SACW | 21 May 03
Wed, 21 May 2003 04:03:20 +0100
South Asia Citizens Wire | 21 May, 2003
In Defence of the Indian Historian Romila Thapar [Updated on May 20, 2003]
#1. Dealing with India (M.B. Naqvi)
#2. Pakistan - India: The Peace Challenge (Radha Kumar)
#3. Indo-Bangla women's meet - Pluralism, tolerance must be upheld
#4. On the hunger trail [in Nuclear India] (Jean Dr=E8ze)
#5. India: Politics and the rule of law (Ajay K. Mehra)
#6. The madrassas in India (Mushirul Hasan)
#7. India: Is it so easy to forget what happened in Gujarat? (Abhishek Kapoo=
#8. India: Hardline Hindus play cow card in elections (Rahul Bedi)
#9. India: The VHP is back in training (Hubert Vaz)
#10. Upcoming Lecture by Romila Thapar (May 29 2003, Chicago)
#11. UK: Upcoming Seminar "Position of Religious Minorities in India"
#12. Film Screening and A conversation with Arundhati Roy : "DAM/AGE"
A film by Aradhana Seth
(May 27, 2003, Los Angeles)
#13. DAWN's Feminist Training Institute to be held (Sept - October 3
#14. May / June issue of the-south-asian
#15. Latest issue of India Pakistan Arms Race and Militarisation Watch No. 1=
#16. Appeal from the Journal 'Conservation and Society'
The News International, May 21, 2003
Dealing with India
By M.B. Naqvi
As soon as the Indian PM offered an olive branch to Pakistan, the
climate of opinion in both countries began changing rapidly. Does it
really matter where Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee got his inspiration
from. The immediate and positive reaction of this country was a
hopeful sign. It meshes in with Indian action. The two seem to be
anxious to normalise relations and certainly to reduce tensions. But
non-official reactions in both countries are varied. While Mr.
Vajpayee's own Sangh Parivar remains skeptical and is wont to
suspicions about relations with Pakistan. Several Indian opposition
parties' view however is more positive; they too emphasise the
people-to-people contact as the means of corrective action and basis
for further progress.
The same sort of situation obtains in Pakistan. While liberals praise
the government's positive response and do not worry about the
inspiration having come from the US. But a clearly identifiable lobby
of ultra-patriotic Pakistanis has begun reacting in a manner that is
reminiscent of Feb 1999 protests during Vajpayee's Lahore visit sans
the protests. That mindset had inspired the Kargil operation so as to
sabotage the efforts of the two Prime Ministers. That lobby has got
into almost the top gear and one can only hope that this time round
it will not be allowed to run riot.
One question needs being sorted out. What do we do with our
geography, with India, given its size, population and resources,
sitting cheek by jowl with us? We simply cannot ignore India; if we
do not have good relations with it we shall have ruinous tensions.
Thanks to the thousand and one commonalties with it, there is no
third way. It is up to us to decide whether we want a future of
tensions, bad relations and conflict; or we evolve a vision of mutual
accommodation and friendly cooperation. This choice is unavoidable.
The case of the ultra-patriotic lobby in this country boils down to
Hindus, India's majority community, being quintessentially bad,
untrustworthy and fundamentally inimical, Pakistan cannot have good
relations with it. Why? because the Indian government, being largely
Hindu, would cheat and do Pakistan down.
This is nonsense. Hindus, like Muslims in Pakistan, are all sorts:
good, bad and indifferent. Among them are noble souls and have bad
eggs in plenty. But fundamentally, like Muslims in Pakistan, their
main interest lies in their livelihood, improvement in incomes and
the desire to exercise freedoms. There is no law of nature written on
gigantic rocks that Indians and Hindus will always remain inimical to
Muslims. Given half a chance, the myriad commonalties of culture,
language, religion, race and economic interests will push the two to
friendship and mutual cooperation. Since Pakistanis are not able to
remain uninvolved, they might as well opt for a longer-term policy of
making friends with India --- such India as there is, with its many
beauties and uglinesses. Don't we Pakistanis have warts?
