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SACW #2 | 16 May 02

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  • Harsh Kapoor
    South Asia Citizens Wire Dispatch #2 | 16 May 2002 http://www.mnet.fr [ This issue of SACW is dedicated to the memory of Kaifi Azmi the progressive poet
    Message 1 of 1 , May 15, 2002
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      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
      (Somini Sengupta)
      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
      Press Release

      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



      Gulf News
      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
      rehabilitation measures.

      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
      are attacked."

      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
      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

      Getting delusional

      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 India’s 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 India’s standing in the
      world, and even more important, on the Vajpayee government’s 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
      [Gujarat’s] 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” Gujarat’s communal carnage “with the verdict of our own
      Supreme Court … that secularism is an established feature of the
      basic structure of India’s 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 India’s
      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, India’s ambassador to Spain, the current chair of the Union.
      The MEA called the demarche “mutual consultations”. The EU showed
      some sensitivity to the MEA’s 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 MEA’s way of saying “we are internally doing all that’s
      necessary; don’t 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
      Vajpayee’s 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: “India’s 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 doesn’t benefit anybody,” and promptly added that the US
      accepts Vajpayee’s 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, India’s deputy chief
      of mission in Rome and told “[New] Delhi is very disturbed by the
      articles you wrote”. Says Forti: “I couldn’t 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 Forti’s
      statement that “there won’t be strategic security in the subcontinent
      until there is peace in this border, and there won’t be peace in
      Kashmir without a negotiated solution involving the local population”.

      Gupta was also infuriated by Forti’s 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 state’s 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, women’s 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
      at risk.

      The MEA, led by Jaswant Singh, is getting delusional. It reckons that
      India’s “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 BJP’s dispensation is indeed
      beholden to Washington, thanks to the Vajpayee regime’s zealous
      pro-globalisation economic policy, its shameful silence on and
      complicity in Ariel Sharon’s vicious attacks on the Palestinian
      people, and its acquiescence in Washington’s assault on international
      agreements on arms control, human rights, and the environment. India
      kowtowed to Star Wars-style missile defence even before the US’s
      closest allies did.

      India’s “strategic” intimacy explains why Washington’s response to
      the Gujarat pogrom has been so extraordinarily muted and polite.
      Washington is mollycoddling a government which has launched a
      murderous assault on India’s 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
      Washington’s 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--



      Strategy for 'Pro-Active' Secularism

      by Gaurang Mehta




      Dear Friends,

      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.

      Love, Sandeep

      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
      violent ideology.

      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@...,


      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.

      SINGH Foundation
      c/o Ramakrishnan
      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

      Ahilan Kadirgamar
      S. Nanthikesan
      Vasuki Nesiah



      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





      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
      Air India


      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.


      SACW is an informal, independent & non-profit citizens wire service run by
      South Asia Citizens Web (http://www.mnet.fr/aiindex) since 1996.
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