Posted on February 24, 2016 by beenasarwar
I earlier posted about resistance to the stifling of dissent in India, and why as a Pakistani it matters to me. The trend is visible in other parts of Southasia too, including of course Pakistan about which I’ve written a fair amount. Here’s an update from Bangladesh, where defamation, sedition cases and the attempts to silence the independent media are underway, as well as Chattisgarh, India.
Smiles and sedition. Photo: Andrew Biraj, Reuters
Filed under: Freedom of expression, Gender, Human rights, Southasia | Tagged: #StandWithJNU, Bangladesh, Bastar, Daily Star, Defamation, false allegations, hypernationalism, India, Mahfuz Anam, Maoist, Media, Pakistan, Sedition, Soni Suri, VAW | 2 Comments »
Posted on September 20, 2015 by beenasarwar
Zara Hayes introducing “Clothes to Die For”, with Jennifer Leaning and Ruth Barron.
I wrote this piece recently for the Harvard South Asia Institute after attending the screening of a documentary film on the Rana Plaza tragedy in Bangladesh, “Clothes to Die For”. The screening was followed by a discussion with the filmmaker, Zara Hayes whom I’d assumed was Bangladeshi but turned out to be British – “I get that all the time,” she told me. Continue reading
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: 1970 cyclone, 1971, Bangladesh, Film South Asia, garment industry, Harvard SAI, Jennifer Leaning, Rana Plaza, Ruth Barron, Voices Breaking Boundaries, Zara Hayes | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 30, 2012 by beenasarwar
Eve Ensler, founder of the One Billion Rising movement. Photograph: Martin Argles for the Guardian.
The well known feminist activist, playwright and actor Eve Ensler has given a call for One Billion Rising campaign that aims to mobilise and bring out one billion people on streets across the world on February 14th, 2013 against violence against women, and in celebration of women’s power (One Billion Rising on Facebook).
Noted women activists from all over South Asia, including Kamla Bhasin of Sangat, OBR’s South Asian coordinator, were at the launch in Nepal. (Photo: WFS)
This, writes Ensler, “is a call to the billion women who have been violated and the men who love them, to the women who have been beaten and raped and mutilated and burned and sold and who know the destruction of the female species heralds the end of human kind. A call to walk out of your homes, your jobs, your schools and find your friends, your group, your place and music and dance” (‘One Billion Rising: Together we can end violence against women’, op-ed in The Guardian). Continue reading
Filed under: Gender, Human rights | Tagged: Bