In the midst of the despair and anger caused by the insane, cold-blooded attack on the Christians of Joseph Colony (also known as Esa Nagri), in Badami Bagh Lahore, it is heartening to see Pakistanis come together not just to unequivocally condemn the attack, but also to help those who have lost everything. Please join this effort. Friends that I trust are working with the Cecil and Iris Chaudhry Foundation, run by Cecil and Michelle, whose father the late Sqdn Ldr Cecil Chaudhry I knew as a wonderful human being, and a dedicated peace activist and educationist (although he was more famous for being a war hero). Please see below for information on how to help, as well as photos and updates. Continue reading
“Howl, howl, howl, howl! O, you are men of stones:
Had I your tongues and eyes, I’d use them so
That heaven’s vault should crack…”
See this brief, heartbreaking video below documenting the damage done by the criminal mob at Joseph Colony, Badami Bagh, Lahore. All efforts must be made to rehabilitate them and provide them with justice. When is enough enough? Or have we still not reached the breaking point? Also see my earlier article on the ‘blasphemy’ laws and the dangers of ignoring malicious intent when accusing someone of this crime.
Joseph Colony Arson Attack from Saad Sarfraz Sheikh on Vimeo.
Another day, another bout of madness in Pakistan. On Saturday, a mob torched Christian houses in Joseph Colony in the Badami Bagh area of Lahore, after allegations of ‘blasphemy’ against one of its residents. This was clearly no spontaneous ‘riot’ but a well-planned and orchestrated move. Because of the warnings received ahead of time, the residents were evacuated so that there was no loss of life (though the alleged blasphemer’s 65-year old father was beaten up). Small mercies.
Locals say that the land mafia was behind this attack. No surprise. Malafide motives (property, debt, rivalry etc) have been behind all accusations of ‘blasphemy’ investigated so far. Continue reading
Where would we be without Manto? He died in 1955 but lives on in the hearts of millions of people in both Pakistan in India because his work has by now helped generations understand, and if I may say so, come to terms with the Partition of 1947 whose ghosts haven’t left us yet. Manto’s centrality in understanding Partition remains despite a growing body of historical research on the subject…
Exciting news from Adil Najam, Vice Chancellor of LUMS – for those who don’t know him, Dr. Adil Najam was the Frederick S. Pardee Professor of Global Public Policy at Boston University and served as a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), work for which the IPCC was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize along with Al Gore. He left BU (where his office had the most gorgeous view overlooking the Charles River) to head the Lahore University of Management Sciences. Continue reading
Here’s the latest report of the Southasian journey undertaken recently by my friend, civil rights activist, writer and journalist (editor Himal Southasian) Kanak Mani Dixit, his wife Shanta (a teacher) and son Eelum (an actor, and yes, his name derives from ‘ilm’ which means knowledge, named by his dada, Kanak’s father who is a prominent writer).
The family started their 1100-mile odyssey in Kathmandu, Nepal, ending in Peshawar, Pakistan, to raise funds and awareness about the need for spinal injury rehabilitation. Those who have been following this issue would know that Kanak injured his spine in a trekking accident a decade ago. He survived, making a near miraculous recovery, and started the Spinal Centre Nepal in 2002, inaugurated by the late Sir Edmund Hillary. The coverage they’ve got on this journey has helped publicize their drive tremendously but the required funds have not arrived, and they are well short of their target. This is a personal appeal. Please donate what you can for this important cause. And do read this riveting account of their journey, includes important insights and information… Continue reading
Filed under: Southasia | Tagged: Agra, Ajoka, Amritsar, Armed Forces Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine Rawalpindi, bhagat singh, buddhist, Delhi, donate, eelum dixit, fundraising, gandhara, golden temple, Gorakhnath temple peshawar, Grand Trunk Road, Guru nanak, hazrat niz, Himal, Himal Southasian, India, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, ISIC, islamabad, Kanak Dixit, kathmandu, Lahore, lucknow, Mayo Hospital Lahore, National Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine Islamabad, Nepal, Pakistan, Paraplegic Centre Peshawar, peshawar, Rawalpindi, Shanta Dixit, south asia, Southasia, spinal, spinal beetle, Spinal Centre Nepal, spinal injury, spinal rehab, taj mahal, Volkswagen Club of Pakistan, VW Bug | 1 Comment »
I’m sure the Dixits – Kanak, Shanta and Eelum – have soon share photos, video and stories about their Spinal Beetle fundraising drive from Kathmandu to Peshawar but meanwhile, this brief update.
