Diaspora/Migration

Reflections from the Camps: ECSS

“We have such high hopes and expectations for these radical desi spaces.”

 

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.

Special Issue: The 2014 Indian elections

In response to the recent swearing in of Narenda Modi as India’s 15th prime minister, SAMAR releases this special issue which takes a deeper look at the differences between rhetoric and reality, and the connections between communalism and neoliberalism.


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.

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."

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.

Reflections from the Camps: CYDR

One of my favorite parts of CDYR was the workshop on South Asian history with professors Shefali Chandra and Junaid Rana. We discussed everything from Partition and Hindu nationalism to settler-colonialism and ISIS. These were topics that I was somewhat familiar with, but I had never explored them with a South Asian lens. Especially during the timing of the retreat when the Israeli war on Gaza was occurring, it was fascinating to learn about how the partition of South Asia was engineered by the same white imperialists who created the state of Israel.

Making Sense of Incoherent Math: The Indian Election and Diasporic Politics

How can an event be at once ordinary and extraordinary, simultaneously decisive and indecisive?  The victory of Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Indian parliamentary elections of 2014 is indeed a watershed moment; for the first time in the history of independent India, it will be ruled exclusively by a Hindu supremacist party. And yet, a careful look at the way the Modi/BJP campaign produced this victory yields a picture that can only be characterized as simultaneously ordinary and extraordinary, decisive and indecisive.

To the Hindu middle-class: Why “wait and see” won’t cut it

In 2006 and 2007, I spent several months in Ahmedabad while on a fellowship from my university in the US. During my time in Ahmedabad, I interacted with the mostly-Hindu NGO staff where I was based, residents of the largely Hindu shantytown where the NGO was working, and professors at Gujarat University. Less than five years had passed since the city had gone through its nightmare: vicious riots involving saffron-clad men entering urban neighborhoods and brutalizing, gang-raping, and burning other human beings. Some 1,500 Muslims were killed.

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