SACW #2 | 16 May 02
- South Asia Citizens Wire Dispatch #2 | 16 May 2002
[ This issue of SACW is dedicated to the memory of Kaifi Azmi the
progressive poet whose work captured the hearts and minds of many in
South Asia. Kaifi Azmi who died on the 10th of May in Bombay Kaifi
Azmi (1915 to 2002) had been a leading member of the Progressive
Writers Association. The President of India, K.R. Narayanan, paid
tribute, saying Azmi's commitment to secular values should be a
source of inspiration at a time when sectarian violence was still
going on. ]
1. Pakistan: Press Release by Women's Action Forum (WAF) and the
Joint Action Committee Lahore on police brutality against members of
the Alliance for the Repeal of Discriminatory Laws
2. India: Gujarat toll 2,000: Citizens Tribunal
3. India: Mumbai's women take up cudgels for Gujarat women (Pamela Raghunath)
4. Hindu Nationalists Are Enrolling, and Enlisting, India's Poor
5.Indian diplomats are trying to intimidate journalists covering the
Gujarat events even as they substitute fictional accounts for facts.
( Praful Bidwai)
6. India: Gujarat Carnage - A Turning Point: Strategy for
'Pro-Active' Secularism (Gaurang Mehta)
7. India: March for Peace & Harmony - 27 May to 21 June, 2002,
Chitrakoot to Ayodhya
8. India: Unfeeling men, hypocritical voices (Javed Akhtar)
9. Trampling on India (A.G. Noorani)
10. India: The Gujarat Carnage (Amitav Ghosh)
11. India: The violence of sovereignty (Himadeep R. Muppidi)
12. India: Film screening of 'Gujarat: A Work In Progress' (Bombay,
16 May 2002)
13. Make Financial contributions / donations in the US towards relief
for victims of violence
14. Announcing Sri Lankan online magazine "Lines"
15. May issue of Himal: The shaming of India: Why and how Gujarat + much more
2nd May 2002
The Women's Action Forum (WAF) and the Joint Action Committee Lahore
(JAC) condemn in the strongest terms possible the unprovoked police
brutality against members of the Alliance for the Repeal of
Discriminatory Laws in Islamabad on May 2nd 2002.
Members of the Alliance had gathered to demand the release of Zafran
Bibi who has been sentenced to stoning to death by a Sessions and
District Court in Kohat last month and to demand the repeal of the
infamous Hudood Ordinances under which she was sentenced. The case
once again highlights the inherent injustice of this law. Zafran Bibi
who says she was raped, was condemned to death on the basis of being
pregnant while the accused was let off for lack of evidence.
As the peaceful demonstration called by the Alliance was about to
disperse, suddenly and without any provocation whatsoever, the police
jumped onto some of the male demonstrators and proceeded to beat them
up. Then, when the women intervened to stop the violence, the police
turned on them and started to beat them as well. Over 20
demonstrators were then hauled off to the police station.
WAF and JAC remind the government that it is the right of all
citizens to express their opinions in a peaceful manner. Police
brutality is unacceptable under any circumstances. Police behaviour
on 2nd May underscores the intolerance of the current government and
is tantamount to a repression of people's rights.
WAF & JAC demand that the government take action against the
officials concerned and make a public apology.
Further, WAF and JAC endorse the demands made by the demonstrators
for the release of Zafran Bibi and a repeal of the Hudood Ordinances.
On behalf of
Womens Action Forum Joint Action Committee for Peace
Gujarat toll 2,000: Tribunal
Statesman News Service
GANDHINAGAR, May 14. - Preliminary findings of the Concerned Citizens
Tribunal indicate that the death toll in the ongoing violence in
Gujarat is "not less than 2,000'', which is double the official
Dubai:Tuesday, May 14, 2002
Mumbai's women take up cudgels for Gujarat women
Mumbai |By Pamela Raghunath | 14-05-2002
Some 200 women culled from women's organisations and groups in Mumbai
brought the unprecedented violence against Muslim women in Gujarat to
the attention of Mumbaities with a one-day protest that drew
attention to the plight of Gujarati women, like nothing else since
the violence began.
The protests at the city centre at Hutatma Chowk, better known as
Flora Fountain in the heart of this commercial capital was replicated
countrywide in all the major cities in this country, all observing
May 13 as National Protest Day.
