SACW | 1-2 May 2006 | Nepal; India: A fury building, Narmada Andolan, Sati, Rape, Politics of violence
- South Asia Citizens Wire | 1-2 May, 2006 | Dispatch No. 2245
Interruption Notice: Please Note. There will be no SACW posts between
May 3 - 11.
 For Nepal & India, the road ahead is difficult (Siddharth Varadarajan)
 India: 'There is a fury building in India' (Arundhati Roy)
 India: NBA to intensify the Campaign . . . (Medha Patkar Clifton Rosario)
 India: Trial by Fire (Editorial, The Times of India)
 India: Rape of justice (Rakesh Shukla)
 India: Book Review: Politicisation of violence (C. T. Kurien)
 Upcoming events:
(i) Lecture: Of Women, Work and Public Spaces: Some Thoughts on Karachi's Poor
by Kamran Asdar Ali (Los Angeles, May 2)
(ii) Amrit Wilson will talk about Race, Gender and New Labour (London, May 16)
(iii) Public Meeting on Iraq: Anthony Arnove, Tariq Ali and Glen
Rangwala (London, June 16)
May 2, 2006
FOR NEPAL & INDIA, THE ROAD AHEAD IS DIFFICULT
Among the hurdles: the parties' lack of confidence, as well as New
Delhi's anxiety over the U.N. involvement in the disarmament of the
Maoists and elections to a constituent assembly.
MOMENTOUS THOUGH the events and accomplishments of the past few weeks
have been, the struggle for democracy in Nepal is perhaps entering
its most difficult phase only now. As the country moves towards
elections to a constituent assembly, the ingenuity and wisdom of not
just the Nepalese political forces but also of India will be put to
the test. The choices each makes will help to determine whether the
`April Revolution' reaches its final destination or disappears in the
quicksand of palace intrigue and political cowardice.
Amidst the exhilaration and excitement of the people's movement in
Nepal, India's momentary suspension of disbelief following Karan
Singh's fatal meeting with King Gyanendra stands out as the one
discordant note. Whatever New Delhi intended, people in Kathmandu saw
in both the choice of the special envoy and the subsequent Indian
endorsement of the monarch's cunning first proclamation a sign that
India cast its lot with the palace. To make matters worse, this
syndrome of mixed signals - of `tough' messages delivered, sometimes
in private, to an intractable monarch by envoys enamoured of
kingship, or petrified of the Maoists - continued right up to the
At a time when lakhs of people were on the streets protesting King
Gyanendra's ploy of asking the Seven-Party Alliance to nominate its
Prime Minister and take executive power, Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh told journalists accompanying him to Hanover that the king was
acting in the "right direction." He also needlessly endorsed the
discredited two-pillar theory of constitutional monarchy being as
indispensable to stability in Nepal as multi-party democracy. In the
same unhelpful vein, National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan chipped
in from Germany that India might resume arms supplies to the Royal
Nepal Army if the situation in the country continued to deteriorate.
Mr. Saran's eleventh-hour intervention - at a press conference last
Saturday - that India stood with the people of Nepal and not with any
royal pillar retrieved India's standing on the streets of Kathmandu.
But unless the underlying problem which plagues India's Nepal policy
is tackled, ambiguity is bound to crop up again.
India's Nepal problem has two dimensions, which are interlinked.
First, New Delhi does not fully appreciate that a thoroughgoing
democracy including a republic, if that is what the Nepalese want,
will be good for India. Secondly, subsequent governments have allowed
multiple channels of communication which amplify the existing policy
dissonance in Delhi and create maximum confusion.
