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Background Note on Feminism in Asia Workshop Oct 17-20, Bangalore

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  • Shaji John K
    CSCS Coordinator for the Workshop: Tejaswini Niranjana Dates: October 17-20, 2001 Venue: United Theological College, 63 Millers Road, Benson Town, Bangalore
    Message 1 of 6 , Sep 13, 2001
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      CSCS Coordinator for the Workshop: Tejaswini Niranjana

      Dates: October 17-20, 2001
      Venue: United Theological College, 63 Millers Road, Benson Town,
      Bangalore 560046 [India]

      FEMINISMS IN ASIA
      Background Note

      Today it would be indisputable that feminism has been one of the most
      significant social movements of the twentieth century. The impact of
      feminist initiatives has been as extensive as it is profound. In
      thinking about questions of everyday life and relationships;
      institutions such as education, the judiciary, the workplace;
      structures of power such as the state or the trans-national
      corporation; discourses like colonialism and nationalism; and the
      disciplines (history, economics, political science, literary studies,
      sociology, anthropology, philosophy, psychoanalysis and the
      biological sciences), feminists have produced remarkable new insights
      into the very fabric of our lives. Feminism has wrought irreversible
      transformations in our attempts to produce knowledge, in our modes of
      representation and our ways of looking.

      In hindsight, it may not appear surprising that from about the
      mid-19th century on, in hundreds of locations across the world women
      began to organise for social and political change, around issues such
      as suffrage, education, or access to the public sphere. Women's
      magazines and newsletters were produced, and writing by
      women--essays, pamphlets, fiction, poetry and criticism in a myriad
      languages--became increasingly available. New modes of public protest
      came to be fashioned. Women's activism in diverse areas provided the
      ground for the analytical understanding of the situations we were
      struggling against. While there were very few societies where this
      was not happening, assertions such as "sisterhood is global", often
      made by western feminists in the 1970s or 80s, were not welcomed by
      feminists in other spaces. The universalising premise of such
      assertions, it was felt, served to obscure the serious differences in
      women's lives in different parts of the world, often--when one took
      into consideration issues of class, caste or race--within the same
      geo-political boundaries. Recent attempts at redressing this
      imbalance invoke the concept of "local feminism" but from a "global
      perspective" (eg., Amrita Basu ed., The Challenge of Local Feminisms:
      Women's Movements in Global Perspective, 1995), where the term global
      could easily be a stand-in for the older term western, which
      functions as the hidden norm. What we propose as the underlying
      premise for our workshop is a radical departure from this idea.

      Objective

      We begin with the concept "Asia", and proceed to problematize both
      the sign and its referents. An earlier conference organised by CSCS
      in February 2000 took some initial steps in this direction. We have
      also been inspired by the efforts of the InterAsia Cultural Studies
      project which is trying to create new lines of affiliation and new
      tools for criticism across what has come to be called Asia. Our
      desire is not to counterpose a unified region (Asia) with an equally
      monolithic "West". What we want to do is suggest the possibilities
      which might open up when we create a framework for comparison which
      does not assume that the implicit reference point for all
      discussions, political and conceptual, is automatically the West.
      Our workshop will take initial steps to understand how to undertake a
      comparative analysis of women's movements across Asia, in the belief
      that the methodologies devised for such analysis will be of value for
      academicians and theorists of social movements, and for community
      groups and non-governmental organizations.

      The emerging dialogue should focus not so much on fact sheets but on
      the kinds of conceptual struggles undertaken by feminists who are
      trying to theorize their specific dilemmas. On the surface, the
      movements may seem to have much in common, in terms of originating
      impulses, trajectories, even ambitions. But what we would like to
      elicit in the course of our workshop are discussions of the texture
      of women's problems as well as their attempted resolutions, outlines
      of the conceptual moves by which specific political issues were
      debated, analyses of what was at stake at critical moments in the
      histories of our movements. For the sake of convenience, we will
      focus on the last 20-25 years, and emphasize workshop participation
      by those activists and scholars who have been engaged in thinking
      through key feminist issues in their respective locations. We would
      like to aim not for a quick or simple consensus but for laying a firm
      foundation for sustained dialogue.

      Thematic Concerns of the Workshop

      In the contemporary period, "Asia" is seen as a significant region by
      Euro-America from perspectives somewhat different than those which
      governed the discourses of power called "Orientalism" by the
      Palestinian critic Edward Said. While "Asian" self-assertion may be
      variously greeted by grudging respect (for the "economic miracle" of
      the "Asian Tigers" in East and South-East Asia), aggressive hostility
      (towards West Asian countries like Iran or Iraq), a mixture of
      political censure combined with the desire for expanding markets
      (eg., China or India), apparent Fund-Bank concern over poverty and
      economic backwardness (South Asia in general), there are obvious
      continuities between these attitudes and the historical relationship
      between these countries and the "West". How might feminist
      initiatives in "Asia" refigure these conventional understandings of
      the region? What could be the value of thinking cross-regionally in
      relation to women, especially in the face of continuing forms of
      Orientalism?

