South Asia

Stop Urban Shield, Stop Violence Against Our Communities

If there is anything that Urban Shield and the racist history of policing in the U.S. teaches us, it is that the police and military are two faces of the same system of global repression and racism. 

Memory as Guide: Iam.lk and personal narratives of Sri Lanka

Ahalya Satkunaratnam reflects on how the stories of elders in the website, Iam.lk assist in complicating identity in Sri Lanka and how this site provides a discussion of national history and personal belonging that circumvents hostility that often accompanies web-based discussions of identity, the nation and the war.

New Orleans thunderstorm, after the Boston marathon

birds echo and a tentative sun
retreats to darkness, knowing
far away news about to flood
our transplant hearts.

days, it’s been rising
pushing
up

seeking the jagged cracks in
facades of cheery every-day.
SWAT teams lockdown
again,
“please…not…a muslim…brown…”
one brown man after another flashed across the screen
we prayed
fearing marines neighborhood shellings on the screen
fearing our brothers pushed in front of a New York subway
fearing fear bursting into lives

Why We’re Not Losing: Decoding Indian Sexuality Politics in an Election Year

 Svati Shah provides a historical sketch of the recent 377 judgement, and frames 377 against the broader backdrop of both the vital LGBTQI movements protesting this law and Narendra Modi's ongoing campaign to be India's next prime minister.

United States of Dissent: Converging Political Imaginaries of the Ghadarites and Black Panthers

Simmy Makhijani explores the personal and political intersections between the Ghadaries and the Black Panthers in the Bay Area. She invites us to ask how we might carve out political space as South Asians in relation to our shared and divergent radical pasts, through the lens of a 'polycultural' tradition.

Book Review: The State of Islam: Culture And Cold War Politics In Pakistan by Saadia Toor

Hamzah Saif reviews Saadia Toor's The State of Islam, "a forceful corrective to the dialogue on Pakistan."

Uncovering Multiracial South Asian America: A Review of Vivek Bald's Bengali Harlem

Seema Sohi reviews Vivek Bald's new book, Bengali Harlem and the Lost Hostories of South Asian America. She notes, "Bengali Harlem is more than an excavation of histories that have yet to receive their full due. By tracing the South Asian American presence in neighborhoods like Treme in New Orleans, Harlem in New York, and Black Bottom in Detroit, Bald focuses on the forging of multiracial communities in early South Asian America."

The Pitfalls of Language Politics in Bangladesh

A High Court ruling seeks to eliminate any distortions of the Bangla language on television or radio channels.  The ruling is absurd and dangerous and can present real challenges to the freedom of press in Bangladesh.  Part of SASI's (South Asia Solidarity Initiative) monthly series that explores current social justices issues in South Asia.  

Lean Left: Young Radical Voices

Flash back to the first time you met another Desi lefty. Can you remember the quickening of your heart? Your excitement at finding someone who cared about the same issues and communities? For most of us, the moment we realized we weren’t alone in the world, struggling against the conservative expectations of our parents, aunties and uncles - when we realized that we had sisters and brothers in the cause who understand where we come from and where we wanted this world to go - was life-changing. 

Drifting Across Desi Youth: Youth Activists Reflect on Social Justice, Resistance and Solidarity

Over one weekend in August 2015, three South Asian American youth camps took place across the US: Bay Area Solidarity Summer (BASS) in Oakland, CA, Chicago Desi Youth Rising (CDYR) in Chicago, IL and East Coast Solidarity Summer (ECSS) in New York City, NY. In an effort to collaborate long-distance, camp organizers asked the youth participants to collectively define three key concepts at the beginning and end of their camp expereinces. Below is a summary along with reflections on the camp experience.

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