Instead of the Indian embassy and ambassador, acting on the
instructions of the Ministry of External Affairs, being the sole
conduit for messages between India and the Nepalese establishment and
political parties, a large number of interlocutors and busybodies
have involved themselves in the process. There are the special envoys
with their one-on-one meetings with King Gyanendra, where nobody else
knows what is discussed. There are the Ministry of Defence and the
Chief of the Army Staff, who believe in running their own lines of
communication with the RNA. Then there are tantric interlopers and
Hindutva fanatics who further contribute to the radio clutter. More
noise also comes from our legion of ex-rajas, rajvadas and `cadets'
who have family ties with the Narayanhiti Palace and who intercede at
crucial moments with the ruling party to ensure that India does not
side with the people of Nepal.
Somewhere in the middle of this unholy mess are the intelligence
agencies, which also appear not to know what India should be doing.
For example, their agents turned a blind eye to meetings between the
Nepal Maoists and the SPA, which were crucial to the mass
mobilisation witnessed on the streets of Kathmandu in April. But
their boss, India's intelligence czar, worries endlessly about the
security threat posed by the Maoists and is reportedly keen on
turning the RNA's weapons tap back on again.
India might have muddled its way through the thicket of policy
dissonance to emerge, finally, on the side of the people, but there
is one major obstacle still to be overcome. This is the official
anxiety about allowing the United Nations to play a role in the
implementation of the SPA-Maoist road map for peace.
Now that Nepal's Parliament has unanimously passed a resolution
calling for elections to a constituent assembly, it is time for both
Kathmandu and New Delhi to get serious about how those elections are
to be conducted. Since the Maoists are unlikely to surrender their
arms until after the palace's military powers are neutralised, some
kind of international supervision will be needed to provide
assurances of a level playing field to all during elections to the
constituent assembly and even while the body meets. The Maoists say
they are prepared to confine their armed fighters to the barracks
under U.N. supervision pending elections and their eventual
integration into a new national army along with elements of the RNA.
Such a formula provides the only viable option for insurgency to end
peacefully. But without international oversight, this is impossible
to implement. For obvious reasons, India cannot involve itself in
this process and would not want the South Asian Association for
Regional Cooperation (SAARC) there either. Nor would India want the
task executed by a `contact group' led, inevitably, by European
countries which are part of Nato's overall command structure. Are
there countries, then, that New Delhi can trust? Whose involvement in
supervising the sequestering of the Maoists would not compromise
India's sense of national interest? These are questions the South
Block needs to start asking with a sense of urgency.
In many ways, the U.N. would be the best vehicle. But some sections
of the Indian establishment are paranoid about the implications the
U.N. involvement in a South Asian election process might have for
Kashmir. Such anxieties are completely misplaced. Apart from climate,
Nepal and Kashmir have nothing in common. And if the peace process
were to falter for want of a via media to manage the entry of the
Maoists into competitive politics, it would be King Gyanendra, who
ultimately stands to benefit.
So momentous have the changes of the past few weeks been that it is
tempting to conclude that the king is already history. This would be
a serious mistake. King Gyanendra may not be able to utilise his
constitutional powers to dismiss Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala
or Parliament - if he did, he would have to contend with a full-blown
insurrection that would end with either his flight or execution. But
he has managed to buy time for himself, a commodity that is
infinitely more useful today than are legal provisions. In the most
optimistic scenario, elections to a constituent assembly are surely
more than a year away. That provides plenty of time for intrigue
behind the scenes. The king also knows he is dealing with political
parties which lack confidence in their ability to carry the people's
movement forward. Ideally, the SPA should have announced the
restoration of Parliament itself. But it didn't have the gumption to
do so. Mr. Koirala did well to refuse to take the oath to the
Rajparishad but there are many in Nepal who would have found his
being sworn in Prime Minister by King Gyanendra a distasteful event.
Mr. Koirala has also failed immediately to operationalise the promise
he held out last week of a military ceasefire to reciprocate the
three-month ceasefire declared by the Maoists. To make matters worse,
an RNA helicopter on Saturday opened fire on a public meeting
organised by the Maoists in the Sunwal area of Nawalparasi district.
Was this the last act of defiance by an army, which knows it will
soon have to change course, or a warning shot to the SPA, of which it
is still the boss?
