SACW | 23 May 03
Fri, 23 May 2003 04:39:12 +0100
South Asia Citizens Wire | 23 May, 2003
INTERRUPTION NOTICE: Please note there will be no SACW dispatches
for the period 24-30 May 2003.
#1. Pakistan: Terror in Okara (Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy)
#2. A Zionist recipe for India (Praful Bidwai)
#3. India / Pakistan: We'd like Sherry, please (Rajdeep Sardesai)
#4. India: Derailing The Naga Peace Process (Bharat Bhushan)
#5. Pakistan-India People's Forum for Peace and Democracy (India
Chapter) [Calcutta, June 14-15]
#6. International Conference on South Asia Literatures and Languages
- SALILA (Moscow, 5-9 july)
#7. IMC-USA alarmed at birthday celebrations for Gandhi's assassin
#8. [India's Milosevic] FT interview with Narendra Modi (Edward Luce)
#9. Women Peace Makers Program (San Diego, California from Sept. 29 -
Dec 5, 2003)
#10. Book Announcement: Of Cricket, Guinness, and Gandhi: Essays on
and Culture (Vinay Lal)
#11. Great Expectations In Kashmir (Down To Earth Magazine)
DAWN, May 22, 2003
Terror in Okara
By Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy
On May 11, 2003, Amer Ali, a 60-year old peasant of Chak 4-L of Okara
district made his last good-neighbourly visit to the adjoining
village, Chak 5-L. As the old man hobbled out of his hosts' house to
see what was going on, he was cut down by a hail of bullets.
Amir Ali was the seventh to have died in recent months in the bitter
struggle between the peasants of Okara and the Rangers, now into its
third year. Coincidentally, just hours earlier, a group of
journalists from the Urdu press and concerned citizens, including
myself, had set out from Islamabad on a fact-finding mission.
As I stood by the blood-spattered earth next to a wall pock-marked
with bullets, grim-faced villagers indicated to me the field from
where they said the Rangers had ceaselessly machine-gunned the
village for over an hour.
A tour around Chak 5-L followed. It is a fairly typical village with
visible signs of poverty - mud covered huts, open drains, bare-footed
children, and scrawny chickens. Branches of trees felled in the
shooting lay all around. Many houses, as well as the village mosque,
had bricks broken or chipped by the impact of heavy bullets. They are
there for the next visitors to village 5-L to see - but only if they
can successfully navigate through the siege imposed on the 70 odd
villages in the area.
Roadblocks are everywhere, manned by soldiers with automatic weapons
as well the lighter-armed police. Four-wheelers with mounted machine
guns prowl menacingly on the dirt roads next to the irrigation
canals, raising huge clouds of dust as they move between villages.
For all practical purposes, the nearly one million people of Okara
are under military occupation.
Why are they doing this? I asked one villager from the crowd that was
now swarming around me. "They want to put us on contract to make us
pay rent to them, take away our rights to the land, and then throw us
out", he replied, "but this land is ours because our forefathers have
tilled it and we have nowhere else to go."
And then, as if the floodgates had broken, villagers came to show us
wounds on their bodies, some now turning septic. One, who led me
aside, broke down sobbing and told a tale that cannot be related here
for reasons of propriety. A visit to the neighbouring village, Chak
4-L, showed the situation there to be virtually identical. Broken
limbs, hollow faces, sunken eyes, and marks of beatings were in
abundant evidence there too.
Appalled by what we had seen, we felt it absolutely necessary to see
the point of view of those in authority and therefore drove to the
Okara Rangers headquarters, at whose entrance we were stopped by
heavily armed guards. After some hesitation they conveyed by
telephone our request to meet Colonel Saleem, the head of the Rangers
Permission was eventually granted and we drove into the huge complex,
spread over many acres, containing residences and offices. The
beautifully manicured lawns and flower-beds, gravelled paths, and
ornate structures from colonial times stood in stark contrast with
the brick and mud hovels we had just left behind.
We were received by all who matter in the Okara administration. Apart
from Colonel Saleem, we met Major Tahir Malik who looks after the
military aspects and is greatly feared by the villagers, the senior
superintendent of police, and the district commissioner. Each had a
closely similar point of view to the other. They spoke good English,
the meeting was civil and polite, and we were offered tea and
sandwiches. But there was to be no meeting of minds.
