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I am currently working with a volunteer collective to organize DC Desi Summer, a weekend-long leadership and empowerment program. The program is for young South Asian Americans who are 15-20 years old. The event is free and meals are included. Participants need to arrange their own transportation and housing, but limited housing and travel scholarships will be available to those coming from out of town.  
Young people can apply online and receive further updates about the event on the website listed below. 

- Buria

DC Desi Summer
July 30th to August 1st, 2010
Dupont Circle, Washington, DC
For more information and to apply: www.dcdesisummer.weebly.com
**For young South Asian Americans age 15-20**
(with origins in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burma, Bhutan, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives)
Free (We cover meals, but participants arrange for transportation and housing.)
DC Desi Summer (DCDS) is a weekend-long youth leadership and empowerment program. Spearheaded by the volunteer DCDS Collective, DC Desi Summer provides a radical and inclusive space for youth of South Asian heritage to examine key social justice issues and take action! Community activists, advocates, and academics will facilitate workshops and activities that focus on topics such as immigrant rights, women’s rights, racial profiling, and state-sponsored violence.

Women Quota Bill

The women quota bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) today. It ensure that 33 percent of seats in the Indian parliament is for women. While the bill still has to pass through the Lok Sabha (Lower House) and the states it is progress nonetheless. 

India's Equality Law Passes HurdleCollapse )

Attacks on Indian Students in Australia


In the latest attack on Indian students in Australia, one man was doused in petrol and set on fire as he was coming out of his car. Officials and police have come out in full force on the defensive with ridiculous explanations. Fire Fly wrote an analysis of the police inaction and conditions international students are facing at in her blog post, "International Students Being Bashed in the Streets - The Sharp Edge of the Academic-Industrial-Complex". She writes, "is anyone noticing how it’s in their interests to deny the racist motivation for violence and instead to blame the victim?"

beatdown for harrassment on a plane


"A group of girls thrashed a co-passenger mid-air on a Jaipur-bound Indigo flight from Mumbai after he allegedly misbehaved with one of them on Sunday. Sources said the girls thrashed him after the flight crew ignored their complaint against him. "The crew didn't show any urgency to resolve the matter," a source said.

Sources said the girls alleged that the alleged molester shouted at them and and passed some derogatory remarks. "He refused to apologise and threatened them of dire consequences in Jaipur," the source said.

The sources said the passengers altered the cabin crew, but they were late to react. "For the first five minutes they just looked on and reacted only after the passengers insisted that they do so," said a official"

Jul. 30th, 2009

Members of the South Asian Women's Community Center in Montreal recently wrote a response to the murder in Canada and the way it had been framed in the media in The Gazette:

Racism does not help fight and eliminate violence against all Women and Children
Re: “Western freedoms a source of family conflict” and “To kill your own child, you must be crazy” 24th July
We would like to address the paralysing reality that racialised, immigrant and Muslim Women are all too often put in when a violent and tragic situation of violence against Women of such a background occurs in Canada. This reality is a result of a failed understanding by the media of how patriarchy manifests in societies across the world, including those in North America. This paralysis forces us and our communities to fight the racism within media reports and commentaries from readers when we would otherwise be acting to challenge and eliminate all forms of control and violence against Women and Children.
First, we would like to extend our sympathies to those who are grieving and missing their friends, family and community members Zainab Shafia, Sahari Shafia, Geeti Shafia and Rona Amir Mohammad. Certainly, if any injustice was done, we demand justice.
Second, we would like to highlight that although Mohammad Shafia, Tooba Mohammad Yahya and Hamed Shafia have been as of yet, 'charged' with murder and conspiracy to commit murder, it is nonetheless important to speak on the issue of violence against Women20and Children, including when it occurs within a family, however one may define it. It is nonetheless difficult to do so when gender violence is not analysed comprehensively and instead is viewed as a “cultural problem” among certain communities. When a white man kills his partner and/or children, he's a murderer and is seen as a “bad apple,” but then when non-whites (and non-Christians) are involved, it is de-facto an honour killing and whole communities and cultures are labeled ‘backwards.' We agree with the statement of Alia Hogben of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, “Violence against women is endemic in societies where men wield control over women's lives” and that patriarchal thinking is not limited to the Middle East and Asia. Indeed, as Adeema Niazi of the Toronto-based Afghan Women's Organisation states, “Violence against women exists everywhere.” This violence includes the actions caused by partners or family members thinking they can control the lives of Women and Children.
Third, we would like to address the false premise in Shannon Proudfoot’s article “Western freedoms a source of family conflict.” Proudfoot quotes Dianna Nammi as saying that children of immigrants who grow up in Western nations take certain freedoms for granted, and20this can lead to conflict with their parents. Nammi states that when movin g to another country, parents bring with them culture, traditions and religion and they “are choosing to show the worst part of that, and the worst and criminal part of that is controlling women.” We--an immigrant and a child of immigrant parents--want to 1) emphasize that this is a false premise as it assumes that women in other parts of the world, most notably the Global South, are but mere victims, not three dimensional human beings fighting to live dignified lives based on justice. Women all over the world exercise agency and are struggling against patriarchal violence. This is not informed by the country one lives in but by the courage that Women have. This agency can be found here, where Indigenous Women continue to demand justice for the more than 500 missing Native women and continue to fight against the on-going violence and colonisation against their communities, or in Afghanistan, a country where women are fighting gender violence within family and local political structures as well as fighting against the violence caused by a foreign invasion that has put some of the most retrogressive men in power (see RAWA speech, Oct 7, 2008); 2) denounce the impression that religions/cultures predominant in the Global South are inherently “more” backwards. We disagree with the premise that the “West” is an overall just freedom-loving society. Such a notion ignores the reality that immigrants and their daughters continue to face both patriarchy and racism in Canada in overt and subtle ways (e.g. in schools, hospitals, on the job, having no or precarious immigration status); 3) denounce the thinking that it is a simple matter of Western-influenced immigrant children vs. their “backwards” parents. Inter-generational differences and conflict are not regionally and culturally confined. Around the world, both in the Global South and North, youth are in conflict with their parents’ generation about how to live their lives. This is nothing new.
We are not strangers to violence against Women. As members of the South Asian Women's Community Centre (SAWCC), we, along with her family, friends and other people from SAWCC, have been demanding justice for Milia a young Woman of Bangladeshi origin, who was brutally murdered in Angrignon Park, by a jealous man more than ten years ago. Disappointment has been felt because while the Montreal Police continue to profile Indigenous, immigrant, poor and racialised communities, they have been negligent in finding Milia's murderer. SAWCC has held commemoration events for the Polytechnique Women murdered by Marc Lépine as well as participated in countless campaigns with individuals and groups demanding an end to all forms of violence against Women and Children. Until such violence is eliminated, the fight to end it will continue. During this time it is pertinent that the media stop resorting to stereotypes and unreal clichés. Instead, it should start analysing gender violence from an anti-racist and anti-patriarchal perspective in order to effectively contribute to discussions concerning patriarchal violence.
Read more...Collapse )

New community: mahabharat

I created a new community called mahabharat to share the Mahabharat love and lavish much appreciation on the longest (and possibly the most nuanced) epic ever.

Do consider joining and being an active member of the comm.


NB: Crossposted to various communities


Here's the new shit.

Ganga Ram, Escorts and Moolchand hospitals are not interested in gay blood, tqvm! GR and Escorts are two of the best hospis in Delhi and in India - trufax. But this?

Excerpts from asshatsCollapse )

I just... am tired of idiocy. I need some good news right now.

Constitutional law and decriminalisation

So last week's decriminalisation decision by the Delhi High Court seems like it's not binding on all the states?

Supreme Court will hear an appeal against the decision. Which, although it seems to have been filed by a homophobic jerk, has the potential to create a binding decision for the whole of the country, I think?

Another article about Indian Constitutional law, which is a bit dense but mentions important issues (and WTF, decisions in British courts can be binding on Indian courts?!?).

So it seems things are still a bit tense...


South Asian Women

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