      To further complicate the picture, the relation between colonizer and
      colonized within Asia is not always one between the west and its
      others but sometimes between Asian countries (eg., Japan and Korea,
      China and Korea), just as cultural imperialism could refer not only
      to western hegemony but also to the visibility of a country like
      India vis-�-vis its smaller South Asian neighbours, or China in
      relation to Taiwan or Hong Kong. Today we also have the emergence of
      supra-national regional blocs--West Asia, South-East Asia, South Asia
      etc.,--which feature prominently in political and economic decisions
      both within Asia and internationally. In the formerly colonised
      societies (the third world, the "south") and across "Asia" (we
      include in this term the areas referred to as South Asia, East Asia,
      West Asia and South-East Asia), a close historical connection between
      nationalist struggles and feminism is commonly to be found. This
      feature of women's movements appears to be specific to societies
      which have experienced colonialism of various kinds, at the hands of
      the British, the Dutch, the French, the Chinese, the Japanese or the
      Americans. It is a feature that could well be said to mark one of the
      major differences of these movements (as for example in South and
      South-East Asia) from feminism in the west. However, in a later phase
      many of the women's movements have also engaged in a critique of
      their nation-state, for not fulfilling the promises made by
      nationalism to women and other disadvantaged groups. What might be
      the relationship--contentious or otherwise--between feminists and the
      state? How do we map the changing contours of the state in the last
      few decades? What can we learn from different feminist attempts
      across Asian nations to negotiate with, confront, and refigure the
      state?

      While older hierarchies have been recast by nation-state formations
      in the last hundred years or so, a major challenge for feminisms in
      Asia has been that of understanding the intersection of gender
      discrimination with other forms of inequality, and of forging
      productive political alliances which could further our analysis and
      activism. The foregrounding of women's issues has sometimes been seen
      as though in opposition to, rather than aligned with, those of race,
      caste, class, community, or nation. The task for feminists would be
      to investigate, and incorporate into their analytical frameworks, the
      simultaneous shaping of women's identities by all these discourses.
      Of related interest: how do we investigate "women" as the site of
      contemporary productions of caste, class and religious identity (as
      for example in India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia or China)? And
      how do we understand the newly visible struggles around sexuality and
      sexual preference and their contentious and complicated relationship
      with women's movements (which may appear to posit a homogeneous, and
      heterosexist, identity for woman)?

      A crucial issue for feminists in Asia is likely to be that of
      critical vocabularies. Frequently faced with the charge that feminism
      is an alien import, women have responded by producing indigeneous
      geneaologies for their activism, and by employing critical terms
      derived from local languages and situations. At the same time, there
      remain tensions around the widespread use of concepts such as
      patriarchy or gender coming out of certain traditions of western
      feminism. One of the agendas of our workshop will be to rethink from
      a feminism perspective the history and politics of translation and
      examine the stakes in the production and dissemination of critical
      concepts in various Asian contexts and across the region.

      Some of the other questions we would like participants to engage with:

      --institutionalisation: women's studies and the university, NGOs, the
      state, funding issues;
      --debates around modernity and "modernization", including both
      economic and cultural dimensions; women and cultural identity;
      discussions of globalization;
      --the paradigm of "development" prescribed for/taken up by
      non-western societies and its impact on feminism;
      --the women's movement and discussions of citizenship/democracy; the
      debate about secularism;
      --conceptual framing of issues such as domestic violence, sexual
      harrassment, etc.;
      --women and sexual identities;
      --politics of women's health; mental health and feminization of labour;
      --theorizations of desire and subjectivity; politics of representation;
      --controversial regional issues like struggles of sex workers,
      migrant labour, sex tourism;
      --inequalities within and across Asian countries and the dilemmas for feminism.

      [The questions are not in any particular order, and the list is by no
      means exhaustive. Participants are urged to add (and address) issues
      which they think relevant.]

      The above topics are listed out in an attempt to provide a statement
      of the field. We will not necessarily cover all these topics in the
      brief span of the workshop.

      Workshop Format

      There will be two kinds of sessions, panel discussions with three
      speakers per panel (15-20 minutes each), and paper presentations (30
      minutes), with a roundtable session on the last day to evaluate the
      objectives of the workshop and discuss how to further them.

      An important feature of the workshop is that it comes out of, and
      feeds into, our Centre's continuing concerns (a) about social
      movements in general and feminism in particular; and (b) about
      enlarging the scope of discussion in Indian civil society to take
      other related contexts into consideration and learn from their
      problems and resolutions. As our earlier conference demonstrated, we
      are keen on shifting the focus of debate so that the main reference
      point is no longer the West.

      The strength of the framework for our workshop lies in its resolutely
      inter-disciplinary interests, a legacy of the women's movement. A
      number of people from our feminist study group and the larger
      feminist network we are part of have contributed to the conceptual
      elaboration of the issues to be discussed, making this a truly
      collaborative venture. Most of us have long years of experience in
      the women's movement in different parts of India; we have also taught
      for a number of years in women's studies and allied fields, both at
      graduate student level and in teacher training. Our expertise ranges
      from history, philosophy, political science and sociology to
      literature, art history, film theory and cultural studies. Many of us
      have been active in the larger public sphere through our writings,
      videos/films, and interventions in policy discussions (in the areas
      of law, education and legislative representation, for example).

      Women's studies conferences in India often tend to be very general
      (in their attempt to "add women" to every discipline) and lacking in
      conceptual rigour and clarity; activist and NGO conferences, on the
      other hand, often take for granted some basic assumptions about
      women's oppression which have become part of our commonsense, ending
      up blocking further investigation rather than opening up new areas
      for analysis. Where our workshop will break new ground is in inviting
      participants with strong credentials in the areas of both scholarship
      and women's activism, who have expended considerable energy in
      thinking and writing about feminism even as they have taken part in
      the everyday struggles of the movement. We expect this background
      will bring a richness of analysis to the questions posed by the
      workshop, and allow us to enlarge our comparative frames in
      meaningful and thought-provoking ways.

