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SACW #1 | 6 June 01

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  • Harsh Kapoor
    South Asia Citizens Wire | Dispatch #1 6 June 2001 ... #1. Press Release - Pakistan India Peoples Forum for Peace & Democracy #2. Statement by Nepal-India
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 5, 2001
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      South Asia Citizens Wire | Dispatch #1
      6 June 2001


      #1. Press Release - Pakistan India Peoples Forum for Peace & Democracy
      #2. Statement by Nepal-India Forum
      #3. India: Dilip Simeon on Monkey Business
      #4. The Hindu Right & Jewish Hate Groups unite using the Internet
      #5. Pakistan: Pervez Musharraf should come to the help of Pervez Masih &
      Yunus Sheikh
      #6. India: South Asian Borders is a lecture series in Bangalore
      #7. India: Bangalore Workshop on Queer Issues



      Press Release
      Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2001 10:19:06 +0500

      Pakistan-India Peoples' Forum for Peace and Democracy
      11-Temple Road, Lahore (Pakistan),
      Tel: 042-7357926, Fax: 042-7223455

      Press Release

      Let Kashmiris decide, says Pak-India Forum

      Lahore, May 31: The Pakistan-India Peoples' Forum for Peace and Democracy
      (PIPFPD) welcomes the invitation by government of India to General Pervez
      Musharaf, the Chief Executive of Pakistan, to visit India for unconditional
      Talks and urges both the leaders to show statesmanship and utilize this
      opportunity to resolve the long outstanding issues and conflicts which are
      bleeding our countries and impoverishing our people. PIPFPD has for
      several years urged the governments of the two countries to hold such a
      dialogue, essential for reducing tensions between the two neighbours, along
      with strengthening democratic institutions in both the countries and
      creating the condition for talks on the substantive issues including
      Kashmir. However, we regret that this offer has been accompanied by formal
      resumption of combat offensive in Kashmir and an end to the so-called
      cease-fire, because the main victim of such offensives have been the
      Non-combatant civilians. We wish to reiterate that Kashmir is not merely a
      territorial dispute to be resolved between India and Pakistan but it
      concerns the lives and aspirations of people of Kashmir living on both
      sides of the LOC. Neither India nor Pakistan can represent the people of
      Kashmir. Therefore, it is our conviction that unless the principal party
      to the dispute are included in the dialogue, there can never be a just and
      democratic peace in the sub-continent.

      Admiral L. Ramdas, I. A.
      Rehman Chairperson
      Chairperson India
      Chapter Pakistan



      Date: Mon, 04 Jun 2001 20:07:27 +0530
      From: Vijay Pratap
      Subject: Nepal-India Relations

      Dear Friends,

      We are all shocked and anguished at the massacre of the Royal family of
      Nepal including the Monarch Birendra Bir Vikram Shah. We express our
      solidarity with the people of Nepal in their hour of grief. All societies,
      modern or traditional, live by their symbols, even if the content and the
      meaning of symbols keeps changing. Citizens of Nepal have believed in their
      monarch as an incarnation of divine and he has also been viewed as a
      stabilizing force for their fledgling democracy in recent years. We
      understand their sense of loss and bewilderment in the face of such a
      sudden and tragic turn of events.

      As friends of the Nepalese people, we believe that the Nepalese society
      has the inner strength and resilience to come out of this crisis, confusion
      and anxiety. We agree with the observation of the Nepalese Ambassador to
      India that all societies have their own mechanisms of getting to the truth.
      We believe that the people of Nepal are quite capable of finding out and
      reconciling with the bitter truths that have unfolded or may unfold in the
      days to come. We also hope that this crisis will forge a unity of the
      Nepalese people in defence of their sacred traditions and the foundations
      of their young democracy.

      Vijay Pratap
      Convenor, Nepal-India Forum

      PS: This statement has been drafted by Nepal-India Forum. You can modify
      the statement according to your understanding and send it to nearest
      Nepalese embassy. The other prominent citizens who have endorsed are as

      Shri Rabi Ray, Former Speaker, Lok Sabha
      Shri Surendra Mohan, Socialist Ideologue
      Shri Prabhash Joshi, National Convenor, Vikalapa Abhiyan
      Shri Om Prakash Srivastava, Secretary General, Samajawadi Janata Party
      Shri D.L.Sheth, Chairperson, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam Network
      Shri Vinod Prasad Singh, General Secretary, Samajwadi Jan Parishad
      Shri Devinder Sharma, Agricultural Trade Anaylist
      Shri Yogendra Yadav, Political Scientist
      Ms. Ritu Priya, Convenor, Swasthya Panchayat,
      Shri Ajit Jha, Lokayan
      Shri Rajendra Ravi, Convenor, Lokayan
      Shri Mukul Sharma, Media-Democracy Activist
      Ms. Rita Nahata, Eco Station