"The violence continues even now and that is why we have to come out
and appeal to people to generate public opinion against the Gujarat
government," Kiran Moghe, Secretary, All India Democratic Women's
Associa-tion told Gulf News.
Immediately after the worst violence had taken place, several women's
groups and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) had met the victims.
"If this was not done, the Gujarat government would have got away
with what had happened," she says.
Many people come and ask them why the same kind of attention was not
given to Kashmiri Pandits, she says. "Our hearts go out to all women
who suffer unjustly, whether Hindu women in Kashmir or for that
matter Palestinian women in Israel. It is a question of highlighting
their plight," she says.
Even as the women's groups condemn the violence, they are also
demanding the registration of First Information Reports since only a
few have been filed though the police have a big job to do.
"In spite of women being brutalised, raped and killed, police must
still take the testimony of witnesses to arrest the culprits.
Against the background of serious communal carnage or genocide, the
authorities cannot insist on medical records as in normal cases but
instead have time-bound courts to expend speedy justice for all cases
of sexual violence against women," she says.
These groups also want special attention to be given to orphans,
victims of sexual violence, widows and single women in the relief and
Shalini Mahajan of Forum Against Oppression of Women says that it is
time some kind of rehabilitation is thought for the victims
especially with the approach of monsoon.
"How can they go back to their homes that are charred to nothing and
especially when the culprits are roaming free and even when the camps
Her group has been visiting three districts of Vadodara, Panchmahal
and Dahod to gather information, assess the relief needs and to
coordinate with other NGOs.
A major task is to provide legal assistance, to help the victims file
FIRs and to study what can be done nationally and internationally to
punish the guilty.
Following pressure from the district collector or administrator to
close down the relief camps, "various public interest litigations
were filed so that the camps were not closed."
"We also want UN bodies to send special rapporteurs to look into
human rights violations on the basis of religious intolerance and
violence against women," Mahajan told Gulf News.
In a memorandum handed to the Governor of Maharashtra, Dr P.C.
Alexander, the women's groups told him, "We are filled with anger,
revulsion and shame at the revolting brutality in the name of
patriotism and religious and community rights. No systematic help has
been given to those women and girls who lived to tell their stories.
No justice is in sight for those who died or to those who still live."
The women have asked him to forward their demand for justice to the
President of India and to the government. Some of the groups include
Forum for Women's Health, Maharashtra Mahila Parishad, Sakhya,
Special Cell for Women and Children, YWCA, Stree Mukti Sanghatna and
The New York Times, May 13, 2002
Hindu Nationalists Are Enrolling, and Enlisting, India's Poor
By SOMINI SENGUPTA
MANDOLI, India - Just beyond the bustle of this nation's capital, in
a sprawling compound of grassy fields and peepal trees, is a
microcosm of some of India's most destitute: children from pockets of
poor, indigenous communities scattered far in the hinterlands. [...]
May 24, 2002
Frontline Column: Beyond the Obvious
by Praful Bidwai
Indian diplomats are trying to intimidate journalists covering the
Gujarat events even as they substitute fictional accounts for facts.
It is only very rarely that Indias former foreign secretaries--that
highly articulate category of policy-shapers--agree on the
international implications of domestic developments. But Gujarat has
produced a new unanimity among diplomats as varied as S.K. Singh,
Muchkund Dubey and Salman Haidar. They have all taken a stand on the
Gujarat pogrom and its disastrous effect on Indias standing in the
world, and even more important, on the Vajpayee governments paranoid
reaction to international expressions of concern. They are agreed
that the Ministry of External Affairs has seriously misread these
expressions and acted immaturely by trying to put a gloss on
[Gujarats] dismal events.
Thus, writes Haidar, India has already suffered a severe loss of
prestige. This can only be restored by effective action on the
ground, and not by scolding envoys and ministers of foreign
countries. Singh, who is hawkish and conservative in defending
national sovereignty, is even more forthright: India, as a major
humane power--a dubious description-PB--should sit up and take note
when in the international media one of our chief ministers is called
Narendra Milosevic Modi and terms like genocide start being thrown
around. All of us Indians need to worry and agonise.
