Yet from the quiver of Aphrodite, goddess of the foaming waves, no doubt about that. She does not resist. All she does is avert herself: avert her lips, avert her eyes. She lets him lay her out on the bed and undress her: she even helps him, raising her arms and then her hips. Little shivers of cold run through her; as soon as she is bare, she slips under the quilted counterpane like a mole burrowing, and turns her back on him. Not rape, not quite that but undesired nevertheless, undesired to the core. As though she had decided to go slack, die within herself for the duration, like a rabbit when the jaws of the fox close on its neck.
So that everything done to her might be done, as it were, far away. Sunday 10 and Thursday 14 January Journal Lists. Alive, Alive Oh! Indeed, it is one of the most pressing justice issues of our time, and requires the consolidated and coordinated attention of all of us concerned with issues of human rights and social justice. It cannot be ignored.
The Politics of Indifference. In July , a photograph by Javier Bauluz caused controversy in Spain, and around the world. The photograph, entitled The Indifference of the West , was of two beachgoers in Tarifa, Spain, sitting under an umbrella, while to their right there lay a dead body. The photograph generated much debate about camera angles, and whether the beachgoers actually were indifferent.
Indifferent to whom? Who was this dead person? The answers to these questions lie in geography, in economy, in sociology, in the politics of movement and the boundaries of belonging , in migration and citizenship policies. And the answers, as well as the questions themselves, implicate us all. Tarifa sits on the edge of Europe, looking across the Strait of Gibraltar to Morocco and the African continent. But it simply was not the case.
She also identified the reasons for this indifference, the motivation of the powerful for keeping the Strait just as it is: the energy companies laying gas pipelines beneath the waters to fuel the workings of multinational corpora tions; the oil companies transporting crude oil from its place of origin to the refineries in Europe; the entrepreneurs who benefit from cheap labour supplied by those lucky ones who survive the journey.
This distressing situation is not unique. In fact, it is all too commonplace, finding echoes in many corners of the world. In Central America, in a bitter echo of past history, organizations comprised of relatives of the disappeared search for the bodies of their loved ones who, in trying to reach the United States through an increasingly militarized Mexico, often jump to their deaths from moving trains to avoid police and army checks.
The countries of the north profit from their illegality, exploiting their labour to do the work that their own citizens are not prepared to do, or at least not for the wages paid. Then there is some hand-wringing by those in authority, and unscrupulous traffickers or smugglers are usually blamed. Traffickers and smugglers are not the cause of the problem, but rather part of the problem and one of the symptoms. Nor is the problem migration per se. Throughout the ages, in all corners of the globe, people have been on the move, seeking safer and better lives. S o-called settler nations, including Canada, were created t hrough such movement.
Canadian immigration policies have always been racialized. With ageing populations, declining birthrates and gaps in the labour supply, countries of the north need people. Migration is described as a flood, an unstoppable torrent, a force of nature bent on destroying those in its path — in other words, a threat to the privileged in their protected places.
And this climate of fear has been heightened in the current global context. These boundaries of belonging are increasingly becoming fortress walls separating the privileged and powerful from the vulnerable and marginalized. The Politics of Categorization. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights asserts the right of people to leave their country.
However, as we move further into the 21st century, the right to move is becoming increasingly constrained, in particular for those who have been dislocated from their places of belonging because they are fleeing persecution, violence or war, or the destruction of their local economies or ecologies. There is a politics to movement, to mobility; some people can move with impunity, most cannot.
For the most vulnerable, the world is divided and delineated by rigid borders, boundaries and categorizations that define who a person is, and what possibilities they can have. And these categories assume, first, that the people within them are all the same, and second, that the categories themselves are distinct. Instead, the word rings of a subaltern status. In Colombia, for instance, hundreds of people leave their homes every day, fleeing the war that has ravaged their country for almost four decades. Families are torn apart, their members often facing different futures, all uncertain.
Some will become part of the very large internally displaced population. One person might even make it to Canada. In , it was estimated that there were 25 million internally displaced persons in 52 countries, over half 13 million located in Africa. In recent years in Colombia , armed actors have changed their strategy with regards to the civilian population. Instead of forcing people to leave, they are now often forcing them to stay.
Sometimes it is because they want people to work on the coca plantations they control. Sometimes it is to maintain the population as a human shield. Frequently, one side feels that villagers are supporting the other side, and by preventing them from leaving their community they prevent them from assisting the enemy.
There is also an implicit hierarchy in the categorization of migration. What assumptions and values underlie these categories? And what imperatives?
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The widespread implementation of neo-liberal economic policies throughout the globe has resulted in a diminished capacity of national governments to develop economic policies in the interests of the majority of their own citizens. Once it did. This is the poverty of the new capitalism. There is a continued heavy military presence, and local groups report ongoing human rights violations.
