South Asia Citizens Wire - 01 March 2013 - No. 2774
1. Audio: A future for the Left in India - reflections (Jairus Banaji)
2. MNREGA perhaps the largest financial inclusion drive in rural India (Reetika Khera)
3. Video: One Billion Rising Events in Dwarka, Delhi - 14 Feb 2013
4. Mohsin Hamid: To Fight India, We Fought Ourselves
5. Sri Lanka: Report on Sexual Violence against Tamils by Security Forces (Human Rights Watch)
6. Independent Judiciary and Rule of Law: Demolished in Sri Lanka (Rohini Hensman)
7. India: Letter to Ministry of Environment and Forests re serious anomalies in the EIA report for the Mithi Virdi Nuclear Power Plant
8. Anwar Dayal: Deconstructing Jamaat-e-Islami in Bangladesh
9. Text of 'Kathmandu Declaration' adopted at conference on Peace building in South Asia
10. India: Why Hyderabad Investigations are doomed to fail - JTSA release
11; Video: Current Nuclear Scenario In India - Newsclick Interview with M V Ramana
12. Pakistan: Is the Punjab Govt. Buying Votes with Shia blood
13. India: Lotika Sarkar (1927 – 2013) - Tribute by Vibhuti Patel
14. Bangladesh: Attacks on journalists rise with tension around war crimes tribunal - Amnesty International
15. Amitabha Pande: The military-corruption complex
16. Neena Vyas: The State dumps secularism, as bigoted groups call the shots
17. India: Photos from People’s Watch Over Parliament, 21 February 2013 - Bekhauf Azadi (Freedom Without Fear) Campaign
18. Sex crimes are ubiquitous: Interview with Jacqueline Bhabha
19. Pakistan: Women on motorbikes — what’s the problem? (Pervez Hoodbhoy)
20. India: PUCL Statement on Hyderabad Bombings
21. Bangladesh: Shahbagh - Its international significance
22. India: Statement on Home Minister’s Apology: Cowardly Capitulation to the RSS and BJP
23. Stewart Motha: Australia is playing a dangerous game with Sri Lanka
24. In Pakistan, there’s no answer to terror (Kamila Shamsie)
25. India: Recent Posts on Communalism Watch
1. INDIA: A FUTURE FOR THE LEFT - REFLECTIONS
by Jairus Banaji
An audio recording of Jairus Banaji in Delhi at the New Socialist Initiative founding conference on 22 February 2013.
2. WORKING THINGS OUT [MNREGA PERHAPS THE LARGEST FINANCIAL INCLUSION DRIVE IN RURAL INDIA]
by Reetika Khera
. . .threat of disruption of MNREGA looms large today with rumours that Aadhaar, despite enrollment rates being very low still, will become compulsory for MNREGA workers. Instead, the government should continue to focus on the good work that began in 2008, ie, expanding the reach of the formal banking system to rural areas, and work towards bringing greater transparency in the implementation of the programme
3. VIDEO: ONE BILLION RISING EVENTS IN DWARKA, DELHI - 14 FEB 2013
4. MOHSIN HAMID: TO FIGHT INDIA, WE FOUGHT OURSELVES
Minority persecution is a common notion around the world, bringing to mind the treatment of African-Americans in the United States, for example, or Arab immigrants in Europe. In Pakistan, though, the situation is more unusual: those persecuted as minorities collectively constitute a vast majority.
5. SRI LANKA: HRW REPORT ON SEXUAL VIOLENCE AGAINST TAMILS BY SECURITY FORCES
The 141-page report, “‘We Will Teach You a Lesson': Sexual Violence against Tamils by Sri Lankan Security Forces,” provides detailed accounts of 75 cases of alleged rape and sexual abuse that occurred from 2006-2012 in both official and secret detention centers throughout Sri Lanka.
6. INDEPENDENT JUDICIARY AND RULE OF LAW: DEMOLISHED IN SRI LANKA
by Rohini Hensman
Among the continuing acts that erode democratic institutions in Sri Lanka is the recent impeachment of the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brothers who head various arms of the Sri Lankan government run a repressive and autocratic regime that does not brook opposition. Despite this, the opposition parties Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and the Tamil National Alliance along with civil society bodies like the Federation of University Teachers' Associations and students have come together to fight back.
