South Asia

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The Kashmiri Intifada

A report on the recent killings and protests in the Kashmir Valley and their media coverage. I had visited the valley last year.

The images bring back memories of the first intifada (uprising) in Palestine in the late 1980s: Young protesters in jeans and bandanas hurling rocks at Indian troops, people blocking roads with burning tires to stop the Indian police, banners reading “Quit Kashmir”, ”Go India, Go Back”, “No India, No Pakistan, We Want Free Kashmir”. This is the atmosphere on the streets of the Kashmir valley in India this summer.

Discipline in Violence

A few weeks back, in a meeting with a political advisor of a bilateral development organization, I discovered a new phrase ‘discipline in violence’. He used the phrase while talking about the unruliness and fundamentalism within the state security apparatus. The phrase hit me – I wasn’t sure how there can be discipline in violence; in my mind an image of a methodical violent person emerged. I also thought about well organized acts of violence, something along planned ethnic cleansing or systemic violence against women on grounds of morality.

Being the Other

Spring was short this year, it arrived late and is in a hurry to go –dusty winds are taking over fast. But there’s a bloom in my backyard, the least likely place in the guesthouse. Not many in the guesthouse know that my room has a backyard.

Pakistani Court Orders Government Action To Protect Third Sex People

The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday directed the federal and provincial governments to sit together and find out amicable solutions to the issues confronting eunuchs...-

The three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry issued the direction after hearing progress over its previous orders. Justice Chaudhry Ijaz Ahmed and Justice Rahmat Hussain Jafferi were the other members of the bench.

The Women's Crusade Without Women

By: on 21 Aug 2009

Nicholas Kristoff seems like a nice guy.  He has on-the-ground experience witnessing - albeit as a NYT journalist - some of the worst abuses that people- and particularly women- face in the poorer parts of the world.  He has brought attention to issues like trafficking, health, labour conditions, and poverty to a greater degree than most white male journalists working for a source as conservomainstream as the New York Times probably would have - and he has done it with a level of human detail that makes these issues moving, rather than eye-glazingly boring.

To Cover or Not To Cover: The Relative Absence of Indian Election Coverage on PTR

A close friend and erstwhile Roti Passer asked me why we have so little coverage of the Indian elections so far.  On some further thought, my response is: 

1) We do have some;

2) I am quite proud that we have far more coverage on the war/conflict/genocide/dramatic changes in the situation in Sri Lanka and to some extent SWAT thanks to ks;

NYRB on Diego Garcia and the American and British Militaries

I couldn't get all the way through this story on the military island 1,000 miles south of the Indian coast, but if you're interested in studying and understanding American and British imperialism and/or South Asia, I would strongly suggest taking an glance.  Wikipedia link provided for your use as well.  Enjoy:

The absurdity of war, mediated

By: on 26 Apr 2009

CNN-IBN just happens to be on my television. This is what I see on the chyron, interspersed with the occasional story, mostly full of b-reel footage of the SLA and unending lines of shell-shocked families marching to an uncertain future.

Read between these lines below and you will see the war and its political context in India, stripped of all complexity and boiled down to its essential absurdity:

. . .

Persistence Resistance 2009: A Festival of Contemporary Political Films

Article Date: 
16 Apr 2009

Passers of the roti in Delhi might have an interest in this film festival organized by the Magic Lantern Foundation. It shall be held on April 17-19 at the India International Centre (40 Max Mueller Marg, Lodhi Estate). All are welcome and entry is free. Please click on the title for more information.
(previously known as "odear" in these parts)

The State Department, the Media, and "Human Rights in South Asia"

By: on 26 Feb 2009

I. A few years ago, I was walking down the street near the East Village with some colleagues from various organizations when a woman came up to us and stopped us.  "Have you heard about Gujara?" she asked me.  She did this without saying hello, introducing herself, or saying her name--which all makes sense, because she was, in fact, a total stranger.  She just happened to want to talk to me about the emotionally loaded topic of the Hindutva pogroms in Gujarat without knowing me, where I come from, or what my views might be.

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