Dancing to the State: Ethnic Compulsions of the Tangsa in Assam

GateBy Meenaxi Barkataki-Ruscheweyh            Let me begin by telling you a little bit about myself, the region and the people — the Tangsa — with whom I worked and some of the questions that I explored. Although I live in Germany now, I am Indian, more specifically an Assamese from the state of Assam in northeast India. Northeast India is a region which is geographically (and according to many, also emotionally) remote from the national capital at New Delhi. Separated from the rest of India except at a corridor, not much more than 20 kms at its narrowest, this region is surrounded by Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan and the Tibet region of China. Lees verder

No ‘Peace Day’ in Kashmir’s ‘Year of Killing Youth’

In the context of Peace Week 2010 we present a number of posts on such subjects as war, conflict and oppression. Today, on the International Day of Peace, Thomas van der Molen discusses the conflict in Kashmir. The photos are by Dilnaz Boga.

Policemen sitting against a wall covered with freedom slogans

‘We hate peace!’, a young Kashmiri dissident exclaimed during my fieldwork in the summer of 2008. He was referring to what anthropologist Cynthia Mahmood observes to be a tendency for repressive authorities in Kashmir and elsewhere to practice ‘pacification’ as part of their state security agenda. In line with both the informants in my fieldwork, and Mahmood, I favor the language of rights and justice, rather than that of peace and security. The UN General Assembly, on the other hand, presents today’s ‘International Day of Peace’, or ‘Peace Day’, as an opportunity to mark ‘our personal and planetary progress toward peace’. Yet, the relevance of ‘Peace Day’ – and indeed the concept of ‘peace’ itself – to the inhabitants of the Valley of Kashmir is doubtful, as the Government of India perpetuates its policy of ‘pacification’. Lees verder

De waarde van Gandhi

(foto door Thomas en Erik)
De Indiase ambassadeur (foto door Erik)

Door Thomas van der Molen en Erik van Ommering

“De waarheid schaadt nooit een zaak die rechtvaardig is”, Mahatma Gandhi.

Het is 2 oktober, Internationale Dag van de Geweldloosheid, en tevens Gandhi Jayanti, de geboortedag van Mahatma Gandhi. Vandaag is het 140 jaar geleden dat Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in de Indiase deelstaat Gujarat het licht zag, en dat wordt in India en in de Indiase diaspora op grootse wijze herdacht. Ook bij het standbeeld van Mahatma Gandhi aan de Amsterdamse Churchilllaan. Lees verder