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Meyer I. David

Meyer (Michael) I. David, "a member of a prominent Baghdadi family from Bombay, was notable among Baghdadi Jews in India for taking an active political interest in Indian independence. He promoted the idea of dominion status as a means for India to achieve self-governance. He met with Gandhi and discussed his idea to establish a Welfare of India League (also referred to as the Good Will Movement and the Progressive League). The league played a critical role in negotiating a compromise after Gandhi was arrested in 1932 and began a hunger strike in protest of British authorities' decision to award the Dalits (the "untouchable" castes) separate electoral representation. Meyer David also addressed Dalit social welfare--considered by Gandhi to be critical in his vision of an independent India--in other contexts. In 1932, David proposed a scheme to start a scholarship fund for Dalit students. He envisioned that higher-caste Hindus would financially support Dalit students; the amount of 500 rupees could cover the higher education of one Dalit student for five years, while half of that could cover high-school education. The idea won Gandhi's approval in addition to that of the All-India Depressed Classes Association, which represented Dalits. The David Scheme, as it came to be known, continued for a few years but ultimately folded when funds could not be successfully solicited from other donors." (from Elizabeth Imber's "A Late Imperial Elite Jewish Politics: Baghdadi Jews in British India and the Political Horizons of Empire and Nation") Later, in 1944 with co-author Dr. Christian Richard, David wrote an anti-fascist "Declaration of Interdependence" which won the interest and attention of the historian, Will Durant and was ultimately read into the Congressional Record.

Declaration of Interdependence, by Meyer David, Christian Richard, and Will Durant (1944)

Contributed on: כ״ה בשבט ה׳תשפ״א (2021-02-06) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Will Durant | Christian Richard | Meyer I. David |

A Declaration of Interdependence co-authored during WW II as part of an interfaith Jewish-Christian response to fascism and “to mitigate racial and religious animosity in America.” . . .



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