He said explaining what had happened, to family in India had been very difficult.
“Savita has a lot of doctors in her family, a lot of medical people, her uncle, her aunt, many people who are in medicine and they are all asking, ’How can this happen in the 21st century, when the medical field is so advanced?’ and ‘Why didn’t they abort her?’”
“So I had to explain the whole thing, about the law there [in Ireland] and how [when] the foetus is live… and they were all just, some people even laughed at me. ‘That’s crazy’ they said.
“And I just had to tell them, that’s the way it is, that unfortunately that’s the country we were in at the time.
“People keep asking me, ’How could they leave the womb open for two days? There is a high risk of infection there’
“A common thing I’m asked: ‘The mother’s life is a bigger life. They knew that they couldn’t save the baby. Why didn’t they look at the bigger life?’"
- Praveen Halappanavar, husband of Savita, from “We heard Ireland was a good place to have a baby” - Irish Times, 14th November 2012
Do you have an answer, Youth Defence? Any of you crazy anti-choicers out there? Anything at all to say over what your medieval insistence on robbing people of bodily autonomy and dignity is causing?
I don’t know how many of you have heard of this case, but on the 28th October an Indian dentist living here died of septicaemia because of our archaic abortion laws and lack of clear legislation.
Our government and anti-choicers love to shout about how it’s such a safe place to give birth, which is bullshit. If something goes wrong, things like this happen.
RIP Savita.(via esmeweatherwax)
"‘While there is this huge celebration of Hindi abroad, in the place of its birth Hindi has been compromised,’ said Mahesh Dhakar. who writes on culture. “Students can hardly write correct Hindi, and their vocabulary is invaded by all kinds of foreign words and internet-supported short forms. Chaste Hindi or Urdu has disappeared,” said Dhakar."
Exactly. It’s infuriating. I taught high school students for a while and one of the most baffling things I experienced was their disregard for Urdu. Talking in Urdu was considered a ‘backward’ pursuit among the majority of O and A Level students that I taught, there was also an element of disdain for matriculation students who were seen as “less posh” and more “paindu” (which is Urdu slang for a villager - again, classist discrimination). But this does not entirely stem from a mentality in a society where English is seen as a definite social marker and refiner for the upper class; It is embedded in a colonial history where English was spoken not only as a language but as a symbol of superiority. The White Master spoke English, the Brown Servant could either learn the language and become slightly better than his peers or he could remain ‘ignorant.’ Later on it became evident that the likelihood of a Pakistani gaining employment in the job market had a lot to do with their ability to speak “good” English.
So today you have schools throughout Asia insisting upon “English medium schools” and brainwashing young people into believing that their native language(s) is something they should not be proud of. The good part about this mania is that quite a few youths are rebelling against Anglophilic pedagogy by actively learning and engaging with others in proper, correct Urdu. Which is amazing and important.
the first South Asian LGBTQ hotline has been launched to help gay South Asians/Desi youths and their families.
This has already been launched on October 11. Please repost widely to the South Asian/Desi community in your area. Dhanyavad.
Announcing the Launch of DeQH!
a Desi lgbtQ Helpline
On National Coming Out Day, Thursday, October 11th, 2012, a coalition of South Asian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) organizations and individuals in the U.S. will launch DeQH, the first South Asian LGBTQ national helpline.
DeQH offers free, confidential, culturally sensitive peer support, information and resources by telephone for LGBTQ South Asian individuals, families and friends around the globe. The intent is to provide a safe and supportive ear for callers to share their concerns, questions, struggles or hopes through conversations with trained LGBTQ South Asian Peer Support Volunteers.Callers can reach the helpline at (908) FOR-DEQH (908-367-3374) 8pm-10pm on Thursdays and Sundays, Eastern Standard Time [5-7pm PST]. Days and times will expand over time.
DeQH is a collaboration of South Asian LGBTQ groups and individuals around the nation including AQUA North Carolina, Hotpot! in Philadelphia, SALGA NYC, Satrang in LA, and Trikone San Francisco. Please contact us if your group is interested in joining our effort, and/or if you are interested in becoming a general volunteer or would like to be trained as a peer support volunteer.
DeQH operates with support from NQAPIA. Trikone is a fiscal sponsor of DeQH.
Indian author Pankaj Mishra. (Photo: V. Ganesa) (source: The Hindu)
^ I gotta have a copy of this new book.
The book is about a fascinating period in Asian history, the 19th and early 20th centuries when men and women were formulating a response to that very aggressive presence in their lives: Western colonialism and imperialism. They are fairly obscure figures, not men valorised in history text books such as Gandhi, Nehru or Mao Zedong. Men like Jamal al-Afghani and Liang Qichao and there are reasons why they are not as famous as the men they inspired later. “They are not known much,” Pankaj says, “because they don’t belong to the kind of triumphalist nationalist narratives, both of the West and the East. The histories we are told are nationalist histories and they talk about the emergence of the nation state from Western imperialism and they talk of the generation that led that struggle and the mass movements and then assumed power when the Europeans left. But these were the first generation and because they incarnated so many political ideas and tendencies, they almost seem like, in retrospect, confused or incoherent figures as opposed to the people like Mao Zedong who came later.”
Why the choice of these men to tell the story of Asia’s response to colonialism? Because, sometimes marginal figures tell you more about historical moments and their societies. When one reads about the histories of Egypt or China in the late 19th or early 20th centuries, he says, one keeps coming across references to these men. Both were born in traditional Asian families but were curious about the politics and ideologies of their time and were great travellers. But one never gets to know more. Who exactly are they as persons, politically, intellectually, what was the larger shape and trajectories of their lives? One never got a sense of what their journeys were. But there were connections between them. Liang Qichao admired Tagore who himself had travelled to Cairo to meet one of al-Afghani’s disciples and “suddenly as I read more widely, this world of Asia began to emerge more systematic than before in its response to the West.”
Suffragettes in sarees. Very high necked blouses and the brooch that seems to have been common in this period-wonder if the brooches are in suffragette colours.
hera ram.. I just died… now I gotta find a gorgeous 1920s saree…
The disappearing Sikh turban: Sacred symbol, shorthand for terror
“When you see a turban and beard, what is the first thing you think of?” is a question Sikh Coalition’s Amardeep Singh often asks his American audience. The typical answer is: A terrorist. “We’ve had 11 years where the turban is equated with terrorism,” he tells The Guardian,“Is our community an intentional victim? … No, we’re collateral damage.”
Blame it all on Osama bin Laden who made infamous the turban and flowing beard, transforming the sacred symbols of Sikhism into a visual shorthand for Islamic extremism.
“I own a gas station. I am working there. People, they call me Bin Laden. Then I explain to them: sorry, you are misunderstanding. You are mixing us up with the Muslims. You try to explain about the turban and the beard. They still call you Bin Laden,” says Oak Creek resident Jeji Shergill in the Guardian article.
We don’t know as of now if Michael Page believed that the Oak Creek gurdwara was a mosque, or that he was killing Muslims. But there’s no mistaking the link between anti-Sikh and anti-Muslim bigotry in Oak Creek and the rest of the world. From Edinburgh to New York to Paris to Delhi, Sikhs have been routinely harassed and often killed for looking Sikh.
This knee-jerk bigotry has been blamed for the disappearing turban, which is in the danger of becoming extinct, both in India and abroad. Closer home, the first giant wave of visits to the barber shop were sparked by the anti-Sikh riots in the wake of Indira Gandhi’s assassination:
“There were widespread human rights violations. Young men with turbans or with Sikh names were more vulnerable to being picked up and thrown into illegal detention. Many Sikhs cut their hair and discarded their identity to escape police brutality,” said Ishwinder Singh Chadha, a member of the Institute of Sikh Studies. “In the 1990s, turbaned Sikhs were caricatured in TV shows and movies, and young Sikhs lost pride in their identity.”
The pressure to assimilate was no less in the West, where anti-immigrant racism has long been a problem, which redoubled in the wake of 9/11 due to anti-Muslim hysteria. From trouble with airport security to racial slurs on the street, the turban became a burdenattracting all kinds of unwelcome attention.
Add to the mix a global popular culture that devalues all forms of traditional attire as uncool. “They’ve adopted bad European habits: fast food, pubs and clubs,” says historian Patwant Singh in The Scotsman, “There is this terrible, misplaced urge to merge with the rest of the world.” The result is a new generation of Sikhs that has little time or interest in protecting the holy kesh.
While there are no exact figures, less than 20 percent of men under 30 now have uncut hair, as do nearly half of all Sikh men. So we now Save the Dastar efforts which include a World Turban Day, “Smart Turban 1.0″ CD-ROMs, Turban Tutor 1.0 software, dastar tying clinics, and even a beauty pageant for uncut sardars suitably labeled Mr Singh International.
