, pow-wows, running fires, and even performing a traditional wedding. I carry a turtle shell tobacco pouch with a hawk claw for a clasp that my mother made for me. When I was a kid, I went to a native camp of sorts to learn traditional arts, to learn how to speak my language and be immersed in that culture with others.

Writing this is hard. Not because writing is hard (though it is, and don’t let anyone tell you any different), but I find myself agonizing over every word, knowing that it will be scrutinized or tokenized.

Natives are often in the position of having to prove their Native-ness. So many have co-opted the culture to be about spirit animals and headdresses and nothing else. There’s a general lack of understanding from those outside of Native culture about what it entails, and what it means to the people that live it. The real truth of that experience though, is that none of us have a complete picture. Native culture is so many things because there are so many different kinds of us…”

Read the whole article at  Polygon

Indian students in front of International House at the University of Chicago in June 1946. Since their visas did not permit them to reenter the U.S. once they left, some chose to forgo the opportunity to return home, and eventually became the very first Indian immigrants of the modern era. (Courtesy of C.K. Chandran.)

After World War II, students and academics arrived in small numbers. Most were on Indian government scholarships and were required to return upon completion of their studies. In the early 1960s, short-term visitors to the U.S. included some 45 Indian engineers who were brought to Inland Steel and U.S. Steel for training in running newly constructed steel mills in India. The selective nature of the 1965 immigration law gave initial preference to skilled professionals but once established, these professionals sponosred their relatives and the community became much more diverse.


Meet Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri!

(Image description: vishalv2, “White man lands. White man sees natives. White man calls them Indians. White man kills Indians. White man starts Miss America. Indian man arrives. Indian man has daughter. Daughter wins Miss America. White man gets pissed. White man calls her non-native. White man misses the fucking irony. The End.”)

An Indian buzzfeed user’s response to the Miss America “scandal.” Snap. 


Mindy Kaling (Vera Mindy Chokalingam) - June 24, 1979 (35 years strong).

Author, Actress, Screenwriter, Comedian, Producer, Model and Pioneer…