In response to my question of who killed Amir Ali, the administration
officials said that he had been caught in the crossfire between
Sindhis and Machis, two groups at loggerheads over some local
dispute. However, my offer to transport Amir Ali's decaying corpse,
which at the moment was lying in his relatives house in Chak 5-L, to
Islamabad for a post-mortem was summarily dismissed.
And where did the torture marks on the bodies of so many villagers
come from, of which we now have photographic proof? The answer given
was that these had been self-inflicted with the intent of defaming
the authorities, or else they were wounds inflicted by one group on
Finding the answers to be less than satisfactory, we sought
permission to return to Chak 5-L. After some hesitation this was
granted. Negotiating through the roadblocks required further delays,
as each confirmed by radio whether we were indeed permitted to visit
In my conversations with the soldiers manning the positions, I
learned that they too were disturbed about what they were being asked
to do to the Okara villagers but had no real choice. On eventually
reaching the village, we conveyed to the villagers what the
authorities claimed as the cause of Amir Ali's death. They laughed
bitterly and said that there were no Sindhis or Machis in Chak 5-L,
much less a fight between them.
The siege of Okara is a blot on Pakistan's collective conscience and
must be lifted immediately and unconditionally. Further, the
incidents of torture and beatings that have occurred there over the
last three years should be immediately investigated at the highest
level and the guilty punished.
We cannot plausibly demand that India end the military occupation of
Kashmir while employing similar brutal means and tactics at home.
Pakistan cannot bear the shock of nearly a million of its own people
being dispossessed of the lands they have tilled for over a century.
Peasants have no political agenda - land is about livelihood and
physical survival. To evict them would be cruel and unjust, and
certainly was not what Pakistan was made for. President Musharraf
must move quickly to see that this outrage is no more.
The writer teaches physics at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad.
The News International, May 22, 2003
A Zionist recipe for India
If the Vajpayee government wanted to court intense domestic
unpopularity on a foreign policy issue, it could not have tried
harder than it did by proposing a "core" alliance to fight
"international terrorism", centred on India, Israel and the United
States. It has followed this extraordinarily ill-advised move with an
invitation to Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon to visit India in
the second week of June.
On May 8, India's National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra addressed
the 97th annual dinner meeting of the American Jewish Committee (AJC)
in Washington. Present were several US Congressmen-and Spanish prime
minister Aznar, who closely competes with Tony Blair in demonstrating
a servile form of loyalty to Bush.
Mishra spoke in "admiration" of the Zionist AJC's "pioneering work"
and in "celebration" of the "the alliance of free societies involved
in combating this scourge [terrorism]. The US, India and Israel ...
face the same ugly face of modern-day terrorism." He said: "A core,
consisting of democratic societies", must emerge, "which can take on
international terrorism in a holistic and focused manner ... [to]
ensure that the global campaign against terrorism is pursued to its
logical conclusion, and does not run out of steam, because of other
The US-Israel-India "triad" would form the core of such a
"democratic" alliance, which would have "the political will and moral
authority to take bold decisions ... and would not get bogged down in
definitional and casual arguments." Mishra underscored the close and
growing relations between the three states, which have some
"fundamental similarities": "We are all democracies, sharing ...
pluralism, tolerance and equal opportunity. Stronger India-US
relations and India-Israel relations have a natural logic." This
expands on Vajpayee's description of India and the US as "natural
Mishra attacked what he called "diversionary arguments", in
particular the "motivatedly propagated" fallacy "that terrorism can
only be eradicated by addressing its 'root causes'. This is
nonsense." This articulates the Israeli government's well-known
approach, which disconnects "terrorism" from the occupation of
Palestinian territory, and uses purely military means.
Mishra's AJC speech comes on top of growing Indo-Israel
political-military contacts since the two established full-scale
diplomatic relations in 1992, and especially under Bharatiya Janata
Party rule in the late 1990s. In 1999, Mishra visited Israel and met
Ehud Barak. Next year, home minister LK Advani and foreign minister
Jaswant Singh visited Israel. Israel and India have since
"cooperated" in intelligence-sharing and "counter-insurgency"
India has become a major buyer of Israeli armaments. It has been
trying to purchase the "Arrow" anti-missile system in whose
development SY Coleman, a firm headed by Lt Gen Jay Garner (yes, of
Iraq fame!), was critically involved.