Singh says the international community is naturally unable to
square Gujarats communal carnage with the verdict of our own
Supreme Court that secularism is an established feature of the
basic structure of Indias Constitution. Singh concludes: Our
diplomats must judge if by asking all foreigners to desist from
mentioning the Gujarat carnage to us, they serve the national
Dubey, who has a liberal position on many issues, barring Indias
nuclear weapons, is clear that demarches by foreign missions
regarding Gujarat do not constitute interference in our internal
affairs. India is a signatory to numerous international conventions
which stand mauled in Gujarat. The sheer magnitude of the butchery,
and the collusion of the state, have deeply shocked people
everywhere. Besides, says Dubey, the philosophical basis of the
European Union, involving as it does diluting sovereignty in favour
of larger principles such as human rights, makes it natural for the
EU to express strong feelings about the Gujarat events.
The MEA has resorted to incredible contortion, hair-splitting, and
dissimulation to ward off criticism, to deny its very existence, and
to repudiate legitimate concerns--without convincing facts, but with
assertions of national sovereignty. For days, it strenuously denied
that the EU issued a demarche to India on April 23 by summoning Dilip
Lahiri, Indias ambassador to Spain, the current chair of the Union.
The MEA called the demarche mutual consultations. The EU showed
some sensitivity to the MEAs tendency to fly off the handle by
deciding to issue a demarche in Madrid rather than in New Delhi. In
fact, Spanish ambassador to India Alberto Escudero resisted
characterising the Madrid meeting and merely said that Lahiri was
acquainted with the EU position on Gujarat.
The MEA has made much of the fact that the demarche was verbal, not
written. In reality, a demarche can be verbal or written; it is
nothing but a diplomatic communication by one state of its feelings
or sentiments, with or without soliciting a response from the other
state. However, the truth was soon out: it was confirmed that the EU
indeed issued a demarche.
On May 2, at the India-EU biannual summit, the EU once again
expressed its concern regarding violence, loss of life and property
and the requirement for urgent humanitarian relief in Gujarat. But
so keen was the MEA not to use the word demarche, that its
spokesperson merely said the controversy caused by media reports on
the EU position was regrettable, but refused to either confirm or
deny whether the there was a demarche. She only said Gujarat was
discussed in an open and candid manner. The MEA statement said that
the EU recognises that its concerns had already been addressed
vigorously and effectively in the Indian media, public opinion and
civil society and by the Indian government and Parliament. This was
the MEAs way of saying we are internally doing all thats
necessary; dont bother us any more
The plain truth is, the government has been badly rattled by the
demarches and expressions of concern from the international
community--specifically the EU and numerous donor states, including
Britain, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland, as
well as adverse press comments virtually throughout the world on
Vajpayees appalling mishandling of the situation in Gujarat and his
shielding of Narendra Milosevic Modi.
One of the most scathing editorial comments appeared,
characteristically, in The Financial Times--which represents the
voice of the enlightened sections of international business--which
says the violence was backed by the state. It was not
spontaneous but a pre-planned policy involving State ministers to
purge Muslims and destroy their economy.
The editorial endorses the finding of independent investigations that
Godhra was no more than a pretext for communal violence, which
was planned months before and that free swords were being
distributed days before the riots began. The paper earlier
reported that some diplomats described the Gujarat events as
genocide, but the EU report stopped short of using that word. It
concludes: Indias treatment of its minority population has become
a matter of international concern.
Equally upsetting to the MEA are reports that a number of foreign
nationals of Gujarati origin who have been seriously affected by the
violence are planning to criminally prosecute functionaries of the
Central and state governments.
The only redeeming feature, as some Indian officials see it, is the
United States extraordinarily soft and understanding attitude
regarding Gujarat They desperately hope that American help would
somehow pull Vajpayee out of the present mess. They note that State
Department spokesperson Philip Reeker on April 16 went out of his way
to treat the Vajpayee government with kid gloves. He said: This type
of violence doesnt benefit anybody, and promptly added that the US
accepts Vajpayees patently disingenuous clarification about his
crassly communal remarks on April 12 in Goa as being taken out of
In practice, the MEA has peevishly targeted not just foreign
diplomats, but even journalists. Take the case of Marina Forti, an
experienced South Asia hand, who works for the highly reputed Italian
newspaper, Il Manifesto. Forti recently spent some weeks in India and
Pakistan, including a visit to Kashmir, and filed a series of reports
on the violence in Gujarat and the anti-communal protests in various
parts of the country.
On April 24, she was summoned by Yogesh K Gupta, Indias deputy chief
of mission in Rome and told [New] Delhi is very disturbed by the
articles you wrote. Says Forti: I couldnt believe what I was
hearing. The embassy had my articles translated and sent to Delhi.