      While a few privileged Indian feminists have been taking part in
      conferences in other Asian countries, it has not always been possible
      to bring the comparisons with other places into our activism and
      scholarship. One of the reasons could be that the discussions with
      Asian feminists have not really happened in our own context, or
      included diverse kinds of women from the movement in India (such as
      journalists, lawyers, film makers, publishers, health professionals
      and educationists). We hope our workshop will serve as a platform for
      better exchange between Indian feminists and those from other parts
      of Asia. The workshop discussions are bound to stimulate new debates
      in the Indian women's movement about specific questions here (eg.,
      sexuality, women's work, new media and technologies) which have not
      received the kind of attention they might have, but which have been
      important topics for discussion in other Asian contexts.

      We believe that the cultural questions foregrounded by our workshop
      (in relation to nationalism and modernity, globalization, the
      translation of critical vocabularies and their implications for
      women's issues) will be discussed for the first time in a genuinely
      comparative Asian frame. We emphasize once again: while there exist
      profound historical connections and commonalities between the
      different Asian countries, our normal instinct is to establish
      comparisons between each location and the "West". Our workshop
      intends to establish sound precedents for a different kind of
      practice which will initiate inter-Asian comparisons.
    • Abhijit
      UN is gathering signatures against World War III...join in From: abhijit Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 17:36:50 +0530 ** ANTI-WAR PETITION
      Message 2 of 6 , Sep 21, 2001
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        UN is gathering signatures against World War III...join in

        From: "abhijit" <abhijitdas@...>
        Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 17:36:50 +0530

        ** ANTI-WAR PETITION **

        As a result of the day of terror on Tuesday September 11 that left
        the Twin Towers of New York and the Pentagon of Washington D.C.
        destroyed, the United States may be about to declare war.

        The New York Times stated that, because the attack it is not only
        against the U.S.A. but against all of civilization, ".. It is
        necessary to identify to the countries that support the terrorist
        movements because it is there that the true war will be directed."

        The chief of the Arab newspaper Al-Quds, with headquarters in London,
        said that the Islamic terrorist Osama Bin Laden had noted three
        weeks ago that it planned to carry out "an important" attack against
        American interests.

        Karen Hughes, who advises President Bush, assured us at a press
        conference that the country has the means to guarantee national
        security. What the U.S.A. may feel compelled to do may result in very
        lamentable reprisals against the Islamic world.

        However, the state of alert that United States maintains is not
        without good reason. The American people are very indignant and are
        requesting justice somehow... and a reprisal for their dead. Today we
        are in a point in imbalance in the world and are moving toward what
        may well be the beginning of a THIRD WORLD WAR.

        If your are against this possibility, the UN is gathering signatures
        to avoid this tragic world event. Please COPY (!!!) this e-mail in a
        NEW message, sign at the end of the list, and send it to all the
        people that you know.

        If you receive this list with more than 500 names signed, please send
        a copy of the message to: unicwash@... (that is, the UN
        Information Centre, in Washington)