One mistake Mr. Koirala, the SPA and India should avoid making is to
disregard the role played by the Maoists in last week's peaceful
revolution on the streets. The Maoist slogan of a constituent
assembly is what fired the imagination of the people, both as an end
in itself and as a way of bringing the insurgents into the mainstream
and ending the decade-long armed conflict. The Maoists also mobilised
their cadres and sympathisers, in Kathmandu, Dang and elsewhere.
True, Maoist leaders Prachanda and Baburam Bhattarai lashed out at
the SPA for welcoming the king's second proclamation restoring
Parliament. But they quickly followed this up with two conciliatory
gestures: the lifting of their blockade and a three-month ceasefire.
Mr. Koirala must move swiftly to capitalise on this opening and
immediately order the RNA to declare a ceasefire too. Along with
removing the terrorist tag from the Maoists and releasing all
political prisoners, a ceasefire is necessary to start the dialogue
process. He also needs to signal, right from the outset, that the RNA
is fully subordinate to Parliament. On its part, India should impress
upon the Koirala Government the need for a ceasefire and undertake
not to resume arms supplies until it is clear that the RNA reports to
Parliament and not the palace.
May 6, 2006
'THERE IS A FURY BUILDING IN INDIA'
Over several days of conversation with Shoma Chaudhury, followed up
with written responses, Arundhati Roy clarifies the complex, vexed
questions surrounding the Narmada and Maoists
War Zone: Arundhati Roy in Kashmir, a place she has been visiting
The real issue is not how ordinary farmers in Gujarat will benefit
from the Sardar Sarovar, but how they will eventually suffer because
The media has been playing the Supreme Court Verdict on the dam as a
victory for all sides. How do you read it? What does this verdict
It may well be a victory for the Gujarat Government but it's by no
means a victory for the NBA. What it does do is signal formal entry
by the Supreme Court as well as the Prime Minister into treacherous
new territory. The Prime Minister has washed his hands off an
unequivocal report by members of his own cabinet. The Minister for
Water Resources Saifuddin Soz had the rare courage to put down on
paper what he actually found - the fact that rehabilitation in Madhya
Pradesh has been disastrous. It's true that on a one-day visit,
ministers cannot possibly come away with an exhaustive survey, but
you don't need to spend more than a day in the Narmada valley to see
that there is a massive problem on the ground. There is a huge
disjunct between the paperwork and the reality on the ground. What
will be submitted to the court - what has always been submitted to
the court is more paperwork. Two years ago, when I went to Harsud
which was being submerged by the Narmada Sagar Dam, I also went to
the so-called New Harsud, which the government claimed was a fully
functioning new city. There was absolutely nothing there - no houses,
no water, no toilets, no sewage. Just a few neon street lights and a
huge expanse of land. But officials produced photographs taken at
night with star filters making it look like Paris! At the last
hearing on April 17, the logical thing for the Supreme Court to do
would have been to say, stop construction of the dam. We know there's
a problem, let's assess the problem before we go ahead. It did the
opposite. It said we have a problem, let's magnify the problem. Every
meter the dam goes up, an additional 1500 families come under the
threat of submergence. This interim order is clearly in contempt of
its own October 2000 and March 2005 Narmada judgements as well as the
Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal Award, which state in no uncertain
terms that displaced people must be resettled six months before
submergence. What do you do when Prime Ministers, Chief Ministers and
Supreme Court judges commit contempt of court?
Water for Gujarat is obviously an urgent issue. How does one
reconcile these polarities?
The urgency is a bit of a red herring. Gujarat has managed to
irrigate only 10% of the land it could have irrigated and provide
only a fraction of the drinking water that it could have provided at
the current dam height. This is because the canals and delivery
systems are not in place. In other words, it has not been able to use
the water at even the current dam height. This is an old story with
the Narmada Dams. The Bargi dam completed in 1990, at huge cost to
the public exchequer and to thousands of displaced people, today
irrigates less land than it submerged because canals haven't been
built. In the case of the Sardar Sarovar, in fact, raising the dam
height immediately is just hubris. It has no practical urgency. The
fair thing to do would be to stop the construction of the dam and ask
the Gujarat government to construct the canals to use the water it
already has. That will buy time to do a decent job of rehabilitation.