Mr Gupta got back a note, which I saw before him, with a list of
accusations This is the first time ever that a top diplomat of a
democratic country has summoned me to say that my articles are not in
the line of his government.
Gupta took strong exception to Western journalists not using the
handouts sent out by Indian missions abroad, which claim there are
only isolated incidents of violence in Gujarat and that calm and
communal harmony has been restored
Specifically, what did Gupta find objectionable? One passage included
a quote from the preliminary report of the National Human Rights
Commission, citing Justice Verma on the prevalence of insecurity in
Gujarat. Gupta apparently exploded: How dare you say this, do you
think you are the Indian Human Rights Commission? Gupta accused
Forti of having only listened to only one side. (When she asked
what side, he said those massacred!)
Another objectionable article included an interview with Yasin
Malik of the Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front, whom the Indian and
the foreign media quote regularly. Gupta called this outrageous and
siding with terrorists. Another outrageous remark was Fortis
statement that there wont be strategic security in the subcontinent
until there is peace in this border, and there wont be peace in
Kashmir without a negotiated solution involving the local population.
Gupta was also infuriated by Fortis reference to an award-winning
documentary film on uranium mining in Jadugoda, which exposes unsafe
practices and serious health damage among occupational workers. This
film was publicly screened at the India International Centre in the
Capital. Gupta saw this as unbalanced, provocative and a clear
attempt to attack the nuclear policy of India! He also accused Forti
of having betrayed his trust.
It is ludicrous that Indian diplomats should be going to such
irrational lengths to intimidate and censor independent journalists
and assert archaic notions of sovereignty of the type embodied in the
Treaty of Westphalia of 1648. That Treaty gave the-then novel
nation-state the inherent right to promote its interests in
whatever manner it chooses, without limitation or restriction.
However, our diplomats should know better. The world has spent the
best part of the past century in diluting, taming and civilising
the concept of national sovereignty. Right since the Geneva
Conventions (1925), the collective body of nation-states has placed
constraints upon the states exercise of sovereignty--for instance,
by agreeing not to use biological weapons, and accepting codes for
the conduct of war and treatment of civilians, etc. It has evolved a
rich body of international humanitarian law.
This process gained momentum with the formation of the United
Nations, the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
and the signing of numerous conventions and covenants over the
years--on civil and political rights, labour rights, the rights of
the child, womens rights, migrants rights, etc. All these abridge
national sovereignty in the absolute sense.
Equally important are arms control and disarmament treaties like the
Partial Test Ban or Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Chemical
Weapons Convention and the latest protocol on biological weapons
abolition. These too limit the extent to which nations may go in
defence of their interests.
The most important of such voluntary self-limitation efforts by
nations relate to human rights, which are a universal concern. This
universality is at the centre of the evolution of international
criminal jurisprudence after the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals.
Genocide and crimes against humanity are by their very nature a
global concern. The rationale of multilateral intervention and
preventive diplomacy against such horrors has never been in doubt. A
strong case can be made out even for unilateral intervention in
extreme emergencies--where the very existence of an ethnic group is
The MEA, led by Jaswant Singh, is getting delusional. It reckons that
Indias strategic partnership with the US will come to its rescue,
just as US indulgence helped Pervez Musharraf conduct the farce
called referendum. New Delhi under the BJPs dispensation is indeed
beholden to Washington, thanks to the Vajpayee regimes zealous
pro-globalisation economic policy, its shameful silence on and
complicity in Ariel Sharons vicious attacks on the Palestinian
people, and its acquiescence in Washingtons assault on international
agreements on arms control, human rights, and the environment. India
kowtowed to Star Wars-style missile defence even before the USs
closest allies did.
Indias strategic intimacy explains why Washingtons response to
the Gujarat pogrom has been so extraordinarily muted and polite.
Washington is mollycoddling a government which has launched a
murderous assault on Indias secular-Constitutional order and
practised ethnic cleansing a la Slobodan Milosevic.
Should the US continue to indulge the Vajpayee government--and in
effect Modi--, it will have proved one thing: Unbalanced alliances
with that hyperpower, which has never learned to use its clout
prudently or subtly, rarely promote good causes such as human rights.
The Pakistani people have already paid an onerous price for
Washingtons cosy relations with Musharraf. (The US has even refused
to comment on the bogus referendum). We too may end up doing that--at
the expense of the people of Gujarat, and by hacking away at the
foundations of secularism in this country.--end--
GUJARAT CARNAGE - A TURNING POINT
Strategy for 'Pro-Active' Secularism
by Gaurang Mehta
The preparations for the Padyatra are in full swing. The Padyatra
will take-off from Chitrakoot. It has been decided to keep the focus
of the inauguration programme on 'Gender and Communalism'. Various
women's groups and cultural groups are likely to participate. A big
public programme will be organized on 26th May, 2002, afternoon and
the padyatra will begin the next day morning after a small public
meeting. The yatra will reach Allahabad on 3rd June where a public
meeting will be held at Sadhana Sadan. On 8-9 June, 2002 a
Manav-Dharam Sammelan will be organized in Raja Talab, 15 km before
reaching Varanasi. Kishan Patnaik, Kudip Nayyar, Nirmala Deshpande,
Siddharaj Dhadda and Thakur Das Bang have confirmed to participate.
The yatra will reach Varanasi the next day where the Gandhian Studies
Centre of the Kashi Vidyapeeth will host the main meeting. On 13th
June the yatra will be in Jaunpur where Swami Agnivesh will address a
public meeting and finally the yatra will reach Ayodhay on 21st June,
2002. Medha Patkar will be there to address the final meeting. Anand
Patwardhan will also join the yatra towards its end. A combined NAPM,
CNDP, Sarva Sewa Sangha meeting will also be organized on 22nd and
23rd June to discuss the future of movement against communalization
of our society.
Please make plans to join the yatra wherever and for
whatever period you comfortably can. Cultural groups are specially
invited. We'll be carrying some literature with us for distribution
and sale. If any organization would like us to carry their literature
(preferably in Hindi) we'll be happy to do so.
MARCH FOR PEACE & HARMONY
27 May to 21 June, 2002, Chitrakoot to Ayodhya
8-9 June, 2002, Raja Talab, Varanasi
We are going through very troubled times. Some
fundamentalist forces are trying to poison our minds. The outcome is
one of the worst communal carnages we have witnessed. We can only
hang our heads in shame in response to what has been happening in
Gujarat. We cannot recall any other occasion in our recent memory
when a society has mortgaged its collective wisdom to a hate based
Some people forcibly want to construct a temple in Ayodhya. A temple
is meant for worshipping. Normally construction of a temple and
worshipping are considered very pious activities. Whether a temple
will get constructed in Ayodhya on the disputed land or not the
movement has plunged us into a communal fire. The manner in which
communal violence was executed in Gujarat it has also raised doubts
as to whether the entire temple movement was meant for this purpose.
Can it be called a religious movement at all? When an action of ours
becomes a cause of fear, terror and violence for others it cannot be
called a humane action.
The common God-believing people, be they of any
religion, want to live with peace and harmony. Nobody would like to
offend another person in the process of worshipping their God. The
Ayodhya temple movement is causing harm to the social fabric of this
country and is distorting the culture of co-existence of Indian
society. If innocent people are being killed due to the temple
movement then it is not at all a religious programme. It is naked
politics for power. The common people of this country do not approve
of this abuse of religion for political purpose. We are opposed to
all kinds of fundamentalist thinking be it related to any religion.
With a view to take the debate of what is religion
and what is not religion to the common people we are planning about a
month long padyatra. We believe that we can be misled for a short
while but ultimately we reject violence and aggressive behaviour. We
are peace loving people and normally practice the larger tolerance
value of religion.
Most of the people in their daily life believe in a
human centered religion. Irrespective of their beliefs we try to find
our God in fellow human beings. We experience true happiness only in
the service of fellow human beings. The one who gets trapped in
parochial thinking can never be happy. The categorization of human
beings on the lines of nations, religions, castes or gender will
always result in violence and agony because these are man made
categories, not natural.
The traditional religions which have a narrow
perspective have failed to give proper respect to women. They have
ignored the existence of women. How can we even conceive of a happy
and prosperous society while insulting half the population on earth.
What to talk of equality the traditional religions have exploited the
women. Even during the time of communal violence women are made the
soft targets. There is no place for such religions in a civilized
We may say that we are governed by God but we never
give up in our efforts. Normally we reap as we harvest. And we act
according to our understanding. We always try to improve our
understanding based on our experiences. In fact, the only difference,
if at all any that exists, among human beings is their understanding.
Hence we are the observer, doer and it is we who experience.