One hastens to add that huge roadblocks have been created during the
last 55 years on the road to peace, friendship and cooperation. Three
are main ones: the first is the mindset one has described as
ultra-patriotic claiming to be an ideology. The second is the Kashmir
dispute with its painful history. But the third and perhaps the
biggest hurdle is the nuclearisation of the two countries. All three
are important and have to be removed.
Insofar as that mindset is concerned, it can be taken care of by
emphasising two basic considerations: the first problem facing
Pakistanis is their poverty, underdevelopment and absence of
effective freedoms. The ultimate purpose of public policy in Pakistan
should be to serve these interests of Pakistanis; their material and
economic interests come first, followed quickly by social, cultural
and political freedoms. Instead of dissipating resources on ill
thought out and quixotic military schemes, the country should go flat
out to ensure prosperity of Pakistanis amidst ever increasing
freedoms (human rights). Let's be sure of the aim. It requires
Pakistanis to live in peace and honour with all neighbours without
exception and not trying to take advantage of any other. We should
work for true people-to-people reconciliation with India first
because it is the closest and most important neighbour.
This policy cannot be limited to India alone. It has to be extended
to all neighbours: Iran, Afghanistan, Russia, China and other members
of SAARC. The vision is of friendly cooperation among all the
neighbours of Pakistan with the objective of promoting economic
development and prosperity for people at grassroots --- and not
limited to their social elites. Given the pitiless facts of emerging
America-dominated world order, all are willy nilly forced to adopt
regional integration, a la EU, as the medium-term objective. It means
anchoring India-Pakistan rapprochement in an ever intensifying SAARC,
which then moves outward, befriending others in Asia --- perhaps
creating an Asian architecture of peace, stability, human rights and
economic cooperation along the way.
A howl may arise here: what about Kashmir? Well, the Kashmir problem
has been pursued with a militaristic approach. As a result Pakistan
has fought four fruitless wars. This approach has hindered Pakistan's
economic progress. It has not allowed democracy to strike roots. And
the Kashmir problem remains as intractable as ever. It has boiled
down to a territorial dispute over the Valley between Pakistan and
India. India holds it in its iron grip and Pakistan wants to wrest
it. The plain fact of the matter is that militarily, there is no
solution of Kashmir; only more Kashmiris will go on dying, if
militaristic mind is not changed.
There is no way that Kashmir issue can be solved on present
assumptions and by current methods. If there has to be a change in
the basic status of the Valley, it will have to be by sustained
political means over a period. The politics of the Subcontinent will
need to be transformed. Whatever change in Kashmir has to come has to
be with India's consent. And Indians are not fools or simpletons.
They would want to get something valuable in return for Kashmir
concessions expected from them. Which is why a longer-term hope can
be entertained that a true grassroots level rapprochement between
Pakistan and India, with institutional arrangements for intensive
mutual cooperation can, over time, create a new political and social
ambience. India will hand over the Valley to Pakistan on a platter
10-20 or 30 years later is unrealistic. The direction to look for is
that Kashmir should become a bridge between India and Pakistan
without anyone trying to be clever by half. That perhaps may never
The issue however is not between Pakistan and India, as it concerns
even more the Kashmiris. If Kashmir is only a dispute between India
and Pakistan, it is insoluble. It is far more between the Indians and
Kashmiris. They should be left alone to sort out, while all others
should create conditions a regional milieu in which mutual regard
becomes the norm and friendly cooperation reigns. Only then can the
Indians and Kashmiris both increase their respective freedoms.
The third roadblock is the nuclear-tipped missiles in Pakistan aimed
at India and in India aimed at Pakistan. So long as these missiles
take about three minutes to reach their targets, there can be no
trust between these two countries because atomic weapons cause
unacceptable destruction and there is no defence against them. The
irresistibly growing mistrust generated by the two nukes aimed at
each other can belie all hopes. No Pakistani government can fully
trust a nuclear-armed India. Similarly no Indian government, of no
matter which party, will trust Pakistan so long as it can fire its
A modus operandi was sought by Vajpayee in an MOU in Feb 1999. It was
the same d=E9tente that had been nearly agreed upon between Indian and
Pakistani hawks under the American aegis in Shanghai. Well, given the
level of mistrust --- and let no one forget it is growing --- no
gentlemanly agreement of mutual restraint can work. The whole purpose
of each side's effort is to get the better of the other. Both states
are sure to remain engaged in it so long as they want to retain their
nuclear weapons. An arms race is built into two competitive
deterrents, no matter how many times the 'minimum' word is repeated.
The kind of confidence that was available to Soviets and the
Americans during their cold war is not available to India and
Pakistan; they are geographically too close to each other and far too
passionate on a number of matters to exercise restraint.
However idealistic and distant it may seem, the only basis for hope
is total denuclearisation of India and Pakistan. Superficially
everybody dislikes the nukes. Pakistanis beat their breasts and say
they will denuclearise tomorrow if the Indians do; the Indians say
that they would denuclearise if the Chinese do the same; the Chinese
say that they would do it immediately if the Americans were to
destroy their weapons and delivery vehicles. This is a vicious cycle.
These arguments actually hide the love of nukes as the currency of
power that confers material benefits to the hawks and their
The Indians are using a morally valid argument for a basically
immoral purpose of remaining a fair-sized nuclear power when they
talk of universal denuclearisation. The Chinese are a convenient
excuse. Everyone knows that there is no real likelihood of China
invading India and getting the better of it. India does not need
nukes either to cope with China or Pakistan. One's assessment is that
there is real agreement among the social and political elites of both
countries to preserve bad relations; these create opportunities for
continuous expansion in the military budgets that benefit elite
groups in both countries. So long as interests of these groups
prevail, the future of the people of India and Pakistan is sealed.
Progress for South Asia is crucially dependent on voluntary and
separate denuclearisation of South Asia by India and Pakistan.
The Indian Express, May 21, 2003
The Peace Challenge
The Independent (Dhaka) 19th May, 2003
Indo-Bangla women's meet
Pluralism, tolerance must be upheld
South Asia's rich tradition of pluralism and tolerance must be upheld
in total refusal of growing communalisation of politics which
inculcates hatred for the "other."
The governments of Bangladesh and India must find rational solutions
based on international human rights standards to the cross border
movements of people rather than resorting to "witch-hunts" and forced
"push-back" and "push-in", a press briefing of the Women=EDs Initiative
for Peace in South Asia (WIPSA)=DDwas told yesterday in the city.
The briefing also emphasised that both governments must resolve the
conundrum of why movement of capital is unfettered and labour is
The press briefing styled "Journey of Peace: Kolkata to Dhaka" was
held in the National Press Club auditorium to mark the departing hour
of 34 women peace agents of India who in Bangladesh on May 14 by bus.
The 34 women came from different parts of India=F3from Kashmir to Tamil
Nadu. Among them were journalists, artists, film-makers, writers,
academics, peace and human rights activists, women's rights activists
and students. The journey was organised under the auspices of WIPSA.
Presided over by journalist Nasimun Ara Minu, the press briefing was
addressed by Indian human rights activists Kamla Bhasin, Sayeeda
Hamid and Mohini Giri, historian and former Parliamentarian Bharati
Roy, poet Mallika Sengupta, Bangladeshi Legal and Human Rights
activist Advocate Sigma Huda, Advocate Sultana Kamal and others.
Mohini Giri, said, "We can form a union of consensus in South Asia
with common cultural heritage. War should be waged collectively
against trafficking and migration of women and children and crisis of
livelihood of people of broader South Asia."
Sayeeda Hamida read out a written statement on behalf of her Indian
sisters to the press.
About the background of the formation of WIPSA, Sayeeda Hamida said
the mission was to articulate women's common understanding and
aspirations in Bangladesh and India for peace and security in the
region. This mission was preceded in March 2000 by a Women=EDs Peace
Bus from Delhi to Lahore right after the Kargil war. Two Women's
Peace Buses returned with Pakistani women from Lahore to Delhi in
April 2000, she said.