7. INDIA: LETTER TO MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS RE SERIOUS ANOMALIES IN THE EIA REPORT FOR THE MITHI VIRDI NUCLEAR POWER PLANT
This follows our earlier representation dated February 22, 2013 pointing out how an un-accredited consultant, Engineers India Limited(EIL) was appointed by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited to prepare the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report for proposed 6000 MW Nuclear Power Plant at Mithi Virdi area of Bhavnagar district, Gujarat. While we seek the cancellation of the public hearing for the plant, we bring to your notice serious anomalies which have come to fore.
8. ANWAR DAYAL: DECONSTRUCTING JAMAAT-E-ISLAMI IN BANGLADESH
After the Pakistan Army launched its murderous crackdown in East Pakistan on 25 March 1971, Jamaat threw in its lot behind the generals. Whereas a number of Islam-pasand politicians—including many from various factions of the Muslim League—supported the junta's quest to maintain a united Pakistan, Jamaat went a step further.
9. TEXT OF 'KATHMANDU DECLARATION' ADOPTED AT CONFERENCE ON PEACE BUILDING IN SOUTH ASIA
We, women and men at the regional conference on “The Changing Dynamics of Peace building in South Asia: Recasting Women's Agency and Transformative Strategies”, share the vision of South Asia as a region strengthened by peace, justice, democracy and respect for human rights. We believe in transforming the current reality through citizens' engagement and the inclusion of women's perspectives.
10. INDIA: WHY HYDERABAD INVESTIGATIONS ARE DOOMED TO FAIL - JTSA RELEASE
In a grotesque replay of every investigation that follows a bomb blast, prejudice, misinformation and media blitz rules the direction of Dilsukh Nagar bombings investigation too. The same suspects and shadowy organizations are being paraded as executors of the Hyderabad bombings.
11. VIDEO: CURRENT NUCLEAR SCENARIO IN INDIA - NEWSCLICK INTERVIEW WITH M V RAMANA
12. PAKISTAN: IS THE PUNJAB GOVT. BUYING VOTES WITH SHIA BLOOD
the Federal Government wanted the Punjab Government to “launch a massive crackdown on the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LJ) and the defunct Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP)”; 2) “Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is unlikely to oblige” the Federal Government by launching such an operation; and 3) the “main reason” why the Punjab Government is refusing to take action against the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is because it has “a seat-to-seat adjustment deal between the PML-N and Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) for the upcoming elections
13. INDIA: LOTIKA SARKAR (1927 – 2013) - TRIBUTE BY VIBHUTI PATEL
Saluting Professor Lotika Sarkar who fought to make the country's laws uphold gender justice and women's rights
14. BANGLADESH: ATTACKS ON JOURNALISTS RISE WITH TENSION AROUND WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL - AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
A string of recent violent attacks against journalists and media workers, including the murder of a blogger, shows the urgent need to better protect individuals commenting on Bangladesh’s ongoing war crimes tribunal, Amnesty International said.
15. AMITABHA PANDE: THE MILITARY-CORRUPTION COMPLEX
Corruption is deeply embedded in the architecture of defence transactions and anything short of a complete transformation of structures, systems and processes will not make any difference. There is no deal in which middlemen do not play a role and hefty commissions are not paid.. The focus should shift to looking at the money trails, who paid whom and when, the specific role of big-time deal-fixers and their political connections. Yet, in all the major investigations so far, the role of these brokers has never been properly investigated... the focus on nailing the corrupt ends up paralysing the honest and ensures that the corrupt find more ingenious ways of making money. Only systemic reform can change things.
16. NEENA VYAS: THE STATE DUMPS SECULARISM, AS BIGOTED GROUPS CALL THE SHOTS
The world over the very idea of a multi-cultural, pluralistic and democratic society is being confronted by shrill sectarian voices. Liberal values are under threat. The so-called Arab Spring has proven to be far removed from a democratic resurgence as it bares its fundamentalist Islamic heart in Egypt. The strategy of these sectarian groups to arouse primordial fear is invariably the same: us versus them, the known versus the unfamiliar. They couch their thinly disguised fascist agendas by using ‘nationalism’ and ‘patriotism’ as a cover.