'I was drawn to the Narmada issue because I believe it contains a
microcosm of the universe. It contains a profound argument about
everything - power, powerlessness, deceit, greed, politics, ethics,
rights and entitlements. It's the key to understanding how the world
If we could go back to the beginning of your involvement - why were
you drawn to the Narmada issue? Why has this become such a powerful
Because I believe that it contains a microcosm of the universe. I
think it contains a profound argument about everything - power,
powerlessness, deceit, greed, politics, ethics, rights and
entitlements. For example - is it right to divert rivers and grow
water-intensive crops like sugar cane and wheat in a desert ecology?
Look at the disaster the Indira Gandhi canal is wreaking in
Rajasthan. To me, understanding the Narmada issue is the key to
understanding how the world works. The beauty of the argument is that
it isn't human-centric. It's also about things that most political
ideologies leave out. Vital issues - rivers, estuaries, earth,
mountains, deserts, crops, forests, fish. And about human things that
most environmental ideologies leave out. It touches a raw nerve, so
you have people who know very little about it, people who admit that
they know very little and don't care to find out, coming out with
passionate opinions. The battle in the Narmada Valley has raised
radical questions about the top heavy model of development India has
opted for. But it also raises very specific questions about specific
dams. And to my mind, though much of the noise now is centered around
the issue of displacement and resettlement, the really vital
questions that have not been answered are the ones that question the
benefits of dams. Huge irrigation schemes that end up causing
waterlogging, salinisation and eventual desertification have
historically been among the major reasons for the collapse of
societies, beginning with the Mesopotamian civilisation. I recommend
Jared Diamond's wonderful book Collapse to all those who wish to take
a slightly longer, and less panicked view of 'development'. India
already has thousands of acres of waterlogged land. We've already
destroyed most of our rivers. We have unsustainable cropping patterns
and a huge crisis in our agricultural economy. Even vast parts of the
command area of our favourite dam - the Bhakra - is water-logged and
in deep trouble. So the real issue is not how ordinary farmers in
Gujarat will benefit from the Sardar Sarovar, but how they will
eventually suffer because of it.
NARMADA BACHAO ANDOLAN
1 May 2006
Non-suspension of dam work TODAY is risking people's lives, irreversibly!
NBA to intensify the Campaign when 'Democracy' is shying away!!
The Narmada case of 35 000 families, already affected and to be
affected if the dam is built to 122m, pleaded before the Supreme
Court of India today, by the 48 representative oustees from Madhya
Pradesh, has met with a stalemate once again. This is neither
technical nor financial, but a political stalemate. When all the
parties, including the state governments, the Union of India and
the aggrieved affected Adivasis, farmers have already put forth all
their views, facts and analysis, including the legal violations.
After our submissions, what only remains is the decision to be
made. This, as it was made clear today, will have to wait till
Monday, i.e. 08.05.2006, with no justifiable reason for this
As at today's hearing Shri Shanti Bhushan, Council for the
Petitioners, demonstrated that the official documents including
submissions themselves, vindicate NBA's position that Resettlement
and Rehabilitation (R&R) is incomplete and the decision to raise
the dam is illegal. Moreover, the game of numbers exposed clearly
shows the deliberate attempt to underestimate the number of PAFs
while drum beating the benefits especially to Gujurat, which can't
be ignored. It was, therefore, clear that no one can argue
completion of R&R and compliance with the law; which implies an
immediate suspension of the work at the damsite. It is unfortunate
but also indicative of the democratic mockery that the irreversible
damage to life and livelihood of thousands of families that is being
done by the construction is still not stalled - neither by the PM,
who is authorized, nor by the Apex Court of India.