In accordance with WIPSA's philosophy, the mission was self-funded.
Indian women travelled at their own expenses and were hosted by
Bangladeshi women who pooled their hospitality and opened their homes
to the visitors.
While in Bangladesh, the Indian women interacted with grassroots
level women members of Doorbar, a network of 450 organizations from
64 districts. In smaller groups, they visited NGOs working with
grassroots level women and men, such as Gono Shastha Kendra, Nijera
Kori, BRAC, Proshika, Humger Project and Research Initiatives
Bangladesh (RIB). They met several government ministers and
officials, and leaders of Bangladesh Awami League.
Several funcions were arranged for their meetings with artists and
writers. A special art exhibition PEACE SONG with paintings of 28
women artists of Bangladesh was held. Sammilito Nari Samaj arranged a
photographic exhibition displaying women in struggle since the
beginning of the Language Movement in 1952.
The WIPSA members visited the Smiriti Shoudho at Savar and paid their
respects to the martyrs of the War of Liberation. They met trade
unionists and women workers by courtesy of Karmajibi Nari. An evening
of music and dance was arranged at the Mahila Samiti. A lively
discussion meeting with students and teachers at Dhaka University was
hosted by the Centers for Peace and Conflict and Women=EDs Studies.
They also attended programs arranged by Bangladesh Mohila Parishad,
Bangladesh Women Lawyers Association, Narigrantha Prabartana and Nari
Pakhkho and visited the Museum of the Liberation War.
"We are opposed to war in the region or in any part of the world. We
condemn the indiscriminate bombing of Afghanistan and Iraq as well as
the continuing aggression in Palestine. We want a nuclear free South
Asia and a nuclear free world for the future generations and
ourselves. We demand an immediate end to production of weapons of
mass destruction by all countries," said the Indian and Bangladeshi
women=EDs rights activists in shared unity.
Poet Mallika Sengupta recited one of her poems asserting holistic
faith in marvel lyric, " We women from Kashmir to Kanya Kumarika
rejoicing pluralism in Quran and Gita, In Karl Marx and Kate Millet,
In tradition and protest."
=46inally, all raised their voices in slogan, "We don't want walls of
hatred/ We want open skies of friendship."
The Hindustan Times, May 21, 2003
On the hunger trail
The Chambal area of Madhya Pradesh is not exactly a land of milk and
honey. Here and there one finds islands of irrigated land, owned
mainly by Thakurs, Sikhs, Jats and other powerful communities.
Elsewhere there are only vast stretches of rocky land, degraded
forest and desiccated ravines. Marooned in this inhospitable terrain
are hundreds of thousands of Sahariyas, who eke out a living from
survival activities like selling wood, making baskets and seasonal
migration. My stomach churns every time I think about their living
conditions in the hamlets surrounding Chharch, a remote settlement of
about 500 houses tucked away in a desolate valley of Shivpuri
Travelling from Gwalior to Shivpuri and then on to Pohri and finally
Chharch is like descending deeper and deeper into a dark well of
poverty and hunger. Between Shivpuri and Pohri, one goes through a
stretch of 35 kilometres of parched land, with no sign of any
economic activity. One wonders how people there make a living. At the
block headquarters in Pohri, there were plenty of signs of the
devastating effects of drought: falling wages, rampant unemployment,
dry wells, dead cattle, a crippling recession in the local bazaar.
The situation gets even worse as one proceeds from Pohri to Chharch,
near the Rajasthan border. According to local BJP activists, 52
'starvation deaths' occurred in this area in recent months. Their
account of the facts is not exactly objective, and the precise nature
of these deaths is far from clear. What is not in doubt, however, is
that people in this area suffer from horrendous levels of hunger and
undernutrition, and that many recent deaths are (in one way or
another) hunger-related. The real issue is not just a few deaths, but
the appalling living conditions in the whole area.
Travelling from hamlet to hamlet around Chharch, one is exposed to
chilling scenes of undernutrition and disease. The plight of children
is particularly heart-rending. Most of them are severely
malnourished. Some look like textbook cases of starvation, with their
naked bodies, distended bellies and blistered skins. Many have nasty
deformities or illnesses - swollen chests, hunchbacks, squints,
scabies, to name a few. Adults, especially women, fare little better.