On the way of padyatra a Manav-Dharma Sammelan will
be organized on 8th and 9th June in Raja Talab, 15 km before reaching
Varanasi. Well known social activists, who are actually serving the
vast humanity and religious leaders who can interpret religion
keeping in view the interest of all human beings living on earth will
be invited. We will have to reject the attempts by some organizations
to hijack religion and give it a fundamentalist tinge otherwise our
society is headed towards disintegration.
Contact: AALI office, 407 Dr. Baijnath Road, near Post Office, New
Hyderabad Colony, Lucknow, Phone: 782060, 782066, 347365, 342435,
Mobile: 9839018491, 9839073355, e-mail: ashain@...,
MARCH FOR PEACE & HARMONY
27 MAY TO 21 JUNE, 2002, CHITRAKOOT TO AYODHYA
Date Place Contact Person
May 27 Chitrakoot Madhvi Kukreja,
Vanangana, Dwarikapuri Colony, Karwi, Chitrakoot,
Ph: (05198) 36985, 35036
June 1 Shankargarh Rampal Verma, Sankalp,
Khan Mazdoor Union, Shankargarh
June 3 Allahabad Ram Dheeraj, Azadi
Bachao Andolan, Gandhi Bhawan, Chaitham
Lines, Allahabad, Ph: (0532) 641872, 466838
June 6 Gopiganj Pranavanand Muni
(Dr. S.C. Verma), Deen Dukhi Sewa Ashram,
Sadar Mohalla, Gopiganj,
Ph: (05414) 30256
June 8,9 Raja Talab Nandlal Master, Lok Samiti,
Mehdiganj, Raja Talab, Varanasi,
Ph: (0542) 632433
June 10 Varanasi Ajit Singh, Guria,
S-8/395 Khajuri Colony, Varanasi,
Ph: (0542) 342253;
Ram Chandra Rahi, Sarva Sewa Sangha, Rajghat, Varansai,
Ph: (0542) 430957
June 13 Jaunpur Daulat Ram,
Bhartiya Jan Sewa Sanstha, Badlapur, Jaunpur,
Ph: (05453) 48580
June 18 Akbarpur R.B. Pal, Jan
Shikshan Kendra, Village Kutiyawan, Post Bewana,
Ambedkarnagar, Ph: (05271) 55031, 55037
June 19 Gosaiganj Bharat Bhushan, PANI,
Village Dhirendrapuri, Post Chachikpur,
Ambedkarnagar, Ph: (05271) 57340, 57240, (05278) 25175
June 21 Ayodhya Uttam Sharma, Vishwa
Ekta Parishad-c/o Gopal Mandir, Ramghat,
Ayodhya, Ph: (05278) 27847, (05248) 23817
Unfeeling men, hypocritical voices
by Javed Akhtar
The Hindustan Times, Wednesday, May 15, 2002
Trampling on India
by A.G. Noorani
The Gujarat Carnage
by Amitav Ghosh (April 26, 2002)
The recent carnage in Gujarat is not just a fresh chapter in the
sub-continent's annals of horror: it may well prove to be the
prologue to horrors yet-undreamt-of. In the aftermath of the
slaughter it has become clear that the machinery of state and
possibly even the financial apparatus of the commercial world were
bent to the task of instigating and supporting mob violence. In other
words, two of the most important forces of order in society were
turned to exactly the opposite purpose: undermining peace and
promoting violence. This is a grim augury for the future, and it has
been made grimmer still by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's
speech in Goa. In endorsing the action of the Gujarat mobs and in
demonizing an entire community he has essentially abdicated the
Government of India's claim to sovereignty in administering justice.
This is an outrage; a clear and culpable dereliction of duty on the
part of the BJP-led government and the Prime Minister himself.
The Hindu, 11 May 2002
The violence of sovereignty
By Himadeep R. Muppidi
Film screening of 'Gujarat: A Work In Progress' followed by a
discussion with the film-maker:
On: 16th May 2002.
Venue: 1st Floor, Bombay Sarvoday Mandal, Shantashram, Nana Chowk, Grant
Road, (West). [Bombay]
Time: 6.00 p.m
About the Film: On February 27th 2002, 56 people were torched alive in the
coaches of the Sabarmati Express. This film (a work in progress). This
film is a brief report of what followed. 68 talukas and 21 cities of Gujrat are
affected by this carnage but this video is limited to Ahemadabad city and
exposes the modus operandi of the genocidal attack.
Like the experimentation of fascism, this film too, is a work in progress.
Duration: 35 Minutes.