We feel aghast to know the great and unacceptable risk to human life
that the highest echelons of power have decided to take by postponing
the judgement to Monday, May 8th. We will have to wait, watch and
test the powers that are to take responsibility for justice but we
don't think everything that is happening is just. We, on the other
hand, have to intensify the voice raised and actions taken by the
development victims all over, which will question callous politics
with all strength and conviction.
Medha Patkar Clifton Rosario
The Times of India
April 28, 2006
TRIAL BY FIRE
One hundred and seventy five years after it was abolished by William
Bentinck, sati continues to be a reality in parts of rural India.
While Deorala - where a 19-year-old childless widow Roop Kanwar
immolated herself on the funeral pyre of her husband - remains the
most talked-about instance of sati in recent times, it was certainly
not the last.
Kuttu Bai, 65, in Madhya Pradesh's Panna district, Rekia Devi, 65, in
Bastipur, Bihar and Sita Devi, 77, in Gaya district, have met a
similar fate since. For every case that comes to light there are
scores of others that go unreported.
There are more than 250 sati temples in the country with a steady
flow of devotees and donations. Clearly, Bentinck's decree and its
modern avatar - the Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987, have failed to deter
people from this "ritualistic suicide/murder".
It is in realisation of this that the government has decided to amend
the law putting the onus of preventing sati on the family and
village. A Bill incorporating new clauses will be introduced in the
coming session of Parliament.
Under the new law, a woman attempting sati will no longer be charged
for attempted suicide. It will be presumed that the sati was
attempted under duress and that the immediate family was in a
position to stop her but did not.
The proposed law makes no distinction between passive observers and
abettors. Holding them equally culpable it prescribes death or life
imprisonment or both.
A progressive piece of legislation, it views things from a widow's
perspective. Nothing short of this would be able to plug the
legal-theological loopholes that allow self-immolation of this nature
to exist in 21st century India.
Let's accept it, sati is never voluntary. There is always an element
of coercion - physical, psychological or social. More often than not,
it is engineered by the widow's family to grab her deceased husband's
Why would a widow want to kill herself if she is assured a life free
of hassles and humiliation? And isn't it the community's
responsibility to ensure that? The law should make sure it does.
The Times of India
April 28, 2006
RAPE OF JUSTICE
by Rakesh Shukla
In a rare case of sensitivity, the Alwar court in Rajasthan convicted
B H Mohanty for rape of a German woman within 22 days of the
incident. The attitude of Judge Maheshwari played a major role in the
Many a judge in the country would have taken the view that since the
victim went with Mohanty to the hotel and had drinks and dinner, it
implied consent and was not a case of rape.
The perceived immoral character of a rape survivor has led to
acquittal of many a rapist. The conviction of constable Sunil More in
Mumbai was all the more surprising, even though the law with regard
to custodial rape is stringent.
It is difficult to recollect the last time one heard of a policeman
convicted for rape in custody. It is not that custodial rapes do not
occur. They are not reported due to vulnerability of victims from a
poor socio-economic background.
A combination of lax investigation, tampering of witnesses and a
gender-insensitive judge results in acquittal. Last year, the
sessions court in Delhi acquitted sub-inspectors Sharma and Singh of
custodial rape on grounds of lack of evidence.
The incident took place within the precincts of the police station at
Tilak Marg, a stone's throw from the Supreme Court. A maidservant who
rebuffed advances of the employer, was falsely accused of theft and
taken to the first floor room of sub-inspector Sharma and raped in
No medical tests were conducted. Neither was any test identification
parade held. More than two decades ago, a public campaign over
Supreme Court acquitting constables Tukaram and Ganpat in 1979 of
custodial rape charges, after disbelieving the testimony of the
victim, finally led to the Criminal Law Amendment in 1983.