      [Dilip] Simeon on Simian

      Monkey:.. (origin uncertain); (noun): any of numerous primates of a group
      including the families Cebidae,. etc; A person who performs comical
      antics, a rascal, scamp; (verb intransitive), to play mischievous or
      foolish tricks, fool or mess about...

      Its been ever so long that I monkeyed around
      Got out of practice and then ran aground
      I thought to myself : its about time!
      To reappear without reason or rhyme

      The quintessential monkey in me
      Has ever so long struggled to be free
      I've monkeyed with sentiment, monkeyed with cash
      (I don't monkey with knickers, that would be rash)

      Long time ago 'twas not monkey but milk
      That excited the thirst of idols in silk
      Incredulous ones were duly given chase
      By monkeys alleging meri bhavna ko thes

      Jangal mein hai mangal, kaloni mein bandar
      Sometimes appearing like mast kalandar
      Experts reflecting on decline of the magical
      But monkeys keep making light of the tragical

      Disturbing sleepyhead's not my only domain
      The whole social circus is my terrain
      I've monkeyed with law, monkeyed with order
      I've even exposed my red rump on the border

      Once I befriended a baboon called George
      Oh what a cosy alliance we forged
      Came a time I needed my sails to trim
      And ended up making a monkey of him

      I monkey contractors with grace and with ease
      Don't even need to get off my trapeze
      As long as my audience remains proud of the past
      My supply of bananas always shall last

      Them Yanks had their Batman, with Robin in tow
      They thought we were weak, they thought we were slow
      Don't monkey with us! you'll soon realise
      That Monkeyman's antics never lose their surprise

      I swung by my tail in the minds of the young
      To the glories of monkeydom I loudly gave tongue
      Graduate in astrology! study the stars!
      Who knows? at this rate we might make it to Mars

      But monkeying at heights might disturb my perch
      I'm lodged in the treetops, could be left in the lurch
      To keep them all guessing, kuchch lena, kuchch dena
      Monkeyman preparing to launch vaanar sena

      India's fortunate forests still have some trees
      To house langoors and macaques, baboons, chimpanzees
      Policing our territory is such an onerous task
      Good thing our family wears so many a mask

      Once three wise monkeys thought bad things got blurred
      Keep your mouth shut! never seen, never heard
      Were they right? were they wrong? its for us now to see
      whether softly softly we may catchee monkey



      New York Times
      2 June 2001

      Anti-Muslim Groups Unite Through Internet


      Web site run by militant Hindus in Queens and Long Island was recently
      shut down by its service provider because of complaints that it
      advocated hatred and violence toward Muslims. But a few days later, the
      site was back on the Internet. The unlikely rescuers were some radical
      Jews in Brooklyn who are under investigation for possible ties to
      anti-Arab terrorist organizations in Israel. The unusual alliance brings
      together two
      extreme religious philosophies from different parts of the world that,
      at first glance, have little in common. But living elbow-to-elbow in the
      ethnic mix of New York, the small groups of Hindus and Jews have
      discovered that sharing a distant enemy is sufficient basis for

      So tight is their anti-Muslim bond that some of the Hindus marched
      alongside the Jews in the annual Salute to Israel Parade on Fifth Avenue
      last month. Yesterday, several of the Jews joined a protest outside the
      United Nations against the treatment of Hindus in Afghanistan by the
      Taliban regime.

      "We are fighting the same war," said Rohit Vyasmaan, who helps run the
      Hindu Web site, HinduUnity.org, from his home in Flushing, Queens.
      "Whether you call them Palestinians, Afghans or Pakistanis, the root of
      the problem for Hindus and Jews is Islam."

      The budding Hindu-Jewish relationship presents a view that counters a
      popular perception of New York City ’Äî not as an open door to immigrants
      seeking a better life, but as a political way station, where some people
      come or stay not to make money but to engage in politics from afar. For
      some of the Jews in Brooklyn and the Hindus in Queens and Long Island,
      their time in the United States is temporary, made necessary only
      because of the threat of Islam in South Asia and the Middle East.
      Ultimately, members of both groups said, they must leave New York to
      confront the enemy face-to-face.

