Mississippi finally abolishes slavery officially — thanks to Indian-American professor

Published: February 20, 2013

VANCOUVER DESI/IANS

Dr. Ranjan Batra

Dr. Ranjan Batra, associate professor of neurobiology and anatomical sciences at the University of Mississippi Medical Centre, started looking into states ratifying the 13th Amendment after watching Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln.” Screengrab/MSNBC

Better late than never.

The curiosity of an Indian-American professor has led to slavery officially being abolished across the United States — 148 years after U.S. President Abraham Lincoln’s emancipation declaration.

The state of Mississippi finally ratified the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery only earlier this month, due in great measure to Dr. Ranjan Batra, associate professor of neurobiology and anatomical sciences at the University of Mississippi Medical Centre.

Batra, who became a U.S. citizen in 2008, last November started looking into states ratifying the amendment after watching Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” an Oscar-nominated film which depicts the political fight to pass it, according to The Clarion Ledger, a state newspaper.

As Batra learnt from the usconstitution.net website, after Congress voted for the 13th Amendment in January 1864, the measure went to the states for ratification.

On Dec 6, 1865, the amendment received the three-fourths’ vote it needed when Georgia became the 27th state to ratify it. States that rejected the measure included Delaware, Kentucky, New Jersey and Mississippi.

In the months and years that followed, states continued to ratify the amendment, including those that had initially rejected it. New Jersey ratified the amendment in 1866, Delaware in 1901 and Kentucky in 1976.

But there was an asterisk beside Mississippi. A note read: “Mississippi ratified the amendment in 1995, but because the state never officially notified the U.S. Archivist, the ratification is not official.”

Batra, according to the Clarion Ledger, then told colleague Ken Sullivan who called the National Archives’ Office of the Federal Register to inform them that Mississippi was yet to ratify the 13th Amendment.

Sullivan was able to retrieve a copy of a 1995 Senate resolution, which passed both the Mississippi House and Senate, that ratified the amendment to abolish slavery, but it was never sent to the Office of the Federal Register.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann sent the Office of the Federal Register a copy of the 1995 Senate bill and on Feb. 7, Mississippi finally ratified the 13th Amendment.

“Now it’s officially filed and recorded,” Sullivan told the Clarion Ledger. “There’s no asterisk by Mississippi any more.”

“Mississippi gets a lot of bad press about this type of stuff and I just felt that it is something that should be fixed, and I saw every reason that could be done,” Batra told ABC News.

“Everyone here would like to put this part of Mississippi’s past behind us and move on into the 21st century rather than the 19th,” he said.

Sullivan also remarked on the unlikely pairing of an immigrant from India and a life-long southerner working together to resolve the oversight.

“You have Dr. Batra, who is the immigrant and me who is the native-born, life-long resident of Mississippi, it was a unique pair,” he said.

IANS 2013-02-20 15:04:04

[+]

Tags: , , , ,





Featured

Abbotsford

Jag Khosa: Families pay the ultimate price of gang wars

DET. JAG KHOSA SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Late into the night, the parents of a young man struggled to sleep. The mother kept tossing and…
Continue Reading »

linda-hepnerdesi

Linda Hepner, Doug McCallum top two latest Surrey civic election polls

Candidates trade lead spot in polls released this week CHRISTOPHER POON SURREY NOW SURREY — Two new polls released this week show candidates Linda Hepner…
Continue Reading »

DIWALI

Vancouver’s ‘Spice Goddess’ Bal Arneson loves celebrating Diwali with friends and family

LOIS ABRAHAM THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO – Ever since she was a little girl in India, “Spice Goddess” host Bal Arneson has loved celebrating the…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Abbotsford

Jag Khosa: Families pay the ultimate price of gang wars

DET. JAG KHOSA SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Late into the night, the parents of a young man struggled to sleep. The mother kept tossing and…
Continue Reading »

Facebook photo showing Martin Rouleau

Canada is Losing the Values War!

UJJAL DOSANJH SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI The dreaded happened in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, a quiet historic town in Quebec. Many years ago I stayed there for a…
Continue Reading »

Butter Chicken

Light up Diwali with this delicious dinner: Butter Chicken, Basmati Rice with Peas, Chickpea Masala and Gulab Jamun

Indian festival is a fine reason for a feast BAL ARNESON POSTMEDIA NEWS Diwali is India’s biggest festival. People light candles and divas (small Indian…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Facebook photo showing Martin Rouleau

Canada is Losing the Values War!

UJJAL DOSANJH SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI The dreaded happened in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, a quiet historic town in Quebec. Many years ago I stayed there for a…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver school students

Gallery: Dalai Lama in Vancouver

VANCOUVER DESI Check out photos of the Dalai Lama meeting students and some staff of John Oliver Secondary prior to attending the Heart-Mind Youth Dialogue…
Continue Reading »

INDIA-WILDLIFE-ELEPHANT

Heartbreaking photos of two elephants electrocuted in India

IANS Siliguri – Two elephants, including a female, were electrocuted in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district Saturday, an official said. The tuskers were found in a…
Continue Reading »

Aman Grewal

Gallery: Army officer’s wife wins Mrs. India Worldwide pageant

IANS New Delhi – Aman Grewal, wife of an army officer, was declared the winner of Haut.Monde Mrs.India Worldwide 2014 here. Grewal, who hails from…
Continue Reading »

varsha

Ontario teen fighting superbugs with an assist from Indian home cooking

TOM SPEARS OTTAWA CITIZEN Like a lot of great discoveries, Varsha Jayasankar’s foray into how to kill superbugs with an extract from Indian food started…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood

Saif Ali Khan poses with pants down

IANS New Delhi – Actor-producer Saif Ali Khan was caught and clicked with his pants down while shooting for his new film “Happy Ending”. As…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt says ‘Going Home’ a special short film

IANS Mumbai – If the masses loved her in movies like “Highway” and “Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania”, Alia Bhatt has again won many a heart….
Continue Reading »

Priyanka Chopra

Why is Priyanka Chopra upset?

IANS Mumbai – Actress Priyanka Chopra had to cancel her pre-Diwali plans as she is down with an eye infection. And now she is fuming….
Continue Reading »