        Even if you decide not to sign, PLEASE forward it to others

        1) Suzanne Dathe, Grenoble, France
        2) Laurence COMPARAT, Grenoble,France
        3) Philippe MOTTE, Grenoble, France
        4) Jok FERRAND, Mont St Martin, France
        5) Emmanuelle PIGNOL, St Martin d'Heres,FRANCE
        6) Marie GAUTHIER, Grenoble, FRANCE
        7) Laurent VESCALO, Grenoble, FRANCE
        8) Mathieu MOY, St Egreve, FRANCE
        9) Bernard BLANCHET, Mont St Martin,FRANCE
        10) Tassadite FAVRIE, Grenoble, FRANCE
        11) Loic GODARD, St Ismier, FRANCE
        12) Benedicte PASCAL, Grenoble, FRANCE
        13) Khedaidja BENATIA, Grenoble, FRANCE
        14) Marie-Therese LLORET, Grenoble,FRANCE
        15) Benoit THEAU, Poitiers, FRANCE
        16) Bruno CONSTANTIN, Poitiers, FRANCE
        17) Christian COGNARD, Poitiers, FRANCE
        18) Robert GARDETTE, Paris, FRANCE
        19) Claude CHEVILLARD, Montpellier, FRANCE
        20) Gilles FREISS, Montpellier, FRANCE
        21) Patrick AUGEREAU, Montpellier, FRANCE.
        22) Jean IMBERT, Marseille, FRANCE
        23) Jean-Claude MURAT, Toulouse, France
        24) Anna BASSOLS, Barcelona, Catalonia
        25) Mireia DUNACH, Barcelona, Catalonia
        26) Michel VILLAZ, Grenoble, France
        27) Pages Frederique, Dijon, France
        28) Rodolphe FISCHMEISTER,Chatenay-Malabry, France
        29) Francois BOUTEAU, Paris, France
        30) Patrick PETER, Paris, France
        31) Lorenza RADICI, Paris, France
        32) Monika Siegenthaler, Bern, Switzerland
        33) Mark Philp, Glasgow, Scotland
        34) Tomas Andersson, Stockholm, Sweden
        35) Jonas Eriksson, Stockholm, Sweden
        36) Karin Eriksson, Stockholm, Sweden
        37) Ake Ljung, Stockholm, Sweden
        38) Carina Sedlmayer, Stockholm, Sweden
        39) Rebecca Uddman, Stockholm, Sweden
        40) Lena Skog, Stockholm, Sweden
        41) Micael Folke, Stockholm, Sweden
        42) Britt-Marie Folke, Stockholm, Sweden
        43) Birgitta Schuberth, Stockholm, Sweden
        44) Lena Dahl, Stockholm, Sweden
        45) Ebba Karlsson, Stockholm, Sweden
        46) Jessica Carlsson, Vaxjo, Sweden
        47) Sara Blomquist, Vaxjo, Sweden
        48) Magdalena Fosseus, Vaxjo, Sweden
        49) Charlotta Langner, Goteborg, Sweden
        50) Andrea Egedal, Goteborg, Sweden
        51) Lena Persson, Stockholm, Sweden
        52) Magnus Linder, Umea ,Sweden
        53) Petra Olofsson, Umea, Sweden
        54) Caroline Evenbom, Vaxjo, Sweden
        55) Asa Pettersson, Grimsas, Sweden
        56) Jessica Bjork, Grimsas, Sweden
        57) Linda Ahlbom Goteborg, Sweden
        58) Jenny Forsman, Boras, Sweden
        59) Nina Gunnarson, Kinna, Sweden
        60) Andrew Harrison, New Zealand
        61) Bryre Murphy, New Zealand
        62) Claire Lugton, New Zealand
        63) Sarah Thornton, New Zealand
        64) Rachel Eade, New Zealand
        65) Magnus Hjert, London, UK
        67) Madeleine Stamvik, Hurley, UK
        68) Susanne Nowlan, Vermont, USA
        69) Lotta Svenby, Malmoe, Sweden
        70) Adina Giselsson, Malmoe, Sweden
        71) Anders Kullman, Stockholm, Sweden
        72) Rebecka Swane, Stockholm, Sweden
        73) Jens Venge, Stockholm, Sweden
        74) Catharina Ekdahl, Stockholm, Sweden
        75) Nina Fylkegard, Stockholm, Sweden
        76) Therese Stedman, Malmoe, Sweden
        77) Jannica Lund, Stockholm, Sweden
        78) Douglas Bratt, Sweden
        79) Mats Lofstrom, Stockholm, Sweden
        80) Li Lindstrom, Sweden
        81) Ursula Mueller, Sweden
        82) Marianne Komstadius, Stockholm, Sweden
        83) Peter Thyselius, Stockholm, Sweden
        84) Gonzalo Oviedo, Quito, Ecuador
        85) Amalia Romeo, Gland, Switzerland
        86) Margarita Restrepo, Gland, Switzerland
        87) Eliane Ruster, Crans p.C., Switzerland
        88) Jennifer Bischoff-Elder, Hong Kong
        89) Azita Lashgari, Beirut, Lebanon
        90) Khashayar Ostovany, New York, USA
        91) Lisa L Miller, Reno NV
        92) Danielle Avazian, Los Angeles, CA
        93) Sara Risher,Los Angeles,Ca.
        94) Melanie London, New York, NY
        95) Susan Brownstein , Los Angeles, CA
        96) Steven Raspa, San Francisco, CA
        97) Margot Duane, Ross, CA
        98) Natasha Darnall, Los Angeles, CA
        99) Candace Brower, Evanston, IL
        100) James Kjelland, Evanston, IL
        101) Michael Jampole, Beach Park, IL, USA
        102) Diane Willis, Wilmette, IL, USA
        103) Sharri Russell, Roanoke, VA, USA
        104) Faye Cooley, Roanoke, VA, USA
        105) Celeste Thompson, Round Rock, TX, USA
        106) Sherry Stang, Pflugerville, TX, USA
        107) Amy J. Singer, Pflugerville, TX USA
        108) Milissa Bowen, Austin, TX USA
        109) Michelle Jozwiak, Brenham, TX USA
        110) Mary Orsted, College Station, TX USA
        111) Janet Gardner, Dallas, TX USA
        112) Marilyn Hollingsworth, Dallas, TX USA
        113) Nancy Shamblin, Garland. TX USA
        114) K. M. Mullen, Houston, TX - USA
        115) Noreen Tolman, Houston, Texas - USA
        116) Laurie Sobolewski, Warren, MI
        117) Kellie Sisson Snider, Irving Texas
        118) Carol Currie, Garland, Garland Texas
        119) John Snyder, Garland, TX USA
        120) Elaine Hannan, South Africa
        121) Jayne Howes, South Africa
        122) Diane Barnes, Akron, Ohio
        123) Melanie Dass Moodley, Durban, SouthAfrica
        124) Imma Merino, Barcelona, Catalonia
        125) Toni Vinas, Barcelona, Catalonia
        126) Marc Alfaro, Barcelona, Catalonia
        127) Manel Saperas, Barcelona, Catalonia
        128) Jordi Ribas Izquierdo, Catalonia
        129) Naiana Lacorte Rodes, Catalonia
        130) Joan Vitoria i Codina, Barcelona,Catalonia
        131) Marta Truno i Salvado, Barcelona,Catalonia
        132) Jordi Lagares Roset, Barcelona,Catalonia
        133) Josep Puig Vidal, Barcelona,Catalonia
        134) Marta Juanola i Codina, Barcelona,Catalonia
        135) Manel de la Fuente i Colino,Barcelona,Catalonia
        136) Gemma Belluda i Ventura, Barcelona,Catalonia
        137) Victor Belluda i Ventur, Barcelona,Catalonia
        138) MaAntonia Balletbo, Barcelona, Spain
        139) Mireia Masdevall Llorens, Barcelona,Spain
        140) Clara Planas, Barcelona, Spain
        141) Fernando Labastida Gual, Barcelona,Spain
        142) Cristina Vacarisas, Barcelona, Spain
        143) Enric Llarch i Poyo, Barcelona,CATALONIA
        144) Rosa Escoriza Valencia, Barcelona,Catalonia
        145) Silvia Jimenez, Barcelona, Catalonia
        146) Maria Clarella, Barcelona, Catalonia
        147) Angels Guimera, Barcelona, Catalonia
        148) M.Carmen Ruiz Fernandez, Barcelona,Catalonia
        149) Rufi Cerdan Heredia, Barcelona,Catalonia
        150) M. Teresa Vilajeliu Roig, Barcelona,Catalonia
        151) Rafel LLussa, Girona, Catalonia,Spain