Section 114-A, introduced in the Indian Evidence Act by the
amendment, says the court shall presume lack of consent in cases of
custodial rape, where sexual intercourse by the accused is proved and
the woman states that she did not consent.
Rape by police officers, public servants, jail, hospital, remand home
staff and gang rape are included in the section. Contrary to popular
impression, the legal position is not that the burden of proof lies
with the accused.
The prosecution has to first establish that sexual intercourse took
place. The entire gamut of lodging the first information report,
medical examination, recording of statements by the police,
depositions in court has to be gone through.
Delay in lodging the FIR, delay in medical examination,
inconsistencies in the FIR, contradictions in statements before
police and testimony in court remain prime factors in the accused's
Courts do not adequately recognise that the trauma of a rape
survivor, feelings of shame, fear of abandonment by husband and
family and social ostracism contribute to silence and delays.
The prosecution has to prove that it was the accused who committed
sexual intercourse with the victim. The victim has to go through the
trauma of test identification parades.
Circumstantial and medical evidence to establish the identity of the
perpetrator has to be adduced. It is only after establishing these
facts that presumption as to lack of consent arises.
Sadly, despite the amendment, the accused can challenge lack of
consent at this stage. Presence or absence of injury on the body of
the rape survivor remains a vital factor to decide whether the act of
sexual intercourse was committed with or without consent - regardless
of the element of threat, fear and paralysis inhibiting resistance.
Reluctant judicial recognition of the amendment is best illustrated
by high court judge S K Chawla in a 1992 case: "In conclusion having
regard to the conduct of the prosecutrix in not making any kind of
complaint...it is very unsafe to pin faith on her mere word that
sexual intercourse was committed with her by five persons or any of
As V R Krishna Iyer says on the issue: "We feel convinced that a
socially sensitised judge is a better statutory armour against gender
outrage than long clauses of a complex section with all the
protections writ into it".
The writer is a Supreme Court advocate.
The Hindu - Book Review
April 25, 2006
Politicisation of violence
C. T. Kurien
Story of the Godhra carnage which etched deep faults in Gujarat's
SCARRED - Experiments with Violence in Gujarat: Dionne Bunsha;
Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park,
New Delhi-110017. Rs. 295.
What are your recollections of Gujarat 2002? Images of a burning
train in which about 60 people were burnt to death? The violence that
followed for several days killing a thousand people and rendering
some 150,000 homeless? The picture of Qutubuddin Ansari with his
hands folded pleading for mercy, flashed across the country and
beyond over TV and newspapers may be fresh in the minds of many. The
gruesome incident of a pregnant woman's belly being slit open to pick
up the unborn child, and mother and child being thrown into the fire
may be haunting others. The many trials of the notorious Best Bakery
case and the twists and turns of its chief witness, Zaheera Sheik,
keep memories alive.
Were these isolated instances or crazy manifestations of mass fury?
Neither, says Dionne Bunsha, the award-winning author of this book.
The happenings in Gujarat in 2002, according to Bunsha were
experiments with violence in India's Hindutva laboratory. The theme
is worth pursuing.
Gujarat, it will be recalled, became the first State in the country
to have a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government with a clear
majority. But soon the BJP's position there appeared to be shaky.
Shankarsinh Waghela, the BJP's strong man left the party and formed a
party of his own first, and later merged it with the Congress. In the
local body elections in 2000, this combined force routed the BJP in
many parts of the State, especially central Gujarat. The BJP decided
on a change in leadership, removing Keshubhai Patel and bringing in
Narendra Modi from the party office in Delhi as the new Chief
Minister in 2001.
Modi, the staunch Rashtriya Swayam Sevak (RSS) pracharak, fully
committed to the Hindutva ideology, was eager to make Gujarat the
vanguard for converting the country into a `Hindu Rashtra'. Dealing
with the State's less than 10 per cent Muslim population was crucial
to the goal, and Modi set out with firm determination, giving active
support to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal in their
anti-Muslim campaigns. In mid-February 2002, at a VHP meeting, its
leaders spoke about the need to remove Muslims from the predominantly
Hindu villages and swore to `break their necks'.