      "I would love to move back to India provided the situation improves
      there," Mr. Vyasmaan said. "We have made a promise to do so."

      Mr. Vyasmaan, who is 30 and came to New York from New Delhi when he was
      13, said matter-of-factly that he and many others expect to die in the
      battle for Hindu supremacy. Nonetheless, he is protective of the
      identities of some of HinduUnity.org's biggest financial backers.

      Some of them have been implicated in Hindu nationalist acts in India and
      are only in the United States biding their time, he said.
      One of the site's major supporters on Long Island was involved in

      destroying an ancient mosque at Ayodhya in northern India in 1992, Mr.
      Vyasmaan said. The mosque was built on a site that is also holy to
      Hindus. The incident led to widespread rioting between Hindus and
      Muslims in India, and it is still profoundly divisive.

      "Now they won't let us build a temple at the site of the mosque," Mr.
      Vyasmaan said. "So there is more controversy. He plans to go back."

      HinduUnity.org advertises itself as the official site of Bajrang Dal, a
      fundamentalist Hindu movement in India that has chapters
      throughout that country and has frequently clashed with Muslims and was
      among the groups blamed for the 1992 attack. The Web site also goes by
      the name Soldiers of Hindutva, a term that refers to the primacy of
      Hindu religion and culture. Mr. Vyasmaan said the Web site has 500
      people affiliated with it.

      The Jews in Brooklyn, meanwhile, are followers of Rabbi Meir David
      Kahane, the assassinated Israeli politician whose teachings advocated
      the expulsion from Israel of all Arabs, most of whom are Muslim.

      Their headquarters in Brooklyn was raided in January by the F.B.I. as
      part of a federal investigation into their association with two Kahane
      political parties that were banned in Israel and designated as terrorist
      organizations by the State Department. The
      designations followed a series of violent attacks on Palestinians,
      including the killing in 1994 of 29 Muslims in the West Bank by
      Baruch Goldstein, a Kahane adherent who was born in Brooklyn.

      Central to the Kahane message is that all Jews belong in Israel, making
      any Jew in the United States a temporary resident. Many of the group's
      biggest supporters shuttle back and forth between Israel and New York,
      keeping one foot in each country.

      Rabbi Kahane was Brooklyn-born, as were many of his supporters, and was
      shot to death at a Manhattan hotel in 1990. His son, Binyamin, who took
      up his father's teachings, also carried an American passport but spent
      most of his time in Israel. He was killed with his wife when their car
      was ambushed in the West Bank in December.

      During his last visit to New York, two weeks before his death, Binyamin
      Kahane reminded a gathering of several hundred supporters in Brooklyn of
      their obligation to settle in Israel.

      The Brooklyn group runs a Web site, Kahane.org, that aims to keep the
      Kahane movement alive despite the political crackdown in Israel and the
      terrorist designations in the United States. The site's manager, Michael
      Guzofsky, said the Jewish-Hindu relationship in New York is a practical
      one that reflects a common suffering at the hands of Muslims. The
      alliance is born from adversity, he said, and transcends the differences
      in their religious traditions, which, he acknowledged, the two groups
      have never addressed in detail.

      "I definitely understand their pain even if I don't know much about
      their faith," Mr. Guzofsky said of the Hindu fundamentalists.
      "Their Web site is a little more militant than ours, but an eye for an
      eye, a tooth for a tooth kind of speech is something you can
      find in the Old Testament. I am not going to judge people who have been
      oppressed by others and who fight back."

      The Hindu Web site is up and running only because Mr. Guzofsky and
      other Kahane backers came to its rescue. Several weeks ago, the company
      that ran the site's Internet server, Addr.com of Greenwood Village,
      Colo., notified Mr. Vyasmaan that it was canceling its contract.

      Matt Johnson, a representative of Addr.com, said that the company had
      received complaints about offensive content on the site, which contains
      historical accounts about Hinduism and the centuries-long conflict
      between Hindus and Muslims in South Asia. This week, a commentary on the
      site called on Hindus "to stand up and take arms" against Muslims in
      India, urging them to "exterminate and banish" them. The site also urged
      Hindus to "Fight if you must! Die if you must!"