Chiapas is also rich in natural resources, and there is a growing presence of trans national corporations hungry for its water, gas and minerals.
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Many people are being forced to leave their homes to make way for hydroelectric dams and mining. And for many others, there is no longer a local economy to support livelihoods. Busloads of people leave Chiapas every week, bound northward. Are they economic migrants or refugees? Does the distinction matter? Their situation of vulnerability remains the same. The violence of poverty and the violence of war are intricately interrelated in ways that these categories cannot begin to address, and therefore we lose the context and any possible solution.
The agency and actual lived experiences of women on the move are obscured or even removed within the paradigm of categorization. The dilemma for those of us working in the human rights and social justice sectors is how to highlight and bring an end to the systematic and horrific forms of abuse that women on the move do suffer, without ourselves contributing to their objectification and disempowerment. Attention to trafficking as primarily a crime of male desire and forced sex operates to shut down careful work about the actual objective and subjective interests of the trafficked people and the sectors in which they are exploited, and blocks interventions into the new realities of urban and rural poverty and irregular labour sectors where most people are searching for their livelihoods and are trafficked.
In the popular discourse, then, the harms of trafficking become entirely sexual, sometimes racialized but almost always in a way that reinforces gender stereo-types and protects against reflection of Northern economic accountabilities. Miller and others have also expressed the concern that international protection mechanisms that have been drawn up to address the situation of trafficking serve more the interests of states in controlling their borders than to protect women in situations of vulnerability. They become bodies, victims to be saved and contained.
We need to ask ourselves who in particular inhabits the categories created to distinguish between people who move, and who creates the categories? Whose interests are served by this category? If someone is fleeing persecution, they are in need of refuge and protection. Containment Policies — Strategies and Trends.
In understanding the politics of categorization and its significance, it is important to examine the migration policies that create the categories themselves and the boundaries within and between the categories. In Canada, the Temporary Agricultural Workers program currently brings 18, workers to Canada, 10, of whom are Mexican. And regardless of how much time they spend in Canada, they are not entitled to apply for citizenship.
According to Mexican economist Miguel Pickard:. Nevertheless, given present legislation, they will never be able to be more than agricultural workers, nor be integrated into Canadian society… As David Bacon argues with reference to the United States:. Guest- worker programs undermine both workplace and community rights, affecting nonimmigrants as well.
They inhibit the development of families and culture, denying everyone what newcomers can offer. House of Representatives approved the Sesenbrennar bill, which included the proposal to build 1, kilometres of new hi-tech fences along the 3, kilometre border with Mexico. The Right to Asylum. Beginning in the second half of the 20th century, the category of forced migration has been protected albeit to a limited degree by international humanitarian law. Today, most countries of the north are actively seeking to undermine, and in fact erase, the right to asylum.
These containment policies include strategies of diversion and deflection for example, safe third country agreements and transit-processing zones , deterrence detention of asylum applicants, denial of access to employment , and, increasingly, prevention of movement altogether. According to a report released by the Canadian Council for Refugees CCR in August analysing the first six months of the implementation of the Agreement, the number of people who claimed refugee status in Canada in was lower than at any time since the mid s. There was a particularly dramatic drop in claims being made at the Canada-U.
For some countries, the drop in claims was even more extreme. For example, claims made by Colombians were down 70 per cent as compared to It is no exaggeration to describe this Agreement as a silent killer. The fact is that the U.
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We call on the Canadian government to cancel this Agreement immediately. It should, however, be noted that the detention of asylum-seekers is an issue of concern in Canada too. Such prevention policies include visa restrictions, carrier sanctions, and inter ception. The debate in Europe on the issue of safe country policies has not focused on the concept itself, but rather which countries to put on a common list.
To which war-torn countries is it safe to return people? The USCRI estimates that more than seven of the nearly 12 millio n refugees in the world today are warehoused. As Liz Fekete argues:. Already set apart from society, they can be more readily expelled; treated as commodities, they can be parcelled up, packaged and sent out of Europe.
In , UNHCR launched the Convention Plus initiative, which supported the proposal that, as much as possible, refugees should stay close to their country of origin. This has always been an under lying tenet of containment policies, and is now being made more explicit in immigration policy reform. The Securitization of Migration. Anti-terrorism legislation around the world, along with previously adopted immigration legislation and regulations, has contributed to an increase in racial profiling and institutionalized racism.
The heightened security climate has had particular implications for non-citizens. In Canada, under the new laws, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada PSEPC and the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration have the power to issue security certificates to detain non-citizens indefinitely, or deport them in the prior legislation, this power was held by the Security Intelligence Review Committee.
When detained, non-citizens have no right to challenge, or even hear, the evidence against them, or to appeal the decision. In contravention of international law, they may be deported to a country where there is a strong likelihood they will be tortured.