The pro-BJP non-resident Indian lobby in the US works closely with
the AJC-the single most powerful advocacy group in America, with
connections in the Pentagon, the defence industry, Capitol Hill and
the State Department. It helped the NRIs build the Congressional
India Caucus, with as many as 160 members-"perhaps the largest
single-country" group in the House. This link, more than the arms
deals, explains the ardour with which the Vajpayee government is
embracing Likud-ruled Israel.
In some respects, the "triad" proposal marks a qualitative jump over
the past. It could not have come at a worse time so far as Indian
public opinion goes. This is strongly opposed to Israel's occupation
and brutal repression of Palestinians. Indians are not anti-Semitic,
but they are critical of Israel and support the cause of Palestinian
statehood. For them, Yasser Arafat of the pre-Oslo Accords period was
something of a hero.
The Indian public is appalled at the "triad" proposal's timing, which
coincides with the launching of a major US offensive in West Asia.
Globally, Israel today is more isolated than ever before. It is
doubtful if any European Union member would want to invite Sharon
after his rejection even of the "Road Map" to a settlement of the
Palestine-Israel conflict, first proposed by Bush last June.
This document, since revised and published by the state department,
is remarkably partial to Israel and imposes harsh obligations upon
the Palestinians, including an "immediate and unconditional ceasefire
to end ... all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere." But in
the first phase, it only asks Israel to dismantle settlement outposts
erected since March 2001 and freeze settlement activity. Israel's
opposition has impelled even PA moderates such as Saeb Erekat to
The "Road Map" follows the collapse of the Oslo Accords thanks to
Israeli intransigence and the Palestinian people's resistance-despite
the Arafat leadership's willingness to implement them. But like Oslo,
the "Road Map" envisages "a final settlement" which will give nominal
statehood to Palestine, but subordinate it politically, economically
and militarily to Israel through a Bantustan-type solution.
Israel would control "security" (ie militarily dominate occupied
territories and all entry and exit points), water, and movement of
people. Palestine won't have an independent army, nor even contiguous
territory. Israel won't have to own up its horrific culpability for
the pillage of Palestinian land and property, nor for the post-1967
This solution mocks at any notion of a just and honourable peace. To
force it through, the US must "discipline" Syria and Iran (now that
Iraq has fallen), and divide and coerce the PA's leadership. It is
already moving in that direction by threatening Syria and foisting
Mahmoud Abbas (alias Abu Mazen) on the PA to counter Arafat. Sharon
has not only met Abu Mazen, he has decided to spurn leaders who do
business with Arafat.
Most Indian political parties will strongly oppose inviting Sharon.
The Congress has condemned the "triad" proposal as "strange and
perverse", and as arising from the BJP's "obsession" with Israel: "It
shows [the BJP's] intellectual insolvency ..." It has also stressed
India's commitment to the Palestinian cause and recalled Non-Aligned
Movement resolutions. The Samajwadi Party's Amar Singh says: "Mishra
should have refrained from making such blatant statements which go
against the proclaimed policy of NAM." And the Communists have
accused the government of having "completely sold themselves out to
the US. It is overturning our foreign policy. It is very dangerous."
The sangh parivar indeed has an acute Israel obsession. It is
fascinated by the highly militarised nature of Israeli society and by
its state's willingness to use massive force against the Palestinian
people whom it sees as terrorism-prone and sub-human, pure and
simple. This parallels what the parivar would like to do to India's
Establishing full relations with Israel was always a distinctive part
of the Jana Sangh-BJP's agenda. Indeed, when RSS chief Balasaheb
Deoras was asked in late 1991, ie after India's turn towards
neoliberalism, what is the one thing he wanted from the
soft-on-the-BJP Narasimha Rao government, he unhesitatingly said:
full diplomatic relations with Israel.
The BJP's fascination with Zionism is rooted in Islamophobia (and
anti-Arabism), and hyper-nationalism. Its ideology is Sharon's
machismo and ferocious jingoism. It sees Hindus and Jews (plus
Christians) as forming a "strategic alliance" against Islam and
Finally, the intellectually bankrupt "clash of civilisations" theory,
invented by Samuel Huntington as an apology for continued US global
domination after the Cold War, has found a political taker-much to
the Indian public's misfortune.