      Mr. Johnson said representatives from HinduUnity.org contended that the
      Web site was informational and did not advocate violence. But after
      three days of telephone calls between New York and Colorado, Mr. Johnson
      said, the company decided to pull the plug, saying that HinduUnity.org
      was a hate site.

      When Mr. Vyasmaan got word of the decision, his first call was to Mr.
      Guzofsky's office at the Hatikva Jewish Identity Center in Brooklyn. Mr.
      Guzofsky had run into a similar problem in December, when he was forced
      to find a new server because of complaints about the Kahane site. Mr.
      Guzofsky was in Israel, but he returned the phone call within hours and
      quickly set out to solve Mr. Vyasmaan's problem.

      The solution came by means of a businessman in Annandale, Va., Gary
      Wardell, who designs and services Web sites and who branched out into
      the server business last year. Mr. Wardell offered to help Mr. Guzofsky
      in December when he read about kahane.org's problems, eventually taking
      on the job as the Kahane site's host. Although Mr. Wardell said he is
      converting to Judaism from Christianity and has taken an avid interest
      in the teachings of Rabbi Kahane, he said his motivation in assisting
      Mr. Guzofsky was as much financial as religious.

      "I am a small business and I need customers," Mr. Wardell said.
      "Sometimes when you have bills to pay, that takes the focus of your

      Early last month, when Mr. Guzofsky told him about HinduUnity.org, Mr.
      Wardell agreed to a similar business relationship for the same
      bottom-line reasons, he said.

      Mr. Guzofsky said his group had not officially endorsed the views on
      the Hindu Web site, but they support the right of the Hindus to express
      them. For that reason, there is a link to HinduUnity.org on the Kahane
      Web site and, Mr. Guzofsky posted an announcement this week about the
      Hindu protest outside the United Nations.

      "It is a core issue of free speech," Mr. Guzofsky said. "We have made
      it clear to the folks at HinduUnity.org that if their site
      ever comes down again, we will offer them a mirror site with ours so
      people can be updated concerning their events. I would hope they would
      do the same for us."

      Mr. Vyasmaan said there is no doubt that the favor would be returned.
      Already, he said, Hindus associated with the Web site
      have written to Congress urging that the two Kahane political parties be
      removed from the State Department's list of terrorist
      organizations. It is a cause very dear to Mr. Guzofsky, who said he was
      recently asked by the authorities to submit fingerprints and handwriting
      samples for use in their investigation into his Brooklyn operations.

      Mr. Vyasmaan said doubters of the Hindu-Jewish commitment need to look
      no further than his home in Flushing, where he displays a large picture
      of Rabbi Kahane.

      "He was a great man," Mr. Vyasmaan said. "It almost appeared as if he
      was speaking for the Hindus."




      The Friday Times
      1st June 2001

      Pervez Musharraf should come to the help of Pervez Masih & Yunus Sheikh

      Khaled Ahmed's
      A n a l y s i s

      The HRCP team in Chailay to investigate the case against Pervez Masih

      It is quite possible that Pervez Masih may not survive the ordeal.
      An innocent man will have died in vain just because the Blasphemy Law in
      Pakistan is normally undermined by pressure from the interested parties. No
      one in Pakistan can help a man thus isolated from society in this cruel
      fashion and made to suffer just because a law exists which makes it
      possible. The NGOs who speak up for these people are under threat
      themselves. Who can then come to Pervez Masih's help? I would suggest that
      the ambassadors of the European Union, which is Pakistan's largest trading
      partner and has already passed a resolution against the Blasphemy Law,
      should approach General Musharraf and tell him that he should personally
      intervene to save Pervez Masih from certain death. The government admits
      that there are procedural defects in the law which need to be corrected. It
      is therefore morally bound to help an innocent man from being done to death

      The tyranny of the blasphemy law continues in Pakistan. Those who are
      guilty of it are being punished in excess of their culpability; and those
      who are innocent - and most belong to this category - are faced with death
      they do not deserve. The Islamic state allowed this draconian law to be
      enforced with the consent of the politicians keen to win popular support.
      President Ghulam Ishaq Khan, competing politically with the prime ministers
      he cashiered, signed the bill into law getting up at midnight, and preened
      himself publicly over it. Today the state is anxious to relieve the
      suffering of the innocent under blasphemy law by tinkering with its
      procedures but is being thwarted by the menace of the religious leaders
      engaged in fighting its jehad in Kashmir.