As Sharryn Aiken and Andrew Brouwer argue:. The right to be free from arbitrary detention, the right to a fair hearing, as well as the absolute prohibition of torture, are pillars of democracy and the rule of law. We are gravely concerned that the security-certificate process denies to non-citizens th e due-process rights to which they are entitled as equal human beings.
And there are other options available that make the new laws unnecessary, and unnecessarily excessive:. For example, on apprehending a non-citizen believed to have committed terrorist acts, Canada may be able to prosecute the person under the anti-terrorism provisions of the Criminal Code.
Both options meet the important goals of avoiding impunity and protecting the public. Some mostly non-white non-citizens are increasingly subject to arbitrary detention, including asylum seekers. They are increasingly being identified as potential terrorists, especially if they come from Islamic countries, despite no public evidence to support such an assertion.
When we are asked to decide how much liberty we are willing to abandon for our security, we are asked, in reality, how much of the liberty of others we are willing to sacrifice for our own security. How many of my compatriots am I willing to allow to be transferred to countries where they will likely be tortured in order for me to feel secure? How many foreigners am I willing to allow to be detained indefinitely without charges if that is what it takes for me to feel secure?
Obviously, we will never hear the question to be: am I willing to subject myself to arbitrary detention or to the risk of torture so that my neighbour feels safer? We are defined by our treatment of non-citizens, and the extent to which the protection of the rights of some comes at the expense of the rights of others. Challenging the Boundaries of Belonging. Most people who are forced to leave their homes in search of safer and better lives are not protected by the Geneva Convention, and they are extremely vulnerable to human rights violations.
However, as of , no northern country had ratified the Convention, and many, including Canada, actively oppose it. It asserts the principle that there are certain basic non-derogable rights that must be held by all human beings — citizens and non-citizens — and covers all parts of the migrant journey, from the time of dislo cation to the eventual destination. It guarantees the rights of all migrant workers — documented or un-documented — and their families. If we are arguing for a common standard of dignity for all, should we not be advocating for open borders?
But is this really the case? It is important to emphasize that migration is not indiscriminate. Not everybody moves, despite entrenched situations of violence and impoverishment around the world. Migration flows are structured and intentional. As Saskia Sassen argues:. If it were true… that the flow of immigrants and refugees was simply a matter of individuals in search of better opportunities in a richer country, then the growing population and poverty in much of the world would have created truly massive numbers of poor invading highly developed countries, a great indiscriminate flow of human beings from misery to wealth.
This has not been the case. Migrations are highly selective processes; only certain people leave, and they travel on highly structured routes to their destinations, rather than gravitate blindly toward any rich country they can enter. Opposition to a notion of open borders is also rooted in fears concerning the erosion of cultural and national identity, which in turn are rooted in myths of nation. For example, in the American context, theorists such as Samuel Huntington see immigration as a threat to the so-called Anglo-Protestant values which underpin the myth of American nationhood.
Culture and identity are not rigid and static categories, nations are much more than the sum of their parts. The myths of nation create, maintain and sustain inequality in the United States, as well as in Canada and every other country in the world. And these processes have always been racialized. Our rights are intertwined with the rights of others. Migration is about relationships across borders, it is about the search to belong and create anew what has been lost. When people move, they do not do so in isolation. They follow the paths taken by others before them, and maintain their connections to those they leave behind.
A pro-people, anticorporate immigration policy sees the creation and support of communities as a desirable goal. It reinforces indigenous culture and language, protects the rights of everyone and seeks to integrate immigrants into the broader U. Acknowledging the transnational communities in migration helps us recognize the fluidity of migration and the category of migrant itself.
I suggest that we re-confirm the idea of agency for migrants, with the emphasis on the process they are going through. But people who move are not just bodies on a beach or faces in a photograph. They cannot be reduced to categories. They are people, they have agency. They have dreams and aspirations, and contributions to make to home, old and new. The reasons people move are varied and multifaceted, and belie the categories we have constructed. Categorization fragments, segregates, and creates hierarchy. We need to step back and see the wider frameworks, interactions and interconnections that create the context for people who move.
Rights are indivisible, intertwined, and non-hierarchical. We must see the bigger picture that has constructed this situation in the first place. The erosion of the right to asylum as defined within the Geneva Convention is integrally connected to the refusal of northern governments to sign onto the Migrant Workers Convention. Because of our tendency to categorize — and this applies as much to those of us within the human rights and social justice communities as to anyone else — the solutions we seek most often do not transcend the problematic, but reinforce it instead.
We therefore cannot take a piecemeal approach to addressing these issues. We need to move away from a triage approach and instead embrace a construct that allows us to make visible and include all those who are affected and made vulnerable by containment policies. The only way to combat the politics of indif ference and challenge the boundaries of belonging is to unite as citizens and civil society in universal common cause in the face of injustice. We have to insist on a common standard of dignity, rights, and security for all who are on the move, regardless of the reason for their dislocation, as well as for all those who l ive within our borders, regardless of status or categories.
The river of migration is part of our human ecosystem. It may ebb and flow, but it remains constant and necessary to who we all are, and who we will become. See also www. It established freedom of movement between most European Union member states, while at the same time tightening shared external borders. Nothing is true, nor is it a lie? Published in Statewatch, www. It took hundreds of cases made public by families and concerned groups for the situation to be finally investigated by the Mexican authorities, and there are still no answers for the families of these disappeared women.
Ciudad Juarez is not an isolated case. Similar findings have been made in Canadian studies. See for example Economic Impact of Recent Immigration. Global Economic Prospects Report, On average one in 10 people who live in developed countries is a migrant. One in 70 people who live in developing countries is a migrant.
For instance, the ratio of refugees to host populations in was in Malawi, compared with in Germany, and , in the UK. In short, the crisis of caring for refugees falls overwhelmingly on the poorer countries of Asia and Africa. Migration Information Source www. See also Inter Pares Web site www. IRC Americas, March 18, www. Hanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, forthcoming. As cited in Alice Miller, see note Sanghera and R. See also a report by the North-South Institute, Farmworkers from afar: Results of an international study of seasonal farmworkers from Mexico and the Caribbean working on Ontario farms , author, Heather Gibb , which provides an analysis of the program, including good practices and problems, as well as recommendations for improvements to the program.
After September , the Mexican government implemented the Plan Sur Southern Plan , which further militarized its southern borders to prevent people from passing through Mexico and subsequently to the United States. Mexico had hoped that by harmonizing its own security policies with those of the United States, the U. And although Plan Sur no longer officially exists, the southern Mexican border regions continue to be heavily militarized.
August The Working Group further recommends that the Government take remedial action with regard to the practical aspects of immigration detention that impede the effectiveness of the right to challenge detention, in particular the co-mingled detention in high security facilities. Institute of Race Relations, 9, April www. National interest and ethics in asylum policy. Ottawa, February 17, Increasingly important is assisting detainees to obtain identity documents and prepare for their refugee hearings.
While UNHCR states that the detention of refugees and asylum -seekers is to be avoided, data gathered by ARM in revealed that over half of the people in the Laval Centre were refugees. New York: The New Press, Quoted in Laura M. Agustin, see note Simon and Schuster, She died at the hands of an unknown assailant last December.
In the space of a few months during the Partition of India in , twenty million people were displaced, a million died, seventy-five thousand women were said to have been abducted, raped, and families were, divided, properties lost, homes destroyed and countries India and Pakistan exchanged. Those who could afford, turned diasporic, those who could not, await repatriation-to Pakistan and still others have decided on lives of constant border crossings. By December , 6,, refugees had moved from 'India to West Pakistan, and 7,94, refugees moved to what was then East Pakistan.
Several government employees opted for Pakistan, although some changed their minds later and returned to India. Meanwhile the Middle East had emerged as an alternative. When the autonomy movement picked up in the s some 'Bihiuis' openly sided with the Pakistan regime. By December , attacks on non-Bengali shops and properties by Bengali mobs were quite common in Dhaka and Chittagong.
Of the , Biharis who, applied for repatriation only , were accepted by the Pakistan government. It may be mentioned that earliest group of immigrants from South Asia to the U. They married Mexican and Mexican American women. After Partition, there was a rupture among California's "Hindus". In ethnic representations at county fairs, a "Pakistani Queen" joined the "Hindu Queen" and many Muslim-fathered families renamed themselves "Spanish Pakistanis", [xi] On the east coast, in , the New York based Pakistan League of America intervened against the deportation of "illegal" Pakistanis working as agricultural, factory, hotel and restaurant workers in New York, New Jersey, Michigan and California, and worked for a separate country quota for Pakistanis in the context of "millions" having been rendered homeless and refugees by Partition.
Thus Pakistani Southallians were only entitled to associate membership in the powerful Indian Workers' Association. Muslims set up their separate community organizations, either: inclusively Muslim or specifically Pakistani or Bangladeshi. Its overseas support network comes from the Bihar Muslim, rather than just the muhajir diaspora. The focus has been on working out the funding of their repatriation as a "humanitarian", rather than a "political" project.
As 'refugees' threatening to do a Vietnamese, by moving from coast to coast to get across their statelessness to an unmoved UN, which slots them instead as "displaced persons". While it shares the MQM's perspective that it was migrants from undivided India's Muslim minority provinces who created Pakistan there is a significant difference.
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It squarely blames the politics of the Muslim League for the uprooting of the Biharis and their being sacrificed three times over: in , and , and retrospectively idealizes Bihar, the pre homeland. In this s reconstruction of the Pakistan movement, it is emphasized that the bulk of the railway employees opted for East Pakistan only in response to Jinnah's call to get Pakistan going.
According to Tariq Meer, an organizer of the MQM in Europe, following the army crackdown in Sindh in , in the space of a couple of months "thousands" had gone underground to escape death and torture, "hundreds" claimed refugee status in Britain alone, and "hundreds" more had gone to the U. We are beginning to get inquiries also from countries like Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Thailand and many others". Many also escaped to Afghanistan to look for ways out from there. The British Home Office, on its part, had turned down the applications because the MQM had become a coalition partner of the government in The MQM then argued that the army had launched its operation against its cadres in , despite it?
Being a coalition partner of the Nawaz Sharif government. Occasionally, whenever possible, their supporters arrange for them to meet the' diasporic constituency. However, many hold back from coming out in the open as MOM supporters for fear of repercussions on their families back home. There are of course others, who either reject its politics or have come to distance themselves from its "terrorism", after having initially supported it, or are plain indifferent to its career, domestic or diasporic.
Thus migrants from East Punjab gradually came to be labelled primarily as 'Punjabi' rather than muhajir, a description which was reserved more and more for refugees coming from northern India. Initially they were dominant in the Muslim League and the government.
Not long after however, the party self-destructed and virtually vanished. With the late s domination of the army in the Pakistani polity, the muhajirs came to be" edged out by the Punjabis. Around when the Muhajir Oaumi Mahaz was formed, it cut into the Jamat e Islami's support among the migrants in Sindh. More recently the MQM has been described as "an excellent example of a movement that is diasporic, transnational and anti-state", with a leadership in exile in London, [xxi] since the army operations began in According to the MQM leader Altaf Hussain, guiding the movement from its international secretariat is expensive but adequately funded by supporters the world over.
In the Coalition of Muslim Organizations of the greater Houston area, an umbrella group of 15 organizations in Texas wrote an open letter signed by 1, community members to all Pakistani leaders to resolve the Sindh situation with "an open mind" and passed a resolution against the massacre of citizens in Karachi.
A resolution was passed to involve all political parties, "including the MQM", in a conference to sort things out. Around December , the UMA made an offer to send a team of "highly skilled and qualified arbitrators of eminent American Muslims to facilitate and enhance the peace negotiation" in Sindh. The following year too, at the 4th Pakistan Independence Day celebration at the Golden Gate, there was a pointed rewind to the Lahore resolution and a similar offer was repeated. This has links with the community in New York, Chicago and California.
The Forum's solution lies in the creation of a muhajir subah in southern Sindh comprising Karachi and Hyderabad. Bezar claims that his cartographic intervention has received "tremendous support" in Karachi, and though there was "no direct answer from Altaf Hussain", there was no opposition either. State Department reports. Also scenes of tanks rolling on the streets of Karachi, morgue sequences, bereaved families and crowds at the funeral of Altaf Hussain's brother and nephew.
Death Warrant was an appeal to "the world conscience" against the persecution of a "22 million strong" nation.
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Similarly Genocide of the Mohajir Nation and Mohajir Rights Are Human Rights carry supportive copies of reports' of international human rights organisations and western governments and stress that the MOM had been vindicated in national and provincial elections in urban Sindh in , and New York, Washington and Chicago , Canada, Germany, South Africa, Australia, Belgium and a couple of other countries to "internationalize" government atrocities against muhajirs, "16," of whom had been killed since , in a terrain that it compares with Bosnia and Kosovo.
Altaf Hussain added that he was only emulating the Pakistani government trying to internationalize the Kashmir issue through its action in Kargil. But he added that the basic disagreement between the MQM and the Jeay Sindh Oaumi Mahaz part of the World Sindhi Conference formation to be discussed below is that "they demand a separate 'Sindho Desh', whereas the MQM aims for full provincial autonomy for Sindh within the geographical framework of Pakistan" [xxxvii] A point often made by the MOM leader, Altaf Hussain, not too long ago was that when the muhajirs had a country they sought freedom; now that they have freedom they are seeking a country.
Thus in the late s it sent a backgrounder on the Biharis to Lord Ennals of International Alert and the Asian Refugee Council to put its point of view across. In its recall the Biharis had migrated to East Pakistan "of their own free will in search of a better life". But "instead of merging with the native population they tried to impose their language and culture" on the Bengalis and later established "terrorist organizations called Al Shams and Al Badr which were active in the massacre of Bengalis in and then went on to become "unwanted parasites".
It was ironic, according to its then chairman, Halepota, that the MQM had emerged along similar lines and with the intention of turning Sindhis into a minority, to make them "aliens in their own homeland". In response, he added that the Sindhis had never trampled the rights of the Urdu-speaking population, nor had they shut their doors to "the new settlers" in He also recalled that G.
Syed had seen in the MOM the debut of lower and middle class leadership among the Urdu-speaking people, but regretted that subsequently the MQM was turned against the Sindhis by "Punjabi agents". That, he regarded as the "biggest mistake of the MOM in its history". Was it not time, that the Urdu-speakers called themselves Sind his, fifty years after migration and when all of them were born in Sindh?
Have we not seen a similar trend all over the world? Especially in the UK and USA, many immigrants have accepted local identities in one way or other, and many people proudly call themselves "British" or "American". They keep their languages and cultures intact and practice their customs. Yet, they are part of the host na1ions. Why don't we accommodate a comparable scheme in the case of Sindh?
Syed towards resolving Partition's migrant history is to be sought in the pedagogy of diasporic formations. Compared to overseas communities of other origins, the total number of people of South Asian descent who' are living outside South Asia is quite small. Exact figures are difficult to come by because of major national differences in census taking. The second wave of emigration from the subcontinent occurred between and when small groups of traders and white-collar migrants travelled to British East Africa, South Africa and Malaya.
The third period of emigration began after the Second World War and includes the following strands. Workers are in the lowest levels in factories foundries and textile mills in the expanding British economy. Across the Atlantic, South Asian immigration to both the U. On the whole, South Asians comprise 0. Quite the reverse of the U. In the s and the s, sailors, small traders and factory workers from Bengal in particular Sylhet, settled in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, with a few moving to industrial centres like Boston and Detroit.
Several students who enrolled in American universities in the s and s just stayed on. The largest and most "homogeneous group of Indian Muslims belong to Hyderabad. Within this formation the emergence of the American Federation of Muslims From India [AFMI] in was equally a statement on the tokenism faced in the Indian community at large and the non-Indian preoccupations of the umma, despite the fact that Indians add up to Its intervention against the Hindutva project is summed up in its statement submitted to the Indian prime minister, Narasimha Rao in in which it summed up that India stood torn between "those who want to turn the 46 years old republic into a, Hindu state During the elections, it identified UP as the battleground between fascist and secular forces.
In its perception what had sharpened the struggle was the fact that the citizenship of Indian Muslims was "still under suspicion" years after Partition. However, its response to economic liberalization has been uncritical in its expectation that it will generate immense "opportunities" for Muslims. And though its electoral watch was centred on north India it did not engage with the shifts that have occurred within the community both at the levels of leadership and agenda, in particular the movements for affirmative action among the subaltern Muslim biradaris since the s.
At least in Bihar, the dalit and backward Muslims have intervened to inscribe their agency l5y keeping track of AFMI's projects. According to AIM, which represents over "," Indian Muslims in North America, though 60 million Muslims had rejected the two-nation theory and stayed on in India in , they have been victims' of the backlash of the formation of Pakistan during the past several decades. Thus Indian Muslims are stereotyped as being fundamentalist and "intolerant of the Hindu majority" bath in the Indian and North American press.
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Ever since the making of Pakistan, notwithstanding their having cleared that "agnipariksha", they have been on the receiving end of "unrelenting economic discrimination, injustices, humiliation, intimidation, carnage of violent riots and considerable loss of life and property". AIM intends to forge links with progressive Indians and has been working an establishing links with Pakistani Americans.
It supports the search far a "new leadership" among progressive Indian Muslims who. More importantly it holds that the "state of siege" in the Muslim community needs to be broken. However, two years ago, the IMF which had earlier organized protests against the Bhagalpur riot in appeared divided aver its approach to the Bharatiya Janata Party, though it was still dominated by pea pie who supported the Janata Dal ar the Cangress. It aims at dialogue with non-Christian South Asian organizations "to create a better understanding between the communities".
A representative mention may be made of one of its community service awards in The recipient was Shadab Khakhar of the International Christian Awaz, far his five-year long campaign against religious persecution in Pakistan under the blasphemy law. Through his initiative protest rallies were launched in Toronto and Ottawa in and A memorandum of understanding was signed between the Canadian government and Awaz, as result of which families migrated to Canada by the end of Last year the National Association of the Asian Indian Christians protested to the UN to increase international pressure and the BJP-led government to rein in right-wing Hindu groups who had made several attacks an the community in India.
They are known to have made efforts to win greater US government support far India and less favour to Pakistan , an effort that has occasionally made the Indian community support right wing politicians. In general, the leadership of the Indian immigrant community is conservative. It has not sought to farm alliances with other ethnic groups.
In the late s, far instance, Chinese and Koreans in the New York area made tentative moves towards a pan-Asian combination against racial discrimination but there was no response from the Indians. In fact mast Indian immigrants express open prejudice against African Americans and Hispanics and non-white migrants. By contrast, many South Asian immigrants in bath Canada and Britain have chosen an alternative strategy, identifying themselves as 'black'. This selective memory that deletes the pre- First World War subaltern immigrants the farmers, railroad builders, workers and political refugees from its narrative, is seen to flaw from its model minority self-image, one that seriously limits its understanding of racism and its response to other communities, By contrast, the history of the pre-first world war immigrants is summed up as mare' radical in its awareness of the scope of western imperialism and the diaspora generated by it.
Thus community events became the space in which the bourgeois immigrant centrals the fate of national culture and appropriates Indian immigrant identity. It is against this backdrop that we documented the intervention of same Indian American Muslims and will, later in this section consider that of some, leftist groups. It is registered in thirteen states, mostly on the East Coast and has a membership of around At the local level it has "contacts" with about 10, families. Much of its work focuses on children's educational programmes and youth camps.
It publishes literature on the "Hindu way of life" and runs its social service projects mostly in India. But its influence extends welt beyond its enrolment. According to one summing up, in the US religious identity becomes a way of evading racial marginality. Moreover, support for a strong nationalist state at home is seen to promise a better status in the terrain migrated to. Unsurprisingly contemporary Hindu nationalism articulates "a genteel multi-culturalist presence in the US with militant supremacism in India". It was added that, "it is because of the brilliant work of some of the very bright people of the HSC, that the Hindu Dharma has a major presence on the Internet and the World Wide Web".
The report of the Sansad detailed the antecedents of the contemporary "Hindu Diaspora" to include the Buddhist dispersal at "the time of Emperor Ashoka" and subsequently that of the Vaishnavs in South East Asia. It sees the "most recent", i. The resolutions passed were unmistakably homogenizing in intent. It also resolved to publish "an authentic history book of India and its heritage for the benefit of the young generation of Hindus in the Western Hemisphere". At the same meeting Ashok Singhal regretted that the divisions of sect, caste and language were "unfortunately retained even in the foreign lands" sic.
He stressed that "Unifying Hindus is not sufficient, We must be assertive Hindus. We have always been compromising Values in Modern Society", reads the title of a report on a youth conference in Boston in June The Hindu Heritage Day in Houston that May spent "some serious moments at the mention of the more then 40 Kashmiri Hindus" killed around that time, "just for being Hindus".
The Left. In response to the spread of the Hindutva movement in North America, the Forum of Indian Leftists FOIL was formed in as an organization of overseas Indians to intervene "in the crisis generated by neo-liberal economics and communalism - crises that find expression in the diasporic Indian community and in the Indian nation". It collaborates with other progressive individuals and groups active on similar issues in Europe, North America and the South Asian subcontinent.
The focus on India was explained by drawing attention to the fact that "there are certain issues that are bound by the nation-state and its products overseas, which are not identical with those of South Asia as such". It feels that if other South Asians later want to become a part of it it would "change accordingly". Its pamphlet series include subjects like structural adjustments, new capital flows into South Asia Area Studies and the Indian left's support for liberalization. It envisages summer school internships to link second-generation students with radical non-governmental organizations and leftists in India.
In it organized a Youth Solidarity" Summer programme in Atlanta, on the occasion of fifty years of Indian independence and Pakistani nationhood, to offer progressive perspectives on South Asian history, identity and politics. This was to address a "growing" and "stark need" for "alternative engagements with South Asia" so that the second generation can learn about contemporary South Asia as' well as the complexities of the diaspora. As it summarizes, on the one hand reified notions of South Asian "tradition" and "culture" are transmitted by immigrant parents.
On the other, the only South Asian studies offerings on the university circuit are most often informed by orientalizing perspectives or erasures of the knowledge of popular struggles for economic, religious and gender equality in South Asia. According to one of its members, the right-wingers in the South Asian community are among the most effective organizers. So the idea was to form something to counter that. And to say that there is an alternative point of view". The group has Indians and Bangladeshis and some Pakistanis.
But its focus was mainly on India, "because Indian communalism was, at that point" the problem that bothered them "the most". There was an appeal to take up the matter in academic associations and area studies centres to express concern on this subject to the Indian government. The term "South Asian", it elaborates, is chosen "to bring attention to the fact that South Asians are.
It's statement goes on to add that "whereas most other South Asian , magazines are based on differences of region, religion and nationality within South Asia", it has chosen to base itself "on a South Asian collectivity that is now spread out across the globe" emphasis added. Ranged against the contemporary rightward political drift, it sees its basic commitment as social and economic justice both in North America and South Asia.