17. INDIA: PHOTOS FROM PEOPLE’S WATCH OVER PARLIAMENT, 21 FEBRUARY 2013 - BEKHAUF AZADI (FREEDOM WITHOUT FEAR) CAMPAIGN
Photos from Jantar Mantar, New Delhi by Mukul Dube on 21 February 2013. Protest gathering of progressives and feminists in Delhi to demand the undiluted implementation of the Justice Verma commission recommendations by government of India.
18. SEX CRIMES ARE UBIQUITOUS: INTERVIEW WITH JACQUELINE BHABHA
A Harvard University task force has been set up to advise on the implementation of the Justice J S Verma Committee report. It is led by Jacqueline Bhabha, a lecturer of law at the Harvard Law School and of public policy at the Kennedy School. Professor Bhabha speaks to Padmaparna Ghosh about the limitations of the rape ordinance and how good laws are useless without the political will to implement them:
19. PAKISTAN: WOMEN ON MOTORBIKES — WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
by Pervez Hoodbhoy
For a Pakistani woman seeking to travel on a motorcycle, socially sanctioned rules define how she may sit. Although unwritten and unspoken, these are inviolable: First, no girl or woman may drive a motorcycle or clasp the handlebars with both hands. Second, although she can be a passenger behind a male driver, she cannot straddle the pillion seat. Instead, she must perch herself with both legs on the same side and hope she will not fall off. To sit otherwise is considered a violation of female modesty.
20. INDIA: PUCL STATEMENT ON HYDERABAD BOMBINGS
PUCL strongly condemns the serial blasts in Hyderabad on 21.02.2013 which has resulted in loss of life and grievous injuries to many. PUCL extends its sympathies to the families of all those who lost relatives and hopes that the injured recover speedily.
21. BANGLADESH: SHAHBAGH - ITS INTERNATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE
Is Bangladesh just trying to process its dark legacy, the trauma of the genocide that took place during the country’s Liberation War in 1971? Or is there something afoot? On February 5, activists of a network called ’Blogger and Online Activist Network’ occupied a key intersection in Dhaka, Shahbagh, and started protesting against the verdict pronounced by the International Crimes Tribunal in the case against Abdul Quader Mollah.
22. INDIA: STATEMENT ON HOME MINISTER’S APOLOGY: COWARDLY CAPITULATION TO THE RSS AND BJP
After frankly acknowledging the organizational role of the RSS and BJP in spawning terrorism in the country Home Minister Mr Sushil Kuamr Shinde has suddenly backtracked, buckled under pressure and apologized to the BJP.
23. STEWART MOTHA: AUSTRALIA IS PLAYING A DANGEROUS GAME WITH SRI LANKA
Harsh measures on boat migrants is nothing new, but Australia should beware being held hostage by an authoritarian regime
24. IN PAKISTAN, THERE’S NO ANSWER TO TERROR
by Kamila Shamsie
Pakistan’s government and military alike are silent on who is promoting the murder of Shias in Baluchistan
25. INDIA: RECENT POSTS ON COMMUNALISM WATCH
When the Jihad Came to Mali by Joshua Hammer
India: Calcutta islamists protest against Shahbag
Karnataka: Mangalore in the grip of right wing Hindutva goons
Court ruling sparks massive violence across Bangladesh
India: The Goebbelsian method seldom fails - That right feeling about TV (Jawed Naqvi)
India: Majoritarianism remains the rule (Javed Anand)
India: Biased Bangalore Police -- the case of jour...Anti Terrorism, Bangalore, Bias, minorities, Muslims
Rihai Manch press note on Mulayam Singh's false ...
India: Child Marriage Act overrides Muslim Personal Law
Hyderabad Blasts: Letter from Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee
Shamelessly shooting to kill (Teesta Setalvad)
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DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed in materials carried in the posts do not necessarily reflect the views of SACW compilers.