Mid Day, May 22, 2003
We'd like Sherry, please
By: Rajdeep Sardesai
A few days ago, when a delegation of Pakistan MPs was in the country,
I invited Sherry Rehman to the Big Fight debate show on our channel.
Sherry is not just among the most glamorous persons you could hope to
meet, but also among the most sensible.
A brilliant Karachi-based editor, she has often taken on the
Pakistani establishment, and easily won a seat in the last elections.
She has been critical of the army, and equally critical of the
politicians who have ravaged Pakistan.
Quite apart from the obvious "glamour" factor, I thought Sherry would
help break a few stereotypes: a globalised Pakistan woman, liberal in
outlook, who has cut through the purdah to make a name for herself.
As it turned out, Sherry agreed to join us on the programme, only
for the Indian organisers of the visit to spike it. The organisers,
the Pakistan-India Forum for Peace and Democracy, felt that her
presence in a live debate would not be appropriate.
"She will be forced to take a hardline Pakistani position in any
debate which becomes an Indo-Pak confrontation. If you want to
interview her, we have no problem, but we don't want her facing a
live Indian audience," was the plea of the organisers.
Now, one has the highest respect for the peace activists. It takes
courage and commitment to try and resist state power and organise
events like the visit of the Pakistani MPs, the first of its kind
We've also witnessed the shameful manner in which BJP MPs refused to
meet with the Pakistani delegation. To that extent, my sympathies
were almost entirely with the organisers.
And yet, the response of the peace groups also reveals the
limitations of their project.
From candlelight vigils at Wagah to strumming guitars and singing Bob
Dylan numbers in Lodi Garden to holding Indo-Pak seminars in
Kathmandu, the peace groups have tended to live in their own little
Indeed, while their efforts have been well-meaning, the fact is that
they haven't been able to widen the constituency for peace.
The reason for this is simple: the peace activists are unable to look
beyond their own tribe.
Attend any Indo-Pak seminar or function, and there is a fair chance
that you will see the same faces: Inder Kumar Gujral holding forth on
his days as a student in Lahore, or a Kuldip Nayar sermonising on
his love for Pakistan.
While the Gujral-Nayar tribe have their heart in the right place, the
fact is that the romantic illusions spun around the concept of an
India and Pakistan at peace are blind to certain ground realities.
There is another sub-continental truth that goes beyond a history of
a shared culture.
There is the grim reality of troops at the border in an eye-to-eye
confrontation, of terror squads that target innocent civilians, and
of religious fanatics in both countries who spread hatred.
These forces can only be fought by encouraging more people to
understand the Indo-Pak question, not merely through the bloody prism
of a proxy war, but also from the enormous benefits that would
accrue from a durable peace.
Which is why it is vital to debate the Indo-Pak question in the
widest available forum, not just in a seminar.
If Sherry enters a debate with a live audience and presents a
Pakistani perspective, she is hardly jeopardising the cause of
peace. Instead, if she presents her case as coherently as possible,
it can only enhance the average Indian citizen's understanding of
So what if she ends up making a strong case for Kashmiri independence
on Indian TV? Are we so weak a country that we would feel insecure
every time we debate the issue?
In this context, I recall the efforts made by a Karachi-based friend
of mine, Anwar Abbass. After living in India for years, Anwarsaab
emigrated to Pakistan some two decades ago.
While he stayed on, his heart remained in India. On becoming the
administrator of the Habib Public School, Karachi's largest
education institute, Abbass decided to live out his dream of an
Indo-Pak partnership. He started with his students.
For the last few years, despite the hurdles, he has organised
reciprocal visits between Habib Public School and education
institutes in this country.
Nor have the vists been confined to the big cities, but the Pakistani
students also travelled to smaller towns, living with Indian
families and learning about this country.
It's precisely the kind of initiative that needs to be taken to break
through the years of mistrust and antagonisms. It's precisely why we
need to see more of Sherry Rehman on our TV sets than some
half-crazed Pakistani fanatic.