“I owe my career to my dastar. I won the Mr Singh contest in 2007 and have since acted in television serials, modelled in a hundred-odd shows and also acted in one feature film. If I’d cut my hair even by mistake, my career would have collapsed,” Jitender Singh, a newsreader with a UK Punjabi news channel, tells Outlook magazine.
In a world obsessed with fame, appeals to narcissism often succeed more often than religious sentiment. So it is that young sardars are flocking to dastar camps to re-learn the lost art of tying a turban.
Saving the turban may not, however, preserve the sacred locks they are meant to protect. The dastar may well become just an accessory to be worn at will — long hair or not. “If you want to make an impression in Punjab, you still have to wear a smart turban. Be it to impress a would-be spouse, at weddings, or even for a job interview,” says Jaura Nagpal, owner of the Jaura Dastar Academy.
The irony is that the images from Oak Creek — of devout Sikhs in their distinctive headgear — represent a dwindling creed. Succumbing to the twin pressures of bigotry and modernity, the turban may well become a relic of the past, thereby erasing the troublesome association with terrorism. Sikhs may be safer in the future, and a whole lot poorer for it.
High in the Karakoram, the stubborn armies of India and Pakistan have faced off for ninteen years on the Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest battleground and a flash point in the deadly dispute over Kashmir. The view from Sher (lion) post, a high-altitude Pakistani forward position, sits on a mountain ridge above the Chumach Glacier, 19,700 feet above sea level. | Location: Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. August 01, 2002. © Teru Kuwayama
Against the British Empire
afraid-to-run asked: can you please recommend good books to recommend to ignorant english folk about the british empire in all it’s disgusting glory?
Good question. I can speak from the South Asian experience of it; the Subcontinent - present day India, Pakistan, and to an extent Afghanistan. Before getting in the books I’d recommend, you should tell those who support British imperialism that life back then wasn’t as glorious as historians make it look like. With the basics:
- Indian economy was the second largest economy in the world until the British came. During British rule (1857 to 1947) Indian economy grew at zero percent. That India did not grow for 90 years (when Industrial revolution was rewarding Europe and the US) is a tragic outcome of colonial rule’s lack of interest and incompetence. Credit goes to laissez faire capitalism pursued by India after 1992 and American capital market’s confidence and investments in India for India’s emergence as the second fastest growing economy in the world today.
- The subcontinent suffered too many famines during the British rule mostly attributable to mismanagement by the Empire.
- The British Empire encouraged biased stratification in the subcontinental societies based on caste, color and creed. This continues to exist in modern day South Asia where social markers like these control the fates of many.
- Many pro-Empire theorists argue that the British built modern cities with modern conveniences but it should be noted that these were exclusive zones not intended for the “natives” to enjoy.
- There is another popular belief about British rule: ‘The British modernized Indian agriculture by building canals.’ But the actual record reveals a completely different story. “The roads and tanks and canals,” noted an observer in G. Thompson’s “India and the Colonies”, ”which Hindu or Mussulman (Muslim) governments constructed for the service of the nations and the good of the country have been suffered to fall into dilapidation; and now the want of the means of irrigation causes famines.” Montgomery Martin, in his standard work “The Indian Empire”, in 1858, noted that the old East India Company “omitted not only to initiate improvements, but even to keep in repair the old works upon which the revenue depended.” They screwed the natives over again.
- In the early 1800s imports of Indian cotton and silk goods faced duties of 70-80%. British imports faced duties of 2-4%! As a result, British imports of cotton manufactures into India increased by a factor of 50, and Indian exports dropped to one-fourth. A similiar trend was noted in silk goods, woollens, iron, pottery, glassware and paper. As a result, millions of ruined artisans and craftsmen, spinners, weavers, potters, smelters and smiths were rendered jobless and had to become landless agricultural workers. They screwed us over again.
- Reactionary borders.
- And many other reasons why you should logic-slap those who support Empire(s).
The books I would suggest are: M. M. Ahluwalia’s Freedom Struggle in India. Shah, Khambata’s The Wealth and Taxable Capacity of India. G. Emerson’s Voiceless India.Brooks Adams’s The Law of Civilization and Decline. J. R. Seeley’s, Expansion of England. H. H. Wilson, History of British India. D. H Buchanan’s Development of Capitalist Enterprise in India.
Slightly unrelated but you should Gender and Community Under British Colonialism: Emotion, Struggle and Politics in a Chinese Village by Siu Keung Cheung as well. Hope this helps.