E.S. Reddy, an Indian-born acolyte of Gandhi who spearheaded efforts at the United Nations to finish apartheid in South Africa, died on Sunday in Cambridge, Mass. He was 96.
His dying was introduced by President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, who hailed Mr. Reddy’s “commitment to human rights” and his epitomizing “social solidarity.”
From 1963 to 1984, Mr. Reddy oversaw the U.N.’s efforts in opposition to apartheid first as principal secretary of the Special Committee Against Apartheid after which as director of the Center Against Apartheid.
He campaigned for boycotts and different financial sanctions in opposition to the white South African authorities, which segregated and oppressed Black folks and subordinated the nation’s giant inhabitants of Indian immigrants.
He additionally lobbied relentlessly for the discharge of Nelson Mandela, the imprisoned anti-apartheid chief who was lastly freed in 1990 after which elected South Africa’s first Black head of state 4 years later.
“There is no one at the United Nations who has done more to expose the injustices of apartheid and the illegality of the South African regime than he has,” Sean MacBride, a former U.N. commissioner for Namibia and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, mentioned of Mr. Reddy in 1985.
In a 2004 interview for the e-book “No Easy Victories” (2007), Mr. Reddy, influenced by Gandhi’s technique of nonviolent resistance to India’s British colonial rulers, defined the genesis of his curiosity in South Africa:
“I was already interested in the anti-apartheid movement in the 1940s, when the struggle in South Africa took on new forms and Indians and Africans were cooperating in the struggle. During the Second World War, the United States and Britain talked about four freedoms in the Atlantic Charter, but those freedoms didn’t apply to India or South Africa.”
The huge pool of Indian contract staff who had immigrated to South Africa beginning within the late 19th century had discovered widespread floor with Black residents as one other oppressed minority there. India was among the many first international locations to hitch what grew to become a world motion to isolate South Africa by way of industrial and cultural boycotts, and to exert financial leverage by pressuring companies, universities, foundations and pension funds worldwide to divest themselves of holdings in South African firms.
Mr. Reddy embraced that effort.
“He had to face many obstacles and antagonisms, coming from the Western Powers mainly,” Mr. MacBride mentioned, “but he had the skill, courage and determination necessary to overcome the systematic overt and covert opposition to the liberation of the people of Southern Africa.”
Enuga Sreenivasulu Reddy was born on July 1, 1925, in Pallapatti, a village in southern India about 90 miles north of Madras. His father, E.V. Narasa Reddy, ran a mining firm that exported mica. His mom was a homemaker.
His father was jailed for collaborating in Gandhi’s protest campaigns, and his mom bought her jewellery to boost cash for Gandhi’s efforts on behalf of India’s lowest caste, the so-called untouchables. Enuga himself led a strike as a highschool scholar.
After graduating from the University of Madras in 1943, he supposed to earn a sophisticated diploma in chemical engineering in Illinois, however the scarcity of ships instantly after World War II delayed his arrival within the United States till the center of the semester.
When he lastly did arrive, in New York, he determined to remain within the metropolis, deciding that he may higher hold abreast of occasions in India from there. Having forgotten by then a lot of the maths he had discovered as an undergraduate engineering scholar, he switched to political science and earned his grasp’s diploma within the topic from New York University in 1948. He continued his research at Columbia University.
He married Nilufer Mizanoglu, a translator of the poet Nazim Hikmet. She survives him, together with their daughters, Mina Reddy and Leyla Tegmo-Reddy; 4 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Utterly broke after a two-month U.N. internship, Mr. Reddy was employed by the then-fledgling United Nations in 1949 to conduct analysis as a political affairs officer.
In the late 1940s, he grew to become lively within the Council on African Affairs, a gaggle led by Paul Robeson and W.E.B. Du Bois. It initially drew mainstream progressive assist however pale after the federal government declared it a subversive group in 1953 as a result of a few of its leaders had Communist ties.
By then, India had gained its freedom from the British, a second, Mr. Reddy mentioned, that ought to have been the start of the tip of colonialism.
“I had a feeling that I did not do enough,” he mentioned within the 2004 interview. “I did not make enough sacrifice for India’s freedom, so I should compensate by doing what I can for the rest of the colonies.” When he joined the U.N., he added, “that feeling was in the back of my mind.”
After he retired in 1985, by then holding the title of assistant common secretary, Mr. Reddy wrote histories of the Black liberation and anti-apartheid actions and the hyperlinks between India and South Africa.
He was awarded the Joliot-Curie Medal of the World Peace Council in 1982. In 2013, he obtained the Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo from the South African authorities, an honor named for the previous African National Congress president-in-exile.
When Mr. Reddy celebrated his 96th birthday final July, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, a South African group against racism and corruption, congratulated him for a lifetime of “working tirelessly in support of the liberation movement” and “forging an unshakable bond between South Africa and his homeland, India.”