The writer is managing editor, New Delhi Television
The Telegraph, May 22, 2003
DERAILING THE NAGA PEACE PROCESS
TWENTY-TWENTY / BHARAT BHUSHAN
Rewrite the script
This weekend in Bangkok, when the Indian negotiators for the Naga
peace talks - retired home secretary, K. Padmanabhaiah, and director
of the Intelligence Bureau, K.P. Singh - meet the leaders of the
National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah), they would have
little to say to them. After the fanfare surrounding the visit of the
two NSCN(I-M) leaders, Thuingaleng Muivah and Isak Chisi Swu, to New
Delhi this January, the peace talks have reached a deadlock.
We are back to square one because New Delhi lacks the boldness and
the political imagination required to move forward. Peace is being
sought in Nagaland without changing the boundaries of Manipur, Assam
and Arunachal Pradesh.
Those negotiating with the NSCN(I-M) ought to learn from history.
Short-changing the Nagas is the surest route to the assassination of
their leaders and fuelling resistance to New Delhi. India failed the
Nagas by not honouring the 9-Point Akbar Hyderi Agreement of 1947.
The Sixteen Point Agreement of 1962 with the Naga Peoples' Convention
led to the merger of the Naga Hills and Tuensang into Nagaland. But a
moth-eaten Nagaland only fuelled unrest and led to the assassination
of the NPC leader, Dr Imkongliba Ao.
The breakdown of the talks between the Michael Scott Peace Mission
and the Federal Government of Nagaland led to the ouster of its
leadership and the assassination of Kaito Sema, the defence minister
of FGN. The Shillong Accord of 1975 was signed during the Emergency
with the Naga National Council. It discredited and delegitimized the
NNC and led to the formation of the NSCN under Muivah, Swu and S.S.
Khaplang (who now heads another faction of NSCN). It is the stronger
of the two factions of the NSCN led by Muivah and Swu which came up
for negotiations in 1995. If that too is delegitimized, Naga
insurgency will continue under a different organization and
As leaders of an armed insurgency, Muivah and Swu cannot survive for
long if they accept meaningless lollipops from New Delhi instead of a
permanent and honourable settlement. That would primarily involve
settling the twin issues of the integration of Naga territories and
the preservation of Naga identity.
The NSCN(I-M), the most effective insurgent outfit in India's
Northeast, took a big risk by coming forward for peace in 1995. Today
it has gradually come to a position that the areas inhabited by the
Nagas in Myanmar will not be a part of the negotiations with India.
Why is this significant? One-third of the Naga-inhabited areas of
pre-independence India were put by the British under Burmese control
between 1935 and 1945. Even today the Khiamungan, Konyak, Lainung,
Pangmi, Tangkhul Somara and Yimchunger Mukhori tribes of the Nagas
live in Myanmar abutting the Indian border. By agreeing to keep these
areas out of the negotiations, the NSCN is giving up its territorial
ambitions outside the boundaries of India. The new Naga entity thus
would be independent of the adjoining Myanmar areas and would have
close relations with India. Naming that closely bound relationship
would be premature at this juncture but suffice it to say that it
would not be against the interests of the Union of India.
It is possible that if they are denied the integration of even the
Naga areas within India, the Nagas could revert to their earlier
position. Rejecting the peace process, a whole new generation of
Nagas could take up arms and go underground. A bloody cycle of civil
war could begin all over again. It took the NSCN two decades to talk
peace after rejecting the Shillong Accord of 1975. Who knows when
they would be willing to smoke the peace pipe with New Delhi again?
Since the NSCN(I-M) has spawned almost all the major insurgencies in
the Northeast, their support for such insurgencies would start all
When the substantive dialogue with the NSCN began, the Indian
negotiators wanted the less intractable issues to be addressed first
and leave the issues of Naga territory and identity to a later stage.
The Naga leaders seem to have agreed in good faith. Enough confidence
was built between the two sides for the NSCN leaders to visit the
Indian capital and meet the political leadership. Despite some minor
hiccups, Muivah and Swu went back satisfied that the peace process
was moving forward. However, in subsequent interaction, the Indian
negotiators did not come up with any substantive proposals and the
Naga leaders began doubting their sincerity. They then suggested that
the territorial integration and preservation of Naga identity should
be discussed first and everything else later.
Of the substantive issues before the negotiators, the contentious
ones relate to sovereignty, defence, international relations, flags
and emblems, currency and postage stamps. Everything else is easily
negotiable. Essentially, the territorial question relates to
present-day Manipur. In 1833, the then king of Manipur, Raja Gambhir
Singh, was allowed by the British to annex Naga inhabited areas. The
Nagas claim that they never accepted or acknowledged this domination.
