alliance for a secular
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Current Events

In this section and its subsections, you will find information and commentary on current events that we are acting on, as well as listings of upcoming and past events that we have sponsored or participated in.

Subsections

September 11 and After
Past Activities
Communalism
International Conflict
Globalization
South Asia Politics
Middle East
Date Event Summary
23 November 2008 Words on Water Film 12/1/2008 6:30PM MIT 32-124 Filmmaker Sanjay Kak will be present to answer questions at the screening. December 1, 2008 6:30PM MIT Room 32-124
06 March 2008 Shabnam Hashmi at MIT March 7 9 - 7pm Rm 4-145

Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia

Womens and Gender Studies at MIT

present

"The Uses and Misuses of Religion: Lessons from 20 years of Anti-Communal Activism"

by

Shabnam Hashmi

March 7, 2008

7-9PM


MIT
4-145

As many of you know, India has been torn with religious strife for the last several decades. religious communities that have had a long history of co-existence have been brought into paths of conflict by sectarian, violent and fundamentalist movements. Hashmi has over the last twenty years established herself has one of the most courageous activists confronting Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Chrisitian communalism. Since the carnage in Gujarat in 2002, where more than 2002 Muslims were massacred by the Hindu right wing (Hindutva) forces, she has worked tirelessly to bring justice tot he victims and re-establish a secular ethos in Gujarat.  Amongst the most important features of Hashmi's work is her consistent belief in youth led movements. Youth for Peace (Y4P) a ANHAD initiative now has presence in five Indian States.

Hashmi's visit to the US is an attempt to bring attention to the growing links between fundamentalist forces in India and diasporic organizations. She recently helped with the release of a report -- "Unmistakably Sangh: The National Hindu Students Council and Its Hindutva Agenda" which has shown the continuing structural and personnel links between the National Hindu Student Council (HSC) and the Sangh Parivar in the USA and India. The report also argues that most local chapters of the HSC are often unaware of the National HSCs links to the Hindutva movement.  She will also outline how large volumes of money are moved from the US to India to support sectarian politics and is keen to have a in-depth conversation with Indian-American youth on their role in preserving a secular and tolerant India.

Hashmi's work as a peace activist and her continued battle for justice for victims of religious violence, especially women, makes her an invaluable resource for all of us. We urge you to participate in this one-of a-kind events on campus.

 

03 February 2008 Support for Bangladeshi cartoonist (February 2008) Arifur Rahman, cartoonist for the Bangla daily Prothom Alo, has been in jail since September 19, 2007 for a cartoon. Information on letters to be written expressing your concern is available: http://www.drishtipat.org/blog/2008/01/29/what-should-we-do-about-cartoonist-arif/
09 October 2004 Despair and Hope: Crisis in Bangladesh? (Forum Oct 2004) An attack by grenades on a densely populated mass rally in Dhaka in August of this year left 20 dead and over 200 maimed. This atrocity follows many others directed against poets, political activists and intellectuals. Yet Bangladesh has a proud history of diversity, harmony and cultural openness, such as that exemplified in the poetry of Kazi Nazrul Islam and others. What has changed and why?
28 August 2004 Kazi Nazrul Islam Death Anniversary The Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia marks the death anniversary of the poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. The poet passed away twenty eight years ago in Dhaka on August 29, Sunday, 10 pm. We, expatriates from South Asian countries now residing in the Boston area, remember the life of the poet as one of struggle against injustice and oppression and for love and harmony among all communities.
14 August 2004 South Asia Day Alliance for A Secular and Democratic South Asia invites you to Celebrate South Asia Day Poetry, Music and Dinner August 14th, 2004 at 7:00pm at MIT (Room To Be Announced) (With Help From AID)
25 July 2004 Boston Social Forum On July 23-25, 2004 at the University of Massachusetts at Boston?just before the Democratic National Convention?a coalition of Boston area, progressive community organizations, non-profits, and unions will be hosting what promises to be an exciting event?the Boston Social Forum (BSF).
20 July 2004 CROSSING THE LINES: KASHMIR, PAKISTAN, INDIA "A compelling fresh look at an age old problem that could be the spark of a nuclear war." [Ahmed Rashid, author of Taliban] "This film violates the grand narrative of nationalism on all sides. Itshocks with its unfamiliar humanity." [Khaled Ahmed, Daily Times]
13 May 2004 Seminar on River Linking The South Asia Forum at MIT & The Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia & The Bangladesh Environment Network cordially invite you to a Seminar/discussion on India's River Linking Project: A Feasibility Assessment by Professor Jayanta Bandyopadhyay Centre for Development and Environmental Policy, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta on May 13, 2004 in Room 4-270 at 7:30PM
26 October 2002 National March in Washington DC & joint action in San Francisco GEORGE BUSH PLANS HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS: Why We Are Marching on October 26th George W. Bush has declared his intention to wage a 'preemptive' war against Iraq and is now seeking to strong-arm the international community, the U.N., and the Congress into support and submission. As members of Congress rush to show their obedience and member states of the U.N. line up to receive the anticipated spoils of war, the administration is now waging a campaign to convince the people of the United States to fall into step and finance with money and blood this war brought for conquest on behalf of the corporate and oil interests that make up Bush's true constituency.

The Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia was formed in 1993 to combat rising religious intolerance in South Asia and to campaign for peace and justice in the region. We are committed to working towards a just, non-violent resolution of the crisis we are currently living through. If you are interested in joining us in this work, please call 617-983-3934 or e-mail info@alliancesouthasia.org

17 Feb 2009

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