Yet, health facilities are virtually invisible in the area. The
nearest health facility worth the name is in Pohri, a long and
This year, chronic poverty and hunger in the area have been fatally
aggravated by the worst drought in living memory. Crops have
completely withered, and other traditional sources of livelihood,
such as the collection of mahua and tendu, have also been
obliterated. There is virtually no employment in the area, and
migrating is like a game of Russian roulette, since work may or may
not be available in the destination area.
My journey ended in Jigni, a Sahariya village. Most people here
survive from whatever little relief employment happens to come their
way. There are wild berries around, but an overdose of these berries
appears to cause stomach aches, and in any case they were not
expected to last for long. Some residents calmly stated that they had
not eaten for days.
Ishwar Dei invited me to see her house. Her husband is ill and she
looks after four children. She did not look like the poorest person
in the village by any means, yet her tiny hut was bare of any
possessions or provisions. There was a large storage bin in the
corner and when I looked at it, she guessed my thoughts and said that
it was empty. She opened it without hesitation and told me to have a
look. The inside of the bin was pitch dark. She offered to bring a
match, but by that time it was clear that no formalities were needed,
so I simply stretched my arm into the bin. I shuddered as my hand
went through thick cobwebs. The hearth was cold and there was nothing
to eat in the house except for a bunch of berries tied in a dirty
There was no point checking the food situation in other houses. It
was clear enough that Ishwar Dei's predicament was nothing unusual in
Some children insisted on taking me to Nathu's house, saying that he
really needed help. I followed them with a heavy heart, wondering if
there was any end to this deepening misery. Nathu's dwelling was a
chamber of horrors. His wife is one of the victims of the recent
'starvation deaths', and Nathu himself is a living corpse. He was
lying prostrate on a charpai, immobilised by some sort of spinal
injury. Three young children, listless with hunger and disease (one
had a hunchback as well as a swollen chest), were hanging around with
nothing to do. I was at a loss to understand how these people were
alive at all, until someone told me that Nathu had an 'Annapurna
card'. This entitles him to 10 kg of grain per month for free -
that's about 300 grams per day to be shared between four persons.
The preceding paragraphs were written last December, after a brief
visit to Shivpuri. I returned there last month, and travelled widely
not only through Shivpuri but also through the neighbouring districts
of Sheopur, Morena and Gwalior. I went with the faint hope of finding
that the situation had improved, with the expansion of relief works.
Instead, I was shocked to discover not only that the situation around
Chharch remained much the same, but also that Sahariya communities
throughout this entire region live in the same condition of permanent
semi-starvation as the families I had met earlier.
Back in Jigni, I met Nathu again. I was happy to find him alive, but
dismayed to hear that his Annapurna card was now useless as the
scheme had been discontinued. With the new BPL survey scheduled for
the middle of May, many more households are in danger of being
quietly dropped from the public distribution system. Mid-day meals
have also been discontinued with the closure of schools for the
Meanwhile, the summer heat has started descending like a heavy lid on
the Sahariyas, threatening to snuff out whatever survival
opportunities are still open to them. For instance, in the Pahargarh
area of Morena district, many Sahariyas survive by collecting and
selling a sort of medicinal root known as sitavar. But this may not
last much longer, as the rising temperature makes it harder to
extract the roots from the hardened soil, and also to walk long
distances without water (Pahargarh is like a desert, dry as a toast
and with no shade for miles on end). In many villages, people cling
to the faint hope of being employed on relief works. But relief works
are few and far between, and wage payments are often delayed for
weeks if not months.
If anything, the struggle for survival is likely to get even harder
during the rainy season. Even in normal years, this is the 'hungry
season' for the Sahariyas, when earning opportunities come to a
standstill and they are forced to eat grass, roots and other wild
foods. This year, they are exhausted and impoverished from the very
beginning of this phase of hard times. Growing the kharif crop will
call for further sacrifices, as there is no money for seeds and most
draught animals have perished of hunger and thirst during the summer
Unless relief works are radically expanded, starvation deaths are
bound to return very soon.