Today, the Nagas continue to live in large numbers in the hill
districts of Ukhrul, Senapati, Tamenglong and Chandel in Manipur.
Nearly ninety percent of the population of Tangkhul Nagas is in
Manipur. They form the bulk of the armed cadre of the NSCN(I-M). Is
it possible then to discuss peace with the NSCN(I-M) while claiming
that Ukhrul will remain in Manipur? If the population of Ukhrul,
Tamenglong and Senapati, let us say, wants to be part of the present
day Nagaland, can it be denied that right? The Nagas are not seeking
to secede. They want to stay within India and be the masters of their
own fate - a right which has lately been exercised by the people of
Uttaranchal, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh. Manipur, of course, would be
needed to be brought into the consultations and compensated. That too
should be done with a generosity of heart that alone can keep India
The National Democratic Alliance government apprehends electoral
trouble in the Northeast if it agrees to any changes in the existing
boundaries of the states there. The Congress and the Meiteis in
Manipur, the Bharatiya Janata Party fears, would most certainly
create trouble. It would be ideal if the Nagas worked on the Congress
and also held a dialogue with the Meitei political leaders, civil
society organizations and the underground to bring them around. This
would limit New Delhi's problems to a great extent. However, why
should creating a political consensus be the job assigned only to the
Nagas and why should it not be the duty of the government of the day
which is better equipped to do so?
New Delhi can begin by setting up a boundary commission to deal with
the issue of territorial integration. It can poll the people in the
areas of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal which the Nagas claim and find
out what they want. Not even the Nagas expect a resolution of this
issue before the next general elections. But at least some mechanism
for resolving this issue should be put into place before that if the
peace process is not to be derailed.
Pakistan-India People's Forum for Peace and Democracy
Sub: Notice for " National Convention 2003 - Annual General Body meeting of
PIPFPD (India Chapter)
Dates: June 14th & 15, 2003
Venue for meeting & accommodation: The Indian Institute of Management
Calcutta (IIMC), Joka, Diamond Harbour Road. Kolkata 700104
International Conference on South Asia Literatures and Languages - SALILA
(the former ICOSAL) will take place in Moscow, Russian Federation, at
the Institute of Asian and African Studies, Moscow State University.
5 - 9 July 2003
Dr. Alexander M. Dubjanskij, E-mail: email@example.com (literature)
Dr. Ludmila V. Khokhlova, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (languages) Fax:
+7 095 2033647 Tel: +7 095 2033117 (Dept. of Indian Philology)Adress:
11 Mokhovaya str., Moscow
For immediate release:
Washington D.C., May 20, 2003
IMC-USA alarmed at birthday celebrations for Gandhi's assassin
The <http://www.imc-usa.org/>Indian Muslim Council - USA, working to
promote values of pluralism and tolerance, with particular focus on
the Indian Diaspora in the United States, expressed great alarm today
over the birthday celebrations for Gandhi's assassin carried out by
The call for the celebration was given most prominently by
HinduUnity, the US-based wing of Bajrang Dal, which is the youth
front of World Hindu Council (VHP), and by the Hindu Mahasabha.
openly urged the celebration, stating on its website
(HinduUnity.org): "Celebrate Shri Nathuram Godse's Birth on May 19th.
Send a message to the enemies of humanity that we will fight and even
die to protect the basic principle of Hinduism..". It further
denigrated Gandhi's great message of humanism and the unique movement
he led for Indian independence by saying: "Gandhi was a downright
PACIFIST, without guts and SCRUPLES. His constant preaching to his
fellow Hindus, to be non violent at all times, EVEN IN THE FACE OF
AGGRESSION, paralyzed the manhood of India, mentally and physically.."
Dr. Santosh Kumar Rai, founder of the revived extremist group, Hindu
Mahasabha, also sent an open circular on several mailing lists urging
all Hindus to celebrate the birthday of Gandhi's assassin.
Reacting to these events, IMC-USA General Secretary, Mr. M.K. Rehman
said "This is the biggest possible insult to all those who revere
Gandhi and his message across the world. It is shocking that groups
espousing the divisive and hate-based ideology of Hindutva feel
emboldened enough to carry out this celebration campaign openly."
