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

PNG_0920N_BARINDER_RASODE_MAYORAL_ANNOUNCEMENT_218072244

Q & A: Surrey mayoral candidate Barinder Rasode discusses upcoming campaign trail

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI After months of speculation, Surrey city councillor Barinder Rasode finally confirmed her bid for mayor in the upcoming election at a…
Continue Reading »

PNG_0920N_BARINDER_RASODE_MAYORAL_ANNOUNCEMENT_218072376

Barinder Rasode takes aim at crime as she officially announces her bid for Surrey’s mayor

  LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI After months of speculation, Surrey city councillor Barinder Rasode finally confirmed her bid for mayor in the upcoming election at…
Continue Reading »

Sunday September 19 Vancouver Stanley Park

Gear up for the annual Ismaili Walk at Stanley Park this Sunday

VANCOUVER DESI The 23rd annual Ismaili Walk, which fundraises to improve the lives of local women and children, will take place Sunday in Stanley Park….
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Oliver urges weaker G20 economies to follow Canadian stimulus model

THE CANADIAN PRESS SYDNEY, Australia — Different economic situations require different approaches to meeting the G20′s economic targets, Canada’s finance minister said Sunday as he…
Continue Reading »

PNG_0920N_BARINDER_RASODE_MAYORAL_ANNOUNCEMENT_218072244

Q & A: Surrey mayoral candidate Barinder Rasode discusses upcoming campaign trail

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI After months of speculation, Surrey city councillor Barinder Rasode finally confirmed her bid for mayor in the upcoming election at a…
Continue Reading »

PNG_0920N_BARINDER_RASODE_MAYORAL_ANNOUNCEMENT_218072376

Barinder Rasode takes aim at crime as she officially announces her bid for Surrey’s mayor

  LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI After months of speculation, Surrey city councillor Barinder Rasode finally confirmed her bid for mayor in the upcoming election at…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

DEPORTED-PAKISTAN

Rally held in Saskatoon in support of 65-year-old woman deported to Pakistan

THE CANADIAN PRESS SASKATOON — Supporters of a 65-year-old woman who was deported to her native Pakistan earlier this week have held a rally at…
Continue Reading »

Designers-entertainment

Fashion over the years in Bollywood

IMROZ MAUR VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood and Fashion go hand in hand; there is no Bollywood without fashion and there is no fashion without Bollywood. They…
Continue Reading »

fried rat in food

Customer finds fried rat mixed in pakoras at Indian railway snack kiosk

VANCOUVER DESI A snack kiosk at a railway station in Western India has been closed down after a customer found a fried rat mixed in…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver-soccer

‘This isn’t lingerie football’: Vancouver Whitecaps video taken down (w/video)

DAN FUMANO VANCOUVER DESI After some fans and Internet commenters cried foul on a new online video promoting the Vancouver Whitecaps soccer team, club management…
Continue Reading »

Change

Iran sentences ‘Happy’ dancing youths to six months jail, 91 lashes

IANS Tehran – A group of Iranian youths, who released a video on YouTube dancing to the popular song “Happy” by American singer-songwriter Pharrell Williams,…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Deepika Padukone

Deepika Padukone: Respect us as women off-screen

IANS Mumbai – Deepika Padukone says she has an issue when people “propagate objectification of a real person and not a character being played” and…
Continue Reading »

Parineeti Chopra-Aditya Roy Kapur

Daawat-e-Ishq: Habib Faisal missed the plot

SUBHASH K. JHA IANS  Film: “Daawat-e-Ishq”; Cast: Aditya Roy Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra and Anupam Kher; Director: Habib Faisal: Rating: ** There are two different films…
Continue Reading »

Vinay Virmani

A fun ride with Dr. Cabbie

Q&A: Canadian actor Vinay Virmani’s new movie continues his examination of South Asian immigrant experience ALMAS MEHERALLY VANCOUVER DESI Toronto-born actor and writer Vinay Virmani…
Continue Reading »