      No other law has tarnished Pakistan's image abroad as the
      blasphemy law. When Pakistanis complain of the negative international
      reaction they forget the atrocities committed against innocent individuals
      under this law. Because of general insensitivity to human rights, most
      Pakistanis don't even know what the Blasphemy Law is all about and what are
      the defects contained in its formulation that attract international
      opprobrium. The national press is opposed to those who express
      conscientious objection to the text of the law. Human rights organisations
      who focus on the issue are routinely condemned in the newspapers, and
      innocent citizens caught in the net of the law are given short shrift. Its
      English section is too small and unrepresented in the small localities
      where the incidents under the Blasphemy Law usually occur.

      The usual FIR under duress:On first of April 2001, the
      police registered a case under the Blasphemy Law against a Christian Pervez
      Masih of village Chailay tehsil Daska district Sialkot. Under Section 295-C
      he was accused in the FIR of having insulted the Prophet PBUH by saying
      that he had married Hazrat Ayesha when she was only six. The FIR was
      registered after tractor trolleys full of angry villagers started arriving
      at Chailay to punish Pervez Masih after surrounding his house. He was taken
      under 'protective' custody to save his life, but was allegedly tortured by
      the police and forced to make a deposition under duress. According to daily
      Din, a crisis was created in Daska when a group of people insisting on
      prosecuting a person allegedly found guilty of blasphemy were ignored by
      the assistant commissioner. They blocked the road and clashed with the
      police and tore the uniforms of the policemen. Local students also joined
      the anti-blasphemy crowd and damaged public property. The Human Rights
      Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) sent an investigative team from Lahore to
      look into the case. Accompanying them was editor Niya Zamana monthly,
      Muhammad Shoaib Adil, whose article in the issue of May 2001 has been
      consulted in the writing of this report.

      Pervez Masih was able to run a school in Chailay with
      tolerable success for the last 12 years. It has 250 pupils, out of which 25
      are Christian, and the parents rate the school highly. There are eight
      teachers employed by the school which instructs its students in the Islamic
      subjects quite competently. Pervez Masih also makes monetary contribution
      to Lashkar-e-Tayba in support of the jehad in Kashmir. Pervez Masih has an
      opponent in Master Ibrahim who is also a teacher but is known in the
      community for frequent litigation and harassment of inhabitants of the
      village. He retired some years ago from a government job and then tried to
      open his own school in Chailay. He also tried in vain to persuade Pervez to
      sell his school to him. He mobilises people from the surrounding villages
      to put pressure on the administration. In the case of Pervez Masih, he
      again transported them to the front of the office of the assistant deputy
      commissioner (general) Sialkot who was inclined at first to ignore the case
      as a trumped-up job with no substance.

      The administration gives in:The alleged crime is claimed to
      have happened some time in February 2001. The incident has been recorded
      like this: three pupils who used to take tuition from Pervez Masih were
      found guilty by him of having torn down the Bible texts displayed by the
      Christian Convention in Chailay. After he refused to tutor them, they went
      to another teacher, Sajjad Ahmad, who was a friend of Master Ibrahim. There
      were no other eye-witnesses, just the pupils who alleged that he had
      insulted the Prophet PBUH. After the police took Pervez Masih in, it began
      its own silly tactics with him. According to his statement to the HRCP
      inspection team, he was kept hungry and tortured and made to admit that he
      had actually claimed that the age of Hazrat Ayesha was six years at the
      time of marriage. He stated that he had no great knowledge of Islam as
      opposed to the police version which says that he also instructed the
      students in Islam. The assistant deputy commissioner actually told the team
      that Pervez had stated the age of Hazrat Ayesha to be nine years at the
      time of marriage in accordance with Sahih Bukhari, the most authentic of
      the collections of the traditions of the Prophet PBUH. The deputy
      commissioner was expected to form a committee - without a Christian member
      in it - which will decide whether the case of Blasphemy brought against
      Pervez Masih should be admitted or not. While in custody, he was also
      pressured by the police to convert to Islam in order to qualify for good
      treatment in custody.

      The HRCP is concerned about the fate of Pervez Masih because
      it fears what may happen to him in the coming days. The case was registered
      against him after the administration was put under pressure by a violent
      mob at the house of Pervez Masih and the office of assistant deputy
      commissioner. The police has sided with those who are interested in
      punishing Pervez Masih because they see this party as being strong in the
      area. They have applied torture to him and threatened to kill him so that a
      case that hardly stands can go through to sessions court and result in his
      hanging. The village Chailay was found by the HRCP team to be generally
      against Pervez Masih although a former councillor and a nambardar admitted
      that Master Ibrahim was a known mischief-maker and that those who support
      Pervez Masih are reluctant to come forward and defend him. It is clear that
      Master Ibrahim wants to apply closure to his successful school so that he
      can open his own.

      Another death foretold:Till the case comes up for hearing
      Pervez Masih will remain with the police. His school will not be able to
      function for long without him and will close down by itself. At the
      sessions level, the court where death sentence is passed, the judge will
      again be under pressure. From past record, it is quite clear that Master
      Ibrahim will bring his posse of agitators to the court in tractor trolleys
      and bring the judge under pressure. The case will get dragged out,
      prolonging the misery of Pervez Masih. His stay in prison is going to be
      even more dangerous. [The HRCP team saw that he was already being
      threatened with bodily injury by the convicts of the jail]. He will be kept
      separately from other Muslim criminals to save him from their righteous
      anger under Blasphemy Law. This will mean that he will have to be in
      solitary confinement. As a token of their piety the jail staff will
      frequently vent their wrath on him. It is quite possible that he may die
      while awaiting decision at the sessions court.

      The verdict is going to be a death foretold. The sessions
      judge will hang him because he would want to save his own skin. He will
      however hope that on appeal the High Court will give Pervez Masih relief.
      It is possible that the High Court too may not release him on bail and the
      during the long-drawn-out litigation the accused may languish in one jail
      or another for years. A High Court judge was murdered for accepting bail in
      such a case. The case may actually go to the Supreme Court from where he
      may get the verdict for his release. If Pervez succeeds in getting bail,
      his life will be in danger. Already Master Ibrahim's violent supporters
      have warned the lawyers not to take his case on the pain of being roughed

      It is quite possible that Pervez Masih may not survive the
      ordeal. An innocent man will have died in vain just because the Blasphemy
      Law in Pakistan is normally undermined by pressure from the interested
      parties. No one in Pakistan can help a man thus isolated from society in
      this cruel fashion and made to suffer just because a law exists which makes
      it possible. The NGOs who speak up for these people are under threat
      themselves. Who can then come to Pervez Masih's help? I would suggest that
      the ambassadors of the European Union, which is Pakistan's largest trading
      partner and has already passed a resolution against the Blasphemy Law,
      should approach General Musharraf and tell him that he should personally
      intervene to save Pervez Masih from certain death. The government admits
      that there are procedural defects in the law which need to be corrected. It
      is therefore morally bound to help an innocent man from being done to

      A New York Times article (12 May 2001), reporting the arrest of
      one Dr Yunus Sheikh in Islamabad on charges of blasphemy, wrote: 'Pakistan,
      a nearly bankrupt nation with 150 million people, a military government and
      an expanding nuclear arsenal, is drifting towards religious extremism.
      Blasphemy cases are its version of the Salem witch trials, with clerics
      sniffing out infidels, and enemies using the law to settle personal scores.
      Accurate crime statistics are a low priority, but the number of those
      imprisoned on blasphemy charges is estimated to be in the hundreds. Only
      the most sensational cases get much notice: when vigilantes murder the
      accused or the bold judge who sets them free.' Pakistan becomes sensitive
      to the kind of publicity it receives abroad whenever a blasphemy case gets
      international notice. The Pervez Masih case is more blatant than most
      recent ones appearing in the press.



      CIEDS COLLECTIVE, BANGALORE. TEL; 5278628/5296191,

      Dear friend,

      South Asian Borders is a lecture series initiated by us to examine and
      analyze the historical, cultural and political problem of living with
      borders in South Asia. This initiative has been undertaken in the context
      of increasing anxiety caused by migrant refugees, border skirmishes and the
      aftermath of the Kargil conflict. It is our view that this anxiety is
      deeply tied to the drive for a monolithic, inflexible and well defined
      national culture and state. The demand for cultural nationalism,
      ethnophobic responses to refugees and migrants from other south Asian
      countries, the frequent discovery of Pakistani Intelligence presence in
      parts of India far away from any national border, massively reinforce the
      demand for this unified national consciousness and state.

      In this series of lectures, we propose to introduce into the public debate
      on South Asian peace and security certain crucial elements that are mostly
      absent. The first element is the fundamentally altered nature of war and
      territorial conflict in the 20th century. Wars are not new to south Asia
      and neither are borders. But what is new is the notion of fighting a war
      for an abstract nation, by soldiers defending the ways of life and means
      of livelihood of people, which no doctrine of national security can
      guarantee or even improve. The second element is the role of international
      business and economy in wars, both in times of "peace" and conflict. In the
      sale of anything from boot polish, snowshoes and canned milk to highways,
      helicopters and mine detectors, South Asian and Foreign capital have a
      crucial stake. After all a "Keynesian" economic revival on a global scale
      can but only mean expanding consumption of arms and armament related
      goods. Given the formal end of the cold war what will the military
      industrial complexes of the world do for their continued survival? The
      third element is the matter of public information and the survival of
      democratic culture. The aftermath of the Second World War inaugurated and
      legitimized a new culture of "war reporting". Cold war hysteria and
      National security doctrines routinized a culture of media reporting based
      solely on press handouts by the Armed forces. The gulf war took this to a
      new level where these handouts took the form of video transmission from
      cameras built into the nose cones of exploding missiles which we saw as
      "CNN feed" in our living rooms. There are of course many more related and
      unrecognized issues that we hope your participation in the lecture series
      will throw up and help us deliberate upon.

      The first lecture in this series is set for the 9th of June 2001, at the
      Institution of Agriculture Technologists, Queen s Road ( opposite Sanje
      Vani / Dina Sudar offices : tel 2260173 ) at 4 PM and 6.30 PM. Please
      Below for the Program details.


      4 PM to 5 PM : Screening of the Film A Season Outside by Amar Kanwar,

      Followed by a discussion on the film with the two speakers.

      6 PM to 8 PM : Ethics of Reporting Wars : The politics of South Asian War
      reporting; Kargil and Bangladesh.

      Siddharth Varadarajan , Senior Editor Times of India, Delhi.

      South Asian Borders, A civilisational view: The Politics of And the
      Culture at Indo-Bangladesh border.

      Dr. Imtiaz Ahmed,
      Professor and Chair, Department of International Relations
      University of Dhaka.



      Dear friend(s)

      SANGAMA invites you for a WORKSHOP on QUEER ISSUES

      Facilitated by Dr. R. RAJ RAO, gay writer, poet and activist

      On 7th JUNE, THURSDAY

      From 1.30 PM to 6.00 PM

      At SANGAMA, 1st Floor, No. 7, 8th Main, 3rd Phase, Domlur 2nd Stage,
      Bangalore – 560 071. Phone: 535 9591.

      ABOUT THE WORKSHOP: There will be a screening of the Canadian film
      "Who Gets to Wear White" followed by a discussion on gay marriages
      (1.30-3.30 pm). We will look at 3 articles from 'Journal of Homosexuality' -
      1. Queering Bollywood: Alternative Sexualities in Popular Cinema by
      Gayatri Gopinath, University of California, Davis; 2. Memories pierce the
      Heart: Homoeroticism, Bollywood-Style by R. Raj Rao and 3. The
      Changing Image of the Hero in Hindi Films by Ashok Row Kavi, gay rights
      activist, Mumbai (4.00 pm – 6.00 pm)

      ABOUT THE FACILITATOR: Dr. Raj Rao is currently with the English
      Department in the Pune University. He has to his credit many publications
      including "One Day I Locked My Flat in Soul City, " Nissim Ezekiel: The
      Authorised Biography’ and many critical articles/reviews/papers.



      The new issue of the-south-asian is now on the net - [URL
      www.the-south-asian.com ]
      with articles on 'Gardens of the Mughals', Women's Cricket in south Asia,
      Heritage Conservation awards and the 2001 entries, Sufi poets of Sindh and
      Punjab, Endangered Blind dolphins of Indus and the Ganges, Good as Gold -
      award winning contemporary gold jewellery


      SACW is an informal, independent & non-profit citizens wire service run by
      South Asia Citizens Web (http://www.mnet.fr/aiindex) since 1996. Dispatch
      archive from 1998 can be accessed at
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/act/messages/ . To subscribe send a blank
      message to: <act-subscribe@yahoogroups.com> / To unsubscribe send a blank
      message to: <act-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com>
      Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in materials carried in the posts do not
      necessarily reflect the views of SACW compilers.

      [ All interested and concerned by the dangers of Nuclearisation of South
      Asia are invited to join South Asians Against Nukes Mailing List. => send a
      blank e-mail message to : <saan-subscribe@...> ]
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