Financial Times, May 22 2003
interview: Narendra Modi
By Edward Luce
Women PeaceMakers Program with Residency at the Joan B. Kroc
Institute for Peace & Justice in San Diego, California from September
29-December 5, 2003
Applications accepted until June 27, 2003:
See web announcement at http://peace.sandiego.edu/wpmp.shtml
Made possible through a generous grant from the Fred J. Hansen
Foundation, the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice's (IPJ)
Women PeaceMakers Program invites women from around the world who
have been involved in human rights and peacemaking efforts and who
are seeking ways to have greater impact in peacemaking efforts in
their society to participate in a multi-week residency at the IPJ.
Women on the frontline of efforts to end violence and secure a just
peace seldom record their experiences, activities, and insights as
generally there is no time, or, perhaps, no formal education that
would help women record their stories. This program will also create
a network of Women PeaceMakers who may become resources to be called
on to serve in peacemaking and post-conflict planning processes
The residency program will require the selected candidates to give
presentations at the IPJ and in the San Diego community, and to
participate in documenting their stories through writing and
videotaping their reflections. Women PeaceMakers will participate in
workshops to exchange ideas and approaches to peacemaking and
justice, increasing their capacity to further prepare them to
participate in conflict resolution and peacebuilding efforts and in
post-conflict decisions-making. The program will provide the Women
PeaceMakers with a student-writer to assist each in writing her
story; each peacemaker will receive a stipend to cover expenses while
in San Diego and living accommodations will be provided.
OF CRICKET, GUINNESS, AND GANDHI: ESSAYS ON INDIAN HISTORY
By Vinay Lal
Calcutta: Seagull Books, 2003. ISBN: 81-7046-184-7 (Hardcover)
The eight essays in this book offer a dissenting, hermeneutic, and futurist
perspective on Indian civilization. Feminism, subaltern studies,
and 'cultural studies' have helped to pose new and important
questions about our
knowledge of India, but there has been an insufficient engagement
with local forms of knowledge, and with the non-
modern, ahistoricist, mythic, vernacular, and pluralist elements of Indian
civilization. This recent scholarship offers rearrangements within the
existing frames of knowledge but seldom dispenses with the frames.
The essays, ranging over the national obsession with the
Guinness Book of Records and the paranoia over VIP security to the
politics of sexuality as embodied in the lifestyles of hijras and the
nationalist fervor over the nuclear tests, offer a sweeping perspective on
contemporary Indian society. Essays on the impossibility of the Other in
the Hindi film, on the World Cup of cricket, on Gandhi's life as
an ecological treatise, and on Gandhi's experiments
with celibate sexuality, round up the volume. The idea of India as a
nation-state is, as the essays suggest,
slowly encroaching upon the idea of India as a civilization, and the
essays explore how our finite games can be transformed into infinite
Available from www.amazon.com for $38 or from South Asia Books in the US
for $26 plus $3 for S&H -- email email@example.com
Also available from booksellers in India.
Vinay Lal was educated at Johns Hopkins and the University of Chicago
and is presently Associate Professor of History at the University
of California, Los Angeles. His essays, articles, and reviews
on Indian history, contemporary politics
in India and the US, the Indian diaspora, historiography, and the global
politics of knowledge have appeared in five dozen periodicals and books.
His works include South Asian Cultural Studies: A Bibliography (Delhi,
1996), (ed.) Dissenting Knowledges, Open Futures: The Multiple Selves and
Strange Destinations of Ashis Nandy (Oxford UP, 2000),
Empire of Knowledge: Culture and Plurality in the Global Economy
(Pluto, 2002), and Of Cricket, Guinness and Gandhi: Essays on Indian History
and Culture (Seagull Books, 2003). The History of
History: The Career and Politics of a Form of Knowledge in Modern
India is in press with Oxford UP, Delhi.
Down To Earth Magazine
GREAT EXPECTATIONS IN KASHMIR
More than a decade of militancy and fiscal anarchy
have taken a heavy toll on Kashmir's people, local
economy and natural resources. But enduring peace
is possible if the state adopts sound environmental
planning to revive tourism, generate jobs and inject
hope in a devastated land.
In Defence of the Indian Historian Romila Thapar
-SACW [Updated on May 20, 2003]
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