Issue 30: Movement and Momentum (11/10/2008)

Now that the election is over, we can all take a collective sigh of relief and relax...or can we?

In "Change We Can Believe In?" Democracy Now's Anjali Kamat reflects on the reasons why the campaign for change has only begun and what we must demand of Barack Obama to get where we need to go. In "Notes on a Meltdown, and a View of the Other Side," Ali Mir does the math of the financial crisis and reflects on the power of numbers in a working class movement. Then, in "IT, BT and Bangalore's Moral Economy," we step inside of Bengaluru's (Bangalore's) culture war with Hemangini Gupta and Lalitha Kamath - where the entertainment industry sets the stage for a showdown between Bengaluru's new elites from the Information Technology and Biotechnology boom and the "moral policing " of the old city.

In this issue of SAMAR, we also bring you a special forum on the gay rights movement from India. While the most recent battleground in the United States was Proposition 8, hijras, activists and lawyers have been fighting off attacks from an out-of-control police force intent on purging Bengaluru of hijras in Svati Shah's "Hijras, a Police Crusade and an Action." In "Kotis and Sexual Politics in Eastern India," Aniruddha Dutta slices into the layered construction of the "Koti" identity, formed out of differences from the hijras in class, gender and community. In "Organizing Delhi's Pride," an interview with organizer Gautam Bhan, Amber Vora discusses Delhi's first pride parade this summer and how the gay rights movements in India fit in with movements around the globe.

Then, in "The Work of Domestic Work," Sister Josephine Amala Valarmathi considers the organizing efforts around the domestic workers movement in India. Finally, we end with Robin Sukhadia's inspiring music review, "Listening to an Anatomy of a Coup" of Sacha Silva's new album, which harmonizes sounds from around the world.

Likewise, America's new leadership could potentially symbolize the fusion of the world's offerings. It has been said that November 4th was the world's election. It took a movement to elect Barack Obama. The question now is: What are we going to do with this momentum?

"

Now that the election is over, we can all take a collective sigh of relief and relax...or can we?

In "Change We Can Believe In?" Democracy Now's Anjali Kamat reflects on the reasons why the campaign for change has only begun and what we must demand of Barack Obama to get where we need to go. In "Notes on a Meltdown, and a View of the Other Side," Ali Mir does the math of the financial crisis and reflects on the power of numbers in a working class movement. Then, in "IT, BT and Bangalore's Moral Economy," we step inside of Bengaluru's (Bangalore's) culture war with Hemangini Gupta and Lalitha Kamath - where the entertainment industry sets the stage for a showdown between Bengaluru's new elites from the Information Technology and Biotechnology boom and the "moral policing " of the old city.

In this issue of SAMAR, we also bring you a special forum on the gay rights movement from India. While the most recent battleground in the United States was Proposition 8, hijras, activists and lawyers have been fighting off attacks from an out-of-control police force intent on purging Bengaluru of hijras in Svati Shah's "Hijras, a Police Crusade and an Action." In "Kotis and Sexual Politics in Eastern India," Aniruddha Dutta slices into the layered construction of the "Koti" identity, formed out of differences from the hijras in class, gender and community. In "Organizing Delhi's Pride," an interview with organizer Gautam Bhan, Amber Vora discusses Delhi's first pride parade this summer and how the gay rights movements in India fit in with movements around the globe.

Then, in "The Work of Domestic Work," Sister Josephine Amala Valarmathi considers the organizing efforts around the domestic workers movement in India. Finally, we end with Robin Sukhadia's inspiring music review, "Listening to an Anatomy of a Coup" of Sacha Silva's new album, which harmonizes sounds from around the world.

Likewise, America's new leadership could potentially symbolize the fusion of the world's offerings. It has been said that November 4th was the world's election. It took a movement to elect Barack Obama. The question now is: What are we going to do with this momentum?

Articles in this Issue

"The males who take up the "Koti" identity are situated in a zone between mainstream masculinity and the highly marginalized Hijra identity, operating from the border of classes, communities and genders."

Aniruddha Dutta

Police crackdowns on Bangalore's nightlife didn't bring solidarity between the upscale clubs and live show cabarets; in fact images of the woman as loose and mini-wearing in one and prostitutes in the other showed the deepening class divide.

Looking through the alphabet soup of financial instruments such as Collateralized Debt Obligations, Asset Backed Commercial Papers, Credit Debt Swaps, are you feeling like a commoner back in the day, disallowed from reading holy verses in the sacred language, while being made to feel like a sinner for questioning the high order? Ali Mir explains the collapse and considers the Obama victory and the next Act in the struggle.

Ali Mir

Domestic workers' unions in India educate workers about their rights and advocate at the local, national, and international level for women pulled into this industry as a result of poverty, displacement or trafficking.

Bangalore, the new global city, is 'cleaning up' and police justify their brutality saying that they are just following orders. India has reached new heights of physical and sexual abuse and arbitrary arrests of hijras. But recent events have inspired the launch of the National Campaign for Sexual Minorities' Rights.

Svati Shah

Sacha Silva's Anatomy of a Coup conveys the heroic and tragic nature of humanity's struggle against circumstance through north and south Indian musical influences, flamenco guitar traditions, and western classical music.

Robin Sukhadia

Obama's landslide victory marks the beginning of a new era, a moment of enormous possibility and for those of us fed up from the past eight years, long overdue prospect of change. But the change needs our continued efforts and work, unless we are willing to settle for another version of the Clinton years.

Anjali Kamat

The biggest difference is that pride in India is still part-protest, part-celebration, part a call for dignity, part a claim for public space, part-assertion and part-fear.

Amber Vora