Then Godhra happened on February 27, 2002. Till today it is not clear
how compartment S6 of the Sabarmati Express in which many kar sevaks
were travelling caught fire just a few minutes after it left Godhra
station. To be sure, during its four minutes' stay at the station
there was a fight between the kar sevaks and a Muslim tea vendor.
That was enough for Chief minister Modi to state within a few hours
of the tragedy that "it [the burning of the train] was a pre-planned
act. The culprits will have to pay for it... It was a violent,
one-sided collective terrorist attack by only one community." The
Chief Minister instructed the police to "let the Hindus vent their
frustration" and warned, "the police should not come in the way of
the Hindu backlash."
And so started the carnage. It was not only mob violence targeting
Muslims. The Chief Minister permitted and encouraged it. His
ministers sat in the police control room overseeing whole scale
slaughter. It was an organised and institutionalised terror meant to
complete the well-designed programme of marginalising the minorities.
Modi went a step further. He decided to convert his victory in the
`field' to an electoral victory too, and so dissolved the Legislative
Assembly prematurely to hold elections. His campaign was sharp and
shrill: "It is not an election for MLAs or choosing a Chief Minister.
It is an election related to religion." "This is a fight which will
decide who is the protector of Hindus." "This is a deciding moment...
Come out in large numbers and kick the jehadis and fundamentalists
And the BJP under Modi won the December 2002 state elections
decisively with 126 of 181 seats, improving on its previous tally of
117 seats. Its vote percentage increased from 44.8 in 1998 to 49.8.
In central Gujarat where the worst carnage occurred, the BJP's
performance was particularly impressive.
So, did the experiments with violence in the Hindutva laboratory
succeed? What has been happening to the people of Gujarat, especially
those who were pushed out of their homes and localities? What is the
nature of politics in Gujarat today? How is it likely to affect the
rest of the country? What about another experiment which was also
taking place even during those mad days of violence and murder - of
Hindus at great personal costs to themselves for protecting their
Muslims neighbours against the atrocities of the mob; of young people
standing firm to marry from hostile communities because of love and
personal commitment that transcended communal barriers? Which of
these two experiments will prove successful in the days to come?
If you are interested in these issues it is unlikely that you can get
anything better than Dionne Bunsha's account which is meticulous,
moving, sensitive, thought-provoking - and, yes, even disturbing in
Of Women, Work and Public Spaces: Some Thoughts on Karachi's Poor
Lecture by Kamran Asdar Ali (Univerity of Texas at Austin)
Date: Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Time: 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Venue: 10383 Bunche Hall, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095
Sponsor(s): Center for India and South Asia
o o o
Activist and writer Amrit Wilson will talk about Race, Gender and New
Labour, to mark the publication of her new book, Dreams, questions,
struggles : South Asian women in Britain (Pluto Press) see attachment.
6.30pm Tuesday 16 May
1 Bloomsbury Street, London WC1B 3QE.
Nearest tube Tottenham Court Road, London
o o o
16 JUNE, LONDON: PUBLIC MEETING WITH ANTHONY ARNOVE ("Iraq: The Logic
of Withdrawal"), TARIQ ALI ("Bush in Babylon") and GLEN RANGWALA
("Iraq in Fragments").
7pm, Main Hall, Indian YMCA, 41 Fitzroy Square, London W1 (tubes:
Warren St., Great Portland St., Euston Square).
Organised by Iraq Occupation Focus
Buzz on the perils of fundamentalist politics, on
matters of peace and democratisation in South
Asia. SACW is an independent & non-profit
citizens wire service run since 1998 by South
Asia Citizens Web: www.sacw.net/
SACW archive is available at: bridget.jatol.com/pipermail/sacw_insaf.net/
DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed in materials carried in the posts do not
necessarily reflect the views of SACW compilers.