        152) Mariangels Gallego Ribo, Gelida,Catalonia
        153) Jordi Cortadella, Gelida, Catalonia
        154) Pere Botella, Barcelona, Catalonia(Spain)
        155) Josefina Auladell Baulenas, Catalunya(Spain)
        156) Empar Escoin Carceller, Catalunya(Spain)
        157) Elisa Pla Soler, Catalunya (Spain)
        158) Paz Morillo Bosch, catalunya (Spain)
        159) Cristina Bosch Moreno, Madrid (Spain)
        160) Marta Puertolas, Barcelona (Spain)
        161) Elisa del Pino (Madrid) Spain
        162) Joaquin Rivera (Madrid) Spain
        163) Carmen Barral (Madrid) Spain
        164) Carmen del Pino (Madrid) Spain
        165) Asuncion del Pino (Madrid) Spain
        166) Asuncion Cuesta (Madrid) Spain)
        167) Ana Polo Mediavilla (Burgos) Spain
        168) Mercedes Romero Laredo (Burgos)Espana
        169) Oliva Mertinez Fernandez (Burgos)Espana
        170) Silvia Leal Aparicio (Burgos) Espana
        171) Claudia Elizabeth Larrauri (BahiaBlanca),Argentina
        172) Federico G. Pietrokovsky (C.F.)Argentina
        173) Naschel Prina (Capital Federal)Argentina
        174) Daniela Gozzi (Capital Federal)Argentina
        175) Paula Elisa Kvedaras (CapitalFederal)Argentina
        176) Antonio Izquierdo (Valencia) Espana
        177) Ana Belen Perez Solsona (Valencia)Espana
        178) Paula Folques Diago (Valencia) Espana
        179) Nestor Alis Pozo (Valencia) Espana
        180) Rafael Alis Pozo (valencia) Spain
        181) Isabel Maria Martinez (Valencia)Espana
        182) Cristina Bernad Guerrero (Valencia)Espana
        183) Iria Barcia Sanchez
        184) Elena Barrios Barcia. Uppsala. Suecia
        185) Illana Ortiz Martin. Munchen.Alemania
        186) Santiago Rodriguez Rasero. M=FCnchen.Alemania
        187) David Ag=F3s Diaz. Pamplona. Espana
        188) Juan Luis Ibarretxe. Galdakao. E.H.
        189) Ruben Diez Ealo. Galdakao. E.H.
        190) Marcial Rodriguez Garcia. Ermua.
        191) Imanol Echave Calvo. San Sebastian.Spain.
        192) Begona Ortiz de ZarateLazcano.Vitoria-Gasteiz.Spain
        193) David Sanchez Agirregomezkorta.Gasteiz.Euskadi.
        194) Alberto Ruiz De Alda.Gasteiz.Euzkadi
        195) Juan Carlos Garcia Obregon.Vitoria-Gasteiz.Espana
        196) Jon Aiarza Lotina.Santander.Spain
        197) Teresa del Hoyo Rojo. Santander.
        198) Celia Nespral Gaztelumendi.Santander. Espana
        199) Pedro Martin Villamor, Valladolid.Espana.
        200) Victoria Arratia Martin, Valladolid,Espana
        201) Javi Tajadura Martin, Portugalete,Euskadi.Spain
        202) Lourdes Palacios Martin, Bilbao, Spain
        203) Jes=FAs Avila de Grado, Madrid, Espana
        204) Eva Maria Cano L=F3pez. Madrid. Spain
        205) Emilio Ruiz Olivar, Londres, UK
        206) Maru Ortega Garcia del Moral,CALAHORRA, Espana
        207) Juan Carlos Ayala Calvo, Logrono, Spain
        208) Rocio Munoz Pino, Logrono, Espana
        209) Ximena Pino Burgos, Santiago, Chile
        210) Roberto Saldivia Quezada, Santiago,Chile
        211) Paola Gonzalez Valderrama, Santiago,Chile
        212) Cesar Morales Pena y Lillo, Santiago
        213) Denisse Labarca Abdala , Santiago,Chile
        214) Maria Paz Gonzalez Garay
        215) Daniela Millar Kaiser, Santiago,Chile
        216) Alvaro Wigand Perales, Valdivia,Chile
        217) Gladys Bustos Carrasco, Quilicura,Chile
        218) Patricio Criado Rivera, Quilicura,Chile
        219) Carolina Aguilar Monsalve, Valdivia,Chile
        220) Carmen Silva Utrilla, Madrid, Espana
        221) Martha Yolanda Rodriguez Aviles,Queretaro,Mexico
        222) LAURA RODRIGUEZ AVILES,COZUMEL,QUINTANA ROO,MEXICO
        223) KATIA HAHN , MERIDA, YUCAT=C1N
        224) [Sofia Gallego] Mexicali, B.C. Mexico
        225) BEATRIZ CASTA=D1EDA DE CLARIOND,Monterrey, Mexico
        226) VICTOR KERBER PALMA, Monterrey, Mexico
        227) Rocio Sanchez Losada, Mexico D.F.
        228) Lorenza Estandia Gonzalez Luna, Mexico D.F.
        229) Gabriel Gallardo D'Aiuto,Mexico D.F.
        230) Jose Antonio Salinas, Monterrey, N.L., Mex.
        231) Laura Cantu, Mty N.L., Mex
        232) Jossie Garcia, Mty N.L Mex
        233) Martha Vazquez Gonzalez, Mty, N.L.; Mex.
        234) Olga Moreno, Monterrey, NL, Mex
        235) Mariana Camargo, Pto. Vallarta, Jal; Mex.
        236) Alfonso Villa, Toluca, Mexico
        237) Arturo Rodriguez Reyes, Toluca, Edo Mexico, MEXICO
        238) Fernanda Villela, Mexico D.F., MEXICO
        239) Pilar Jimenez, Caracas, VENEZUELA
        240) Erika Rovelo, Mexico D.F., MEXICO
        241) ALEJANDRO LECANDA, CIUDAD DE MEXICO, MEXICO
        242) Gabriela Diaz de Sandi, Cd. Mexico, Mexico
        243) Jorge Bustamante Orgaz, Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico.
        244) Jose Bernardo Rodriguez Montes, Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico
        245) Luisa Angela Arino Pelaez. Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico.
        246) Ramses Ricardo Rios Zaragoza, CD de Mexico
        247) Rosa Maria Lamparero. Ciudad de Mexico.
        248) Margarita Palomares . Ciudad de Mexico. MEXICO
        249) Carlos Anaya. MEXICO
        250) Enrique Garcia Menes
        251) Loren Walker. United States of America
        252) Natalie Lutz - La Ville Du Bois, France
        253) Melissa Iwai - United States
        254) Yukako Sunaoshi, Auckland, New Zealand
        255) Roger Peddie, Auckland, New Zealand
        256) Jonathan Peddie, Auckland, New Zealand
        257) Kirsten Peddie, Auckland, New Zealand
        258) Clinton Good, Auckland, New Zealand
        259) James Rogan, Auckland, New Zealand
        260) Conrad Smith, Auckland, New Zealand
        261) Christine Fox, Wollongong, Australia
        262) Audrey Wilson, Wollongong, Australia
        263) Cathy Davies, Wahroonga, Sydney, Australia
        264) Barry Davies, Wahroonga, Sydney, Australia
        265) Giri Taplin, Perth, Australia
        266) Suresh Taplin, Perth, Australia
        267) Moni Taplin, Perth, Australia
        268) Fay Collins, Auckland, New Zealand
        269) Bev Silvester-Clark, Auckland, New Zealand
        270) Ute Engel, Orewa, New Zealand
        271) Simin Williams, Gisborne, New Zealand
        272) Mukesh Chauhan, Ahmedabad, India.
        273) Ajit Patel, Florida, U.S.A.
        274) Masuma Mamdani, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
        275) Priya Nanda, Maryland, USA
        276) Manisha Gupte, Pune, India
        277) Abhijit Das, Lucknow, India
        278) Shaji John K, Lucknow, India
      • Ratnam V Chitturi
        From: Ratnam V Chitturi Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 13:59:33 -0500 This appears to be a hoax. If it is UN, there must be some authentication. There should be a
        Message 3 of 6 , Sep 22, 2001
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          From: "Ratnam V Chitturi"
          Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 13:59:33 -0500


