Tag Archives: South Asia

India News | Women

Millions form “women’s wall” for gender equality across Kerala

  • Organizers reported that some five million participants turned out to form a 385-mile chain across the southwest Indian state of Kerala, stretching from Kasaragod in the north to Thiruvanthapuram in the south.
  • Although the demonstration was broadly framed as promoting gender equality, it emerged following protests targeting women who attempt to enter the Sabarimala temple, a Hindu shrine that has historically banned women of “menstruating age” (defined as between the ages of 10 and 50).
  • The ban was formally struck down in September 2018 by the Supreme Court after having been enforced judicially since 1991, but protesters have continued to prevent women from entering.

Read

Women form a fortress against gender inequality” (The Hindu | January 2019)

Millions Of Women Formed A 385-Mile-Long “Women’s Wall” To Protest Gender Inequality” (BuzzFeed News | January 2019)

Sabarimala temple: Indian women form ‘620km human chain’ for equality” (BBC News | January 2019)

Connect

#WomensWall (Twitter)

Pakistan News | Chinese Migrant Workers

Chinese workers injured in Baluchistan suicide attack
  • At least five—including three Chinese mining workers—suffered injuries when the van they were riding in was attacked by a suicide bomber outside Dalbandin, southwest of Quetta.
  • The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), a separatist group, claimed responsibility, one of a number of attacks in the region targeting Chinese-backed projects in the region.
  • Chinese migrant workers in Pakistan number in the tens of thousands, with the Pakistani government seeking to grow the region’s infrastructure and the Chinese government expanding its Belt and Road initiative throughout Asia.
Read

Five wounded in attack on bus ferrying Chinese workers in Pakistan” (Reuters | August 2018)

Suicide Bomber Attacks Chinese Engineers in Pakistan” (VOA News | August 2018)

Beijing condemns suicide attack on bus carrying Chinese engineers in Pakistan” (South China Morning Post | August 2018)

Afghanistan News | Sikh

Suicide bombing targets Sikhs in Jalalabad, leaving more than a dozen dead and 20 wounded
  • The attack targeted a vehicle traveling through the Mukhaberat district, with at least 10 of the dead members of the Sikh community.
  • The vehicle’s occupants had been traveling to meet with President Ashraf Ghani, who was on tour in Jalalabad and had recently attended the inauguration a new hospital.
  • Sikhs account for less than 1% of the Afghan population, their numbers having been drastically reduced in the last few decades as a result of death and displacement from war and institutionalized oppression and neglect.
Read

Suicide Attack Targets Sikhs in Jalalabad, 19 Killed” (TOLOnews | July 2018)

Deadly blast hits eastern Afghan city, targeting Sikh minority” (Reuters | July 2018)

Additional

The decline of Afghanistan’s Hindu and Sikh communities” (Al Jazeera | January 2017)

 

Pakistan News | Pashtun

Thousands rally against anti-Pashtun violence in Karachi
  • The Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) has emerged as a nonviolent ethnic rights group confronting abuse and neglect by Pakistan’s security apparatus, recently invigorated by the killing of Pashtun youth Naqibullah Mehsud in January.
  • Despite a government ban and media censorship, PTM recently staged rallies across the country in cities including Lahore and Karachi, the latter of which is home to Pakistan’s largest Pashtun community and the location of Mehsud’s killing.
  • Demonstrators rallied against enforced disappearances (numbering in the thousands, according to some claims), extrajudicial killings, and other human rights abuses against the Pashtun community, who make up 15% of the Pakistani population.
Read

Thousands rally in Pakistan’s Lahore for Pashtun rights” (Al Jazeera | May 2018)

Pakistani ethnic rights group stages first rally in Karachi” (Reuters | May 2018)

On ‘Pashtun Tahafuz Movement’” (The Nation, commentary | May 2018)

India Feature | African Students

Racism and Anti-African Sentiment in India

As Indo-African economic relations have expanded in recent years, so too have social and cultural relations between India and African nations, particularly via the growth of international student populations across the Indian Ocean. For African communities in India, this cultural exchange has come with a price: incidents of anti-African violence in recent years have both threatened the security of India’s largely university-based black communities and strained relations between India and African countries. Beyond targeted persecution, students also recount instances of everyday ignorance and racism, including references to all black Africans as “Nigerians” regardless of national origin, derogatory name-calling by strangers, and accusations of cannibalism, prostitution, and drug trafficking. Over the last few years, several media outlets have featured the experiences of African immigrants in the country, chronicling instances of discrimination, violence, and disruptions in their education.

Read

African victims of racism in India share their stories” (Al Jazeera | May 2017)

African students hospitalized in roving mob attacks in India” (CNN | March 2017)

The photographer giving Africans in India a voice” (CNN | March 2017)

Being African in India: ‘We are seen as demons’” (Al Jazeera | June 2016)

Their Indian horror: Africans recount everyday racism” (The Hindustan Times | October 2014)

Africans decry ‘discrimination’ in India” (Al Jazeera | December 2013)

Connect

Association of African Students in India (AASI)

India Feature | Colorism

Darkening Beauty in India


Source: Dark is Beautiful Campaign/YouTube (October 2013)

In India, a cultural movement to tackle colorism has taken root, from challenging the pervasive preference for fair skin in romantic partners to reconstructing depictions of Hindu gods and goddesses using dark-skinned models. Skin-whitening practices are pervasive throughout the country and drive a multimillion-dollar industry, but activists and other community members are seeking to reaffirm beauty and value in darker-skinned people.

Read

Dark is divine: What colour are Indian gods and goddesses?” (BBC News | January 2018)

Bleached girls: India and its love for light skin” (The Conversation | July 2017)

India’s unfair obsession with lighter skin” (The Guardian | August 2013)

Watch

A Brown Girl’s Guide to Beauty (UnErase Poetry/YouTube | July 2017)

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Dark Is Beautiful

Global Feature | Atheists & Secularists

The Global Effort to Rescue Persecuted Atheists


Source: Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science/YouTube (September 2016)

With more than a dozen countries criminalizing atheistic expression and anti-atheist sentiment widespread even in purportedly secular countries, organizations have popped up around the globe to rescue persecuted atheists, lobby for civil rights, and promote community and security for atheists, agnostics, and other freethinkers. Secular Rescue was launched by the Center for Inquiry in 2016 in response to the recent spate of murders of secularist Bangladeshi writers and intellectuals, and its efforts have drawn attention to the plight of freethinkers living in the Global South in need of asylum. The Atlantic recently profiled the organization as well as the conditions contributing to the greater visibility of atheists in regions conventionally assumed to be inhospitable to the growth of secularism and freethought.

Read

The ‘Underground Railroad’ To Save Atheists” (The Atlantic | January 2018)

Center for Inquiry Launches ‘Secular Rescue’ to Save Lives of Threatened Activists” (The Center for Inquiry | September 2016)

Connect

Secular Rescue

Atheist Asylum Program