Directed by: Stalin K./Drishti Media Collective/ Citizen's Initiative, Gujrat.
If you would like make financial contributions / donations in the US
towards relief for victims of violence in Gujarat. The following two
organisations in the US can be sent the monies.
50 West 97th St. 15-T
New York, NY 10025
India Relief and Education Fund
P.O. Box 14360
Fremont, CA 94539
(Your contribution is eligible for tax relief under section 80G.)
We have launched a new online magazine "lines" at
www.lines-magazine.org. Lines engages with the
political spaces of Sri Lanka. We understand that
space not just as a question of elections and
parliamentary debate, but as conversations regarding
contested visions of peace, multiculturalism, economic
justice, feminisms, citizenship, sexual pluralism,
diasporic nationalism, and such. We seek to provide a
forum that inspires and challenges us to critically
scrutinize the terms of received debates and enables
alternative political imaginaries.
While Sri Lanka is the principle reference for the
conversations engaged with in lines, it is not the
sole concern. We actively seek articles that engage
with the kind of issues enumerated above in addressing
different territorial entities, from the occupied
territories of Palestine to the State of Gujarat in
We invite you to email comments, suggestions and
criticisms regarding any aspect of "lines" to
with warm regards
In the May Himal:
+ The shaming of India: Why and how Gujarat
+ Sindh and the Pakistani referendum
+ Sexual harassment and suicide in Bangladesh
+ Hussaini Brahmins: The Hindu-Muslim fusion in Punjab
+ Pakistan, Palestine and George W Bush
+ Editorial on Gujarat
+ Gujarat special +
+ Essay: "The social engineering of Gujarat," by Gujarati researcher
and activist Hemant Babu. The silence of a sizeable part of the
silent majority is not the speechless shock of numbed bystanders but
the conspiratorial silence of willing spectators. Gujarat burns today
because of strategic shifts in social identities.
+ Editorial: "The enemy within". South Asia has the right and duty to
condemn what has happened in Gujarat and to learn from the carnage.
+ Letter from Ahmedabad: "The contradictions of modern Gujarat." This
letter from Ahmedabad resident Anjal Prakash explores the recent
economic history that has led the state to this moment of carnage.
+ Opinion: "India's self-goal in Gujarat." It is the Hindu-right's
communal "laboratory experiments" in the state that have caused the
massacres of Muslims today's violence is not a failure of the
administration but rather its perverse success. Written by Inter
Press Services India bureau chief Ranjit Devraj.
+ Opinion: "Riot cheerleaders." The unprecedented participation of
women in support of the Hindutva mobs points to perverse
"liberation." An examination of gender politics and social
transformations by IIT-Bombay academic D Parthasarathy.
+ Opinion: "Dalits and Adivasis, cannon fodder for Hindutva?" Since
the anti-reservation riots of the 1980s, the hierarchical Hindu
leadership has reasserted its power over the lower castes, with
dangerous results for Gujarat's Muslim community. Caste politics
examined by Delhi-based writer and political analyst Praful Bidwai.
+ Commentary: "Paradigm shift." Gujarat's mayhem represents the worst
South Asian ethnic pogrom in decades.
All at www.himalmag.com
INDO-AMERICAN ARTS COUNCIL & WORLD POLICY INSTITUTE in association with SAJA
A STAGED READING from Shashi Tharoor's 'RIOT'
Shabana Azmi, Shashi Tharoor, Madhur Jaffrey, Tunku Varadarajan
Adapted & Directed by Michael Johnson Chase
followed by an Open Discussion on the current violence in Gujarat and the
Babri Masjid/Ram Janmabhoomi controversy
Venue: WPI, Swayduck Auditorium, 65 Fifth Ave., (bet 13th & 14th),
Time: 6:30 8:30 pm
Date: Tuesday May 21, 2002
Tickets:$10 at the door or mail a cheque to the Indo-American Arts
Council, 27 Holly Drive, New Rochelle, NY 10801.
Information: Please call 914 637 0833 or email aroon@...
Sponsored by: Masi Marketing International Inc.
Radisson Hotel Eastside
Hudson Bar & Books
Vocal rendition of Hindu bhajan/Muslim devotional : Isheeta Ganguly
Introduction: Mira Kamdar
Staged Reading: Shabana Azmi, Shashi Tharoor, Madhur Jaffrey, Tunku
Open Discussion between Readers & Audience: moderated by Aroon Shivdasani.
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