          This appears to be a hoax.
          If it is UN, there must be some authentication.
          There should be a person's name, agency name, and address with a
          phone number and e-mail address.

          There must be a context as well. What will they do with the
          signatures? Who will get them? Who do they pass the list to? How
          does the list affect the decision making process?

          Security Council and General Assembly are the two bodies that would
          have any responsibility in this area. They don't depend on public
          opinion. They already have a process in place. Any nation or the
          Secretary General can bring a motion to the relevant bodies.

          With regards,

          Ratnam Chitturi
          630-455-9010
          630-455-9008 (fax)
          alternate: rchitturi@...
        • Shaji John K
          Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 14:53:33 -0500 From: Institute for Public Accuracy Subject: Critical Voices on Plans for War Critical Voices on Plans for War PHYLLIS
          Message 4 of 6 , Sep 22, 2001
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            Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 14:53:33 -0500
            From: "Institute for Public Accuracy"
            Subject: Critical Voices on Plans for War

            Critical Voices on Plans for War

            PHYLLIS BENNIS, pbennis@..., http://www.ips-dc.org
            Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and co-editor of "Beyond
            the Storm: A Gulf Crisis Reader," Bennis said today: "In Bush's speech we
            got no doctrine, no strategy, no evidence. What we did get was a lot of
            Wild West rhetoric -- dead or alive material. In Afghanistan, 25 percent
            of the people were already dependent solely on foreign-aid food, and all
            international workers have left because of the U.S. threats. Today,
            the process of starvation begins. Bush said he would use everything at
            the U.S.'s disposal, but apparently that doesn't include Washington's
            formidable arsenal of diplomacy -- instead he outright rejected
            negotiations or discussions. While condemning 'self-appointed
            rulers,'Bush rallied to the defense of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt -- all
            examples of absolute monarchies or self-perpetuating regimes."