(The writer is Professor, Delhi University)
The Hindu, May 21, 2003
Politics and the rule of law
By Ajay K. Mehra
The trishul, talwar and lathi have unfortunately emerged as bizarre
symbols in Indian politics and queer tools of ethnic mobilisation in
an atmosphere of highly competitive party politics.
The Hindu, May 21, 2003
The madrassas in India
By Mushirul Hasan
Indian Express, May 20, 2003
Turning hostile: The story of Zahira
Is it so easy to forget what happened in Gujarat?
The Daily Telegraph (UK) May 19, 2003)
Hardline Hindus play cow card in elections
By Rahul Bedi in New Delhi
The Indian Express, May 19, 2003
The VHP is back in training
Mumbai, May 18: This all-girls' summer camp at Juhu is, well,
different. The afternoon sun catches the glint on the swords. The air
whooshes as three girls bring their lathis down. In a formation, a
batch of 20 stands to attention-each holding up a wicked-looking
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad is teaching them how to defend their
religious and social rights.
It's got great attendance. There are 71 girls and women between the
ages of 15 and 35. One 18-year-old has travelled all the way from
Goa-alone. A camp for boys is being run by the Bajrang Dal at
Last year's controversy over a suicide camp run by a retired Colonel
in Ambernath (65 km from Mumbai) and the subsequent training camps is
not even a blip on this camp's radar.
Asked how the VHP and Bajrang Dal had swept last year's controversy
over such camps so smoothly under the carpet, VHP Mumbai president
Ramesh Mehta pauses for thought. There are no political connotations,
he explains: "We are only training the youth to be brave and better
individuals, there is nothing wrong..."
The Vidyanidhi High School at Juhu Scheme is on vacation. Within the
premises the Durgavahini Camp, named after the VHP's women's wing, is
in full swing.
=46or Baby Gopal Naik, a Class XII student from Goa, this is the first
time. ''I learnt about this camp from a friend and after undergoing
it, I realised my own potential. I've come alone by train from Goa,
something I could never do before.'' Quite a few of the participants
come over and over again.
Like Manisha Pilankar, an electronics engineer from Sindhudurg: ''I
attended this camp three years ago and am now teaching the use of
swords to others. The camp has made me brave and confident and I can
today train around 200 girls at a time.''
The same goes for Pallavi Joshi, a college student from Raigad: ''I
attended the camp a year ago and it has made me so confident that I
even won an all-India elocution contest. Earlier, I used to be an
introvert and scared of facing people. Today, I can defend myself and
Kishoritai Kolekar, a coordinator, has been training girls in these
camps for the last five years. When asked why the use of weapons has
not been excluded after the uproar a year ago, she said: "There has
been no opposition to this camp from any quarter and the girls have
been selected from various districts from those with a genuine urge
to be trained. Besides, the weapons used, like 'khadga' (swords),
'churika' (daggers) and 'dand' (lathis) are only for self-defence,
not for attack.''
The swords and daggers are not sharp and are mere dummies, she
admitted, adding that they are used only to prepare the girls to
Pallavi Balekar, a commerce graduate from Thane, and an expert in
wielding a dand, gives her testimony: 'The camp has made me extremely
brave and confident. I have no problems interacting with people now
and I am confident of defending myself.''
The University of Chicago
1130 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
"Somanatha: The Many Voices of History."
Lecture by Romila Thapar
(Professor Emeritus of History, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.)
Date: May 29 2003
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Venue: Foster Hall
Policy Institute for Religion and State (PIFRAS)
110 Maryland Ave, NE Suite 510
Wshington DC 20002
202 547 4700
May 19, 2003
The Institute for the Study of Indo-Pakistan Relations (INPAREL) at
the University of Leicester, UK and the Center for South Asian
Studies at Kings College, London are jointly holding a conference on
the "Position of Religious Minorities in India" on May 27th 2003 at 3
PM at King's college, London, UK.
John Prabhudoss, the Executive Director of the Policy Institute for
Religion and State from Washington DC, will be speaking from a
On January 13, 1993 Dr. Murali Manohar Joshi, the Education Minister
of India went on the record saying that the 'Hindu rashtra (Nation)
need not be a formal structure. It is the basic culture of this
country. It is considered that all Indian Muslims are Mohammadiya
Hindus; all Indian Christians are Christi Hindus. They are Hindus who
have adopted Christianity and Islam as their religion' he said. Dr.
Joshi, a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, was also the
President of the BJP party which is curerently the major partner in
the ruling coalition.
=46ebruary of 2002, witnessed a state sponsored genocide of minority
religious people in the state of Gujarat, India. In recent months two
states in India have banned people from converting to another faith,
while various religious and caste minorities feel that their position
is increasingly threatened.
The conference will discuss and debate the issues of religious
minorities and their position in India.
Other speakers include: Justice H. Suresh and Prof. PG Jogdand.
Contact person: Professor Richard Bonney, Director, Institute for the
Study of Indo-Pakistan Relations (INPAREL), University of Leicester,
More information at:
(A film by Aradhana Seth with Arundhati Roy)
Date and: Tuesday, May 27, 2003, 7:00 pm
Venue: UCLA Royce Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095
A conversation with Arundhati Roy
Q&A session with the audience
Ms. Roy will also sign her new book "War Talk"
Produced and directed by Aradhana Seth, "DAM/AGE" chronicles the bold
campaign against the Narmada dam project in northern India and the
contempt of court case that led to a prolonged case against Roy and
eventually a one-day jail sentence in spring of 2002. In a clear and
accessible manner,=DD the film weaves together a number of issues that
lie at the heart of politics today-from the consequences of
development and globalization to the ever more urgent need for state
accountability and the freedom of
Born in India and trained as an architect, Arundhati Roy was awarded
the coveted Booker Prize in 1997 for her first novel, "The God of
Small Things," which has been translated into more than 30 languages.
Roy is also the author of three collections of essays-"War Talk"
(2003), "Power Politics" (2001), and "The Cost of Living" (1999), as
well as numerous articles.
Aradhana Seth is a documentary filmmaker and a production designer. She has
worked extensively in her native India as well as in Europe, the
United Kingdom, and the United States. Her credits include 16
documentary films-made for broadcast in India, Europe, the United
Kingdom and the United States-and a combination of audio-visuals,
live news coverage, radio features and photographs.
Admission is Free: seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Advance tickets are recommended and may be obtained in person at the
UCLA Central Ticket Office windows located on campus at the James E.
West Alumni Center, or by calling (310) 825-2101. Parking is $7 and
is available in Lot 4 (enter the campus at Sunset and Westwood). The
public may call (310) 825-3951 for further information.
Sponsored By: UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures; UCLA School
of the Arts and Architecture; UCLA International Institute; and the
Amnesty International Film Festival
We write to share with you the exciting news of the inauguration of
DAWN's new Training Institute, which will be held this year from
September 14 - October 3 2003, in Bangalore, India.
The training is aimed at up-skilling young feminist activists with a
background in one of our theme areas and a strong interest in global
advocacy work. Its objectives are to build feminist capacity in
understanding linkages between different issues and advocacy
agendas/arenas/actors; to strengthen feminist advocacy work at the
global level; and to deepen feminist analysis of issues in the four
theme areas. We hope that the training will contribute to creating
a new generation of feminist activists, prepared for the difficult
challenges entailed in working for gender justice in the present
global political and economic context.
We would be grateful if you would forward the attached information on
the programme and the Application Form to potential applicants within
your organisation and also disseminate it more broadly through your
DAWN is seeking sponsorship for 20 of the 30 planned participants in
the programme. We would welcome applicants from your network.
Selection of participants will be made by a Committee of three.
Please note that applications close on June 14.
Thank you for your interest and support.