Subjects covered included the Indian elections and nuclear test explosions in the subcontinent and the taxi workers' mobilization and strike see below in New York. Most drivers work about 84 hours a week in hour shifts. The organizing committee members meet two or three times each month, and general members meet once in every two months.
Initially the bulk of the roughly members were Pakistanis. The LDC profiled itself as being different from other unions and driver organizations in that it had "equal respect for Bangladeshi, Indians and Pakistanis". This solidarity making is conceptualized as a prelude to linking up with drivers of "all other communities", such as African Americans, Latinos, Europeans and non-coloured Americans.
The Canadian counterpart of the South Asian movement is said to have "a somewhat older history" than the American one. Thus for example, the proliferation of South Asian materials emanating from Canada films, music, cultural events, journals, anthologies has yet to be matched in the US. This has been attributed to two factors. The significantly larger concentrations of South Asian populations are in large Canadian metropolitan centers such as Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. And the unconscious promotion of ethnic identities through Canada's declared "mosaic" policy in multicultural affairs.
Here progressive activists, some of whom belong to the South Asian Committee of the New Democratic Party have been forging a collective. The agenda is to think through participation in Canadian politics as well as to intervene against racism both among South Asians and other metropolitan communities. In Britain its activities have included supporting Asian women workers demanding basic rights, organizing against racist attacks and opposing racism in health and education policies, as well as fighting repressive immigration and asylum laws.
It also produces and distributes written material. One of the events in its -campaign of saying no war and fascism in India and Pakistan included distribution of leaflets on mass scale and collecting signatures at the World Cup final at Lord's cricket ground two years ago. Its quarterly, Inquilab, carries articles takes on debates among the left in South Asia and Britain. Its conference on "Globalization, Identity and Resistance" in October , to mark 50 years of the end of British rule in South Asia drew nearly participants, both activists and academics from South Asia, Britain and Canada.
As a follow-up the SASG is "beginning to examine the growth of communalism in the Asian community in Britain It is also working on developing a coherent left perspective on workers' struggles in Britain. As it see it, "this will involve working with a wide network of groups and identifying possibilities for unity". It is a contested field, but given the combination of transnational practices and transborder technologies, as also the different, gendered layers of the Partition diaspora itself, it is imperative for social scientists and activists to track events, trends and debates in the subcontinent as well as in the diaspora.
In the South Asian Human Rights community acquired a profile to work on discrimination against minorities, women's rights, torture and extra judicial killings. It is ranged against state sponsored ideologies of demonizing the other that inform the "national security" agendas of the post Partition nation states. Its five joint conferences in Delhi, Lahore, Calcutta, Peshawar and Bangalore in attended by representatives of trade unions and mass organizations, academics, artists and activists got support from members of the Pakistan-Indian Diaspora.
Regarding Kashmir, it aims at getting past the assumption that post-colonial nation-state boundaries are sacred and that it is just a territorial I dispute. This is seen as basic to reducing communal and ethnic tension in the subcontinent and scaling down defence expenditure and militarism Its re-definition of political nationhood contests the minimizing of contact between the people by governments that impose restrictions on travel between the two countries and on the duration of each stay.
The Forum is therefore working for the granting of visas with greater ease, the reduction of costs of telecommunications and postal exchange and facilitating the free exchange of journals and information. Given the connections that are made between the "border question" and the "communal question" this is going to be uphill going. Significant headway has however been made in linking up the women's movements in Pakistan and India. This will expand to include drawing up a charter of women's rights, The expectation is that Muslim women in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka supporting this charter will support Muslim women in India and women in Pakistan will get support in their demands for women's rights beyond the present focus on marriage, divorce and personal laws.
Just however-present Partition is in our lives occurred to Butalia during the anti-Sikh riots in , the Bhagalpur riot in and the riots in the aftermath of the demolition of the Babri masjid pp. Bose and Rita Manchanda, eds. He mentions 75, southern Bhutanese of Nepali origin in Nepal; a million people of Bangladeshi origin in Karachi,; three million Afghan refugees in Pakistan; , "stateless" Biharis in Bangladesh; 47, Rohingya-Burmese in Bangladesh; and 51, Chakma, 56, Sri Lankan and thousands of Tibetan, Bhutanese and Burmese refugees in India.
New York], Summer , no. Truman, 18 August , U. State Department Box , File D. However, there is a distancing form the broader 'Asian' identification and a rejection of an leftist-activist 'black' self-representation. Also, in contrast with the creation of fun spaces by women and youth, rooted in pan-South Asian aesthetics, nationalism is situated in the domain of male elders.
Since , the Asian share has ranged between 13 per cent and 17 per cent; the number of Asian applicants again peaked in the early s, but the peak in the European numbers was considerably higher". Low and Brasted, eds. A, and Canada, 22 October , Chicago. See p.