            G. SIMON HARAK, GSHarakSJ@...
            A Jesuit priest with the West Side Jesuit Community in New York City,
            Harak said today: "If we in our turn plan on militarism, vengeance, and
            retaliation, if we steel our spirits against the suffering which such
            pursuits always cause to the innocent, in short, if we turn to the
            tools of death, then whatever hollow triumph we may trumpet, it will have been
            Death alone which has won." Harak has visited the Mideast many times, he
            added:"When I've spoken to families in Iraq who have suffered from the
            economic sanctions and bombings; or with Palestinian fathers and sons tortured
            by an Israeli government which we back -- they asked me the same question
            people have been asking: 'Why does America hate us?'"

            ELEIZA BRAUN, ebraun@..., http://www.peacefuljustice.cjb.net
            A junior at George Washington University, Braun said
            today: "Thousands of students across the U.S. held vigils, teach-ins and rallies on Thursday as part of a national day of peace and solidarity. We are shocked and saddened by the events of last week -- and are dedicated to working towards policies that do not visit such tragedy upon others throughout the world via military action."

            MICHAEL RATNER, mratner@..., http://www.humanrightsnow.org
            Vice president of the Center for Constitutional Rights and an expert
            on war powers, Ratner said today: "The United States should deal with the
            events of September 11 as criminal acts, investigate and prosecute those
            guilty and do so with the backing of the United Nations Security Council."

            FRANCIS BOYLE, fboyle@...
            Professor of international law at the University of Illinois College
            of Law, Boyle said today: "The United States is under an absolute
            obligation to resolve this dispute with Afghanistan in a peaceful manner as
            required by UN Charter Article 2(3) and Article 33.... Accordingly, this
            dispute must be resolved by invoking the 1971 Montreal Sabotage Convention
            and the 1997 UN International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist
            Bombings.

            Furthermore, the United States should offer to submit this entire
            dispute with Afghanistan to the International Court of Justice in The Hague
            (the so-called World Court)."

            BEAU GROSSCUP, bgrosscup@...
            Author of "The Newest Explosions of Terrorism" and professor of
            international relations at California State University in Chico,
            Grosscup said today: "The Israeli model is not only ineffective in dealing
            with terrorism, as the track record of anti-Israeli violence shows, but is
            also bankrupt both politically and morally..."
            ---------------------------------------------------------------------
            For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
            Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
            Institute for Public Accuracy
            915 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
            (202) 347-0020 * http://www.accuracy.org * ipa@...
          • Shaji John K
            deep concern on the new National Curriculum Framework for school education. Repost for South Asia Citizens Wire aiindex@mnet.fr The Hindustan Times Monday,
            Message 5 of 6 , Sep 23, 2001
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              deep concern on the new 'National Curriculum Framework'for school
              education.

              Repost for South Asia Citizens Wire
              aiindex@...


              The Hindustan Times
              Monday, September 24, 2001

              Consensus be damned
              by Anil Bordia

              As an observer of educational developments, I have noticed with deep
              concern the issue of the new 'National Curriculum Framework' for
              school education. I am concerned because of the non-secular nature of
              this curriculum.

              Also, because it makes serious departures from education policy and a
              due process of consultation has not taken place.

              Secularism is an indispensable part of the basic structure of India's
              Constitution. Not only is it postulated in the preamble, the light of
              this principle radiates in several provisions of the Constitution. As
              for the National Policy on Education (NPE), formulated in 1986 and
              revised in 1992, it states that the national system of education will
              be based on a national curriculum framework, which contains a common
              core along with other components that are flexible. The common core
              is to be designed to promote values, which include India's common
              cultural heritage and secularism. The policy makes an unequivocal
              statement: "All educational programmes will be carried on in strict
              conformity with secular values."

              While referring to common core components, the new curriculum
              framework begins by affirming the values identified in NPE, including
              India's common cultural heritage and secularism. Having thus observed
              the formality of adherence to NPE, the framework shows its real
              colour.

              A medley of confusion is constructed to introduce numerous
              value-related issues. Recommendations of the Justice J.S. Verma
              Committee on Fundamental Duties of Citizens, and the Parliamentary
              Committee on Value-based Education, chaired by S.B. Chavan, are
              invoked to make fundamental duties a part of the core curriculum and
              to bring in the values of truth, righteous conduct, peace, love and
              non-violence.

              Numerous phrases which could lend themselves to non-secular
              interpretation are brought in, such as the best Indian tradition,
              Indian wisdom, tradition rooted in Indian ethos, thinking rooted in
              Indian tradition, spiritual quotient, etc.

              One may ask, if fundamental duties are to form part of the core
              curriculum, why not the values written in the preamble? One of the
              fundamental duties is "value and preserve the rich heritage of our
              composite culture", to which a reference is also made in NPE.
              However, common cultural heritage and secularism do not figure either
              in the main thrust areas (there are 13 of them) of school education
              or the 18 skills and values which the curriculum is "to help generate
              and promote among the learners".

              It is obvious that after making token reference to secularism and
              common cultural heritage, these are effectively excluded from the
              framework of curriculum.

              It is also interesting that the NCERT gave no indication in the draft
              curriculum framework (circulated for discussion in January 2000) that
              it was planning to incorporate a strong section on education about
              religions. In the section on 'Education for Value Development' the
              draft only refers to NPE '86 - values and fundamental duties. That
              document adds one sentence in another section to the effect that
              objective and sympathetic study of all major religions of India
              should be provided for.

              The final version of the framework calls for integration of education
              about religions with all subjects of study and in all co-scholastic
              areas. Thus, dharmanirpekshta (secularism) is replaced by
              panthanirpekshta (non-discrimination on the ground of religion). This
              is violative of NPE and, arguably, also of the Constitution.

              This issue was debated when the 1968 and 1986 policies were being
              formulated. A section of opinion was in favour of the use of
              education about religions to inculcate the spirit of equal respect
              for all religions (sarva dharma samabhav) and to make that the source
              of value education. This proposition was not accepted because it was
              considered contrary to secularism. It was recalled that already
              school prayers tended to remain confined to Hindu forms and while
              birthdays of Hindu gods are celebrated, rarely is this consideration
              shown to the Prophet of Islam or Jesus Christ.

              It was feared that education about religions would become an
              instruction about Hinduism. Rather than promoting national
              integration, it could be divisive and have a deleterious affect on
              the participation of non-Hindu children.

              There are several other areas where major departures have been made
              from NPE and there are equally important areas which have got omitted
              - both these categories lack conformity with the accepted policy.

              Take the 'three-language formula'. The 1986 policy reiterates the
              provision of the 1968 policy and states that, in addition to Hindi
              and English, in the Hindi-speaking states, a modern Indian language,
              "preferably one of the southern languages", should be taught after
              the primary stage. The new curriculum, while technically reiterating
              the three-language formula, omits to mention about the preference to
              southern languages.

              An interesting case is of Sanskrit. Here, too, the 1986 policy
              reiterates the provision of the 1968 policy which recognises the
              unique contribution of Sanskrit to the cultural unity of the country
              and suggests that facilities for its teaching should be offered on a
              more liberal scale. The 'discussion document' of January 2000 only
              raises a one-line question: "Could the classical languages be taught
              as part of a composite course with mother tongue/regional languages
              originating from them?" The final version provides a full page on
              Sanskrit.

              It asserts that Sanskrit is to be treated as a living phenomenon and
              is to be introduced as a part of the study of Hindi and regional
              languages, insisting that "the course has to be so planned that the
              study of Sanskrit may not be ignored". In practice, this may mean
              making Sanskrit compulsory for all.

              While the new framework refers to globalisation, IT, multiple
              intelligence, it makes no mention about the education of minorities,
              Urdu, and the role of education in women's empowerment. This is
              disconcerting for persons who view education as a means of national
              integration and empowerment of women and oppressed sections.

              The NPE 1986, as revised in 1992, calls for its review every five
              years. After he took office as HRD minister, Murli Manohar Joshi had
              indicated that he was going to revise the education policy. At some
              stage he seems to have given up that idea. Some of the changes he had
              in mind seem to have got incorporated in the curriculum framework.
              Although this framework contains several provisions which are not in
              conformity with the education policy, it was finalised without
              observing the due process for its validation.

              Education being a part of the concurrent list, NPE laid great
              emphasis on treating education as a matter of partnership between the
              Centre and the states. It laid down that the Central Advisory Board
              of Education (CABE), the membership of which includes education
              ministers of all states and Union Territories, must play a vital role
              in the review of educational developments.

              Consensus on education has a long tradition in our country.
              Recommendations of the commissions on higher education (1949) and
              secondary education (1953) were considered in CABE. A committee of
              Parliament deliberated for months on the formulation of the education
              policy in pursuance of the recommendations of the education
              commission (1964-66). The policy which emerged in 1986 was considered
              by Parliament before adoption.

              The preparation of the 1986 policy was preceded by wide-ranging
              consultations. Formal meetings were held with representatives of
              national political parties and the draft was debated with the
              education ministers of all states and UTs and in CABE. It was adopted
              after being endorsed by both Houses of Parliament.

              Likewise, the 1992 amendments were processed in a committee with
              membership of all major parties. These amendments were considered in
              a conference of education ministers of all states/UTs and were
              finally adopted by Parliament.

              The NCERT had undertaken two earlier exercises to develop curricular
              guidelines. The Curriculum for the Ten-Year School - A Framework, in
              1975, and the National Curriculum for Elementary and Secondary
              Education: A Framework, in 1988, were both processed in meetings of
              NCERT and meetings in which education ministers of all states and UTs
              participated.

              A surprising thing about the new national curriculum framework is
              that it does not seem to have been validated by a process of
              consensus-building.

              What seems to be an attitude of cynical indifference towards
              consensus-building, CABE has not been constituted since 1994 and
              obviously, the new framework could not have been processed in a
              meeting of CABE. The council of NCERT includes ministers of education
              of all states/UTs. As far as one knows, the new framework was
              released by the HRD minister even before the meeting of the council.

              So who approved this document prior to its release?

              The writer is former Education Secretary, Government of India. He was
              associated with the 1986 Education Policy and its revision in 1992
              _______

              # 2.

              The Hindustan Times
              Monday, September 24, 2001

              [Shiv] Sena ruffled by book describing Shivaji as Sudra
              Farida Shaikh, (Mumbai, September 23)

              Does Shivaji's caste matter? To the Shiv Sena it certainly does. The
              Sena's sensibilities have been hurt by a Class VI handbook in
              Mumbai's Don Bosco School which describes the warrior king as a Sudra.

              The bone of contention is a handbook for teachers authored by human
              rights activist and joint editor of Communalism Combat, Teesta
              Setalvad. The book traces the rise of Shivaji from humble beginnings
              to fame and glory, and praises him for representing the toiling
              peasants and battling caste barriers.

              However, the word Sudra did not go down too well with some parents
              who approached the local Shiv Sena unit.

              The school authorities say that they have been asked to withdraw the
              book. They are planning to take up the issue with human rights bodies.
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