In solidarity and sisterhood,
Application Forms are also available from the DAWN web-site at www.dawn.org.=
NB: Applications close on June 14 2003. By that date, all
applicants should have submitted by email to email@example.com an
electronic copy of the following documents :
=B7 A completed Application Form;
=B7 A Letter of Recommendation from (and the full address,
including email, details of ) someone familiar with the applicant's
work and commitment, and qualified to comment on the applicant's
ability, suitability and readiness for this kind of training, and to
make a recommendation to DAWN;
=B7 A Curriculum Vitae
=B7 Proof of having a first degree or of completion of at least
two years of University courses towards a Bachelor's degree;
=B7 A Personal Statement providing information on the applicant's
background, her knowledge, work and/or interest in at least one of
theme areas, her reasons for wanting to undertake the training, some
discussion of the issues that she is currently working on (including
discussion of any difficulties in working on these issues that arise
from knowledge/skill limitations), and her familiarity or otherwise
with where these issues are being addressed at the global level. She
should state what she thinks she would contribute/bring to the
training programme, and how she would use the knowledge and skills
gained through the training. This statement should not exceed 800
If there is a difficulty in sending these documents electronically,
applicants may post their applications and accompanying documents to:
DAWN Training Institute Coordinator
Tel/fax: (679) 3314770
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: www.dawn.org.fj
The May / June issue of the-south-asian has been published
India Pakistan Arms Race and Militarisation Watch (IPARMW) # 119
19 May 2003
Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society,
environment and development
C/o Moving Images, 310 Qutab View Appartments, Jain Mandir Dada Bari
Road, Mehrauli, New Dellhi 110 030, India
Tel: +91 11 26524940/26601751
R. Uma Shaanker
Renee M. Borges
Kanak Mani Dixit
K. Ullas Karanth
May 10, 2003
We write to you regarding a new journal published by Sage
Publications. We are also writing to you to urge you to subscribe to
the journal, as well as /or to convince the librarian at your
institution to subscribe. Since institutions are likely to adopt a
wait and watch approach before subscribing, we hope many of you will
subscribe individually, at least for the initial year or two before
institutions kick in with their subscriptions.
Conservation and Society was launched in April of 2003, after what
can only be termed a lengthy gestation period! A number of
individuals have felt the need to start a journal that cuts across
the natural-social science disciplinary divide, as well as provide
space for writings by activists, academics and policy makers on
emerging issues in natural resource management. It has taken us well
over two years to iron out procedural difficulties associated with
launching this journal. Now that we have the first issue out, we
feel the effort has been well worth it.
Conservation and Society is committed to interdisciplinary research
of the highest quality, focusing specifically on the issues of
natural resource conservation, particularly as mediated by the
conflicts and tensions that accompany societal claims on these
resources. As can be seen from the editorial board, we have
consciously chosen to work with both biologists and social scientists
in the hope that we can initiate real discussions across the current
disciplinary divides we are all familiar with.
While our editorial team has a definite slant towards south-Asia
(India really), we are hoping to have a more diverse board in time.
We are committed, however, to publishing articles from across the
world, and on any part of the world. Our only condition in accepting
articles for review is that they fit our mandate of publishing
articles on conservation with a demonstrable link to society.
We hope that over time this will become a vibrant space for dialogue
and discussion around a rich variety of issues on the environment.
The quality of this discussion will depend entirely on what we
receive from people such as yourselves; its financial survival will
depend on whether or not we can raise sufficient subscriptions over
the next year or two. We need to have nine hundred subscriptions
before we break even. Until that happens, we will need to find some
way to subsidize the considerable printing and editing costs. We do
hope many of you will contribute to the journal both intellectually
and through annual subscriptions.
Within the next few days we will uplink article abstracts as well as
the table of contents of the first issue to our website.. Should you
get a chance to look these over, we would greatly appreciate your
We look forward to hearing from you over the coming months.
Kamal Bawa Vasant Saberwal
Chief Editor Executive Editor
SACW is an informal, independent & non-profit citizens wire service run by
South Asia Citizens Web (www.mnet.fr/aiindex).
The complete SACW archive is available at: http://sacw.insaf.net
DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed in materials carried in the posts do not
necessarily reflect the views of SACW compilers.