Many things about their journey were striking and moving. There’s the romance of driving from Kathmandu via Lucknow, Delhi, Agra, Amritsar, Lahore and Rawalpindi to Peshawar, much of it along the ancient Grand Trunk Road that dates back to the Maurya Empire (3rd century BC), later extended by Sher Shah Suri in the 16h century, from Calcutta to Kabul. Continue reading
Filed under: Southasia | Tagged: Agra, Amritsar, Delhi, eelum dixit, Fatehgarh Sahib, India, Kanak Dixit, kathmandu, Lahore, lucknow, mayo hospital, Pakistan, Rawalpindi, Shanta Dixit, sialkot, spinal, spinal beetle, vw bugs, wazirabad | 3 Comments »
Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav flagged off the Spinal Beetle on its journey this morning. Great photos here. Below: the press note with planned itinerary and local contacts in India and Pakistan:
After his near miraculous recovery from a spinal injury in 2001, Kanak Mani Dixit, a prominent journalist and civil rights activist in Kathmandu started Nepal’s first Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre, together with friends and family. The Centre, inaugurated by the late Sir Edmund Hillary in 2002, runs entirely on private funding. It now needs to increase its service from 38 beds to 51. “The Great Nepal-India-Pakistan Spinal Beetle Fund-raising Drive” (1100 miles) - and all for a good cause - is being made on a 1973 Volkswagen Beetle, raising funds at USD 100 per mile. Continue reading
Calling all those interested in post-disaster care, spinal injury, Southasian connectivity, people-to-people contact, VW Beetles…!
Kanak Mani Dixit, a journalist (Editor of Himal Southasian) and civil rights activist, made a near-miraculous recovery from a spinal injury received during a trekking accident in Nepal.
Being Kanak, he threw his considerable energy and vision to launch a Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre in Nepal, inaugurated in 2002 by none other than the late, great Sir Edmund Hillary (facebook page SpinalNepal; twitter: @spinalnepal).
Kanak’s latest attempt to raise funds for the project as well as build linkages with like-minded institutions in Southasia is: The Great Nepal-India-Pakistan Spinal Beetle Rally
A fundraising drive across SouthAsia for spinal injury rehabilitation
USD 100 per mile, a journey of 1100 miles
Starting Nov 4, 2011: Kathmandu-Lucknow-Delhi-Amritsar-Lahore-Rawalpindi-Peshawar
Details >>… Continue reading
Filed under: Southasia | Tagged: beetle rally, dhaka, ISIC, Kanak Dixit, kashmir earthquake 2005, Lahore, lucknow, mayo hospital, new delhi, Parapalegic Centre, people-to-people contact, peshawar, post-disaster care, Shanta Dixit, south asia, Southasian connectivity, spinal care, spinal injury, VW Beetles | 2 Comments »
Call for Protest Rally against the brutal attack on Nairang Gallery, Lahore and its curator and staff by SHO Shadman Police Station Rana Zulfiqar – Please also see facebook event THREE Protests against Police Brutality in Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore
Artists, art critics and gallerists and civil society members will demonstrate in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad on August 13, 2011 (details below) to show solidarity with Nairang Gallery, Lahore, which was attacked on August 2, 2011 and register their protest against the reprehensible behavior of the police. They will demand a public apology by SHO Rana Zulfiqar and his dismissal from the police force for beating the curator and staff of Nairang Gallery. All concerned citizens must unite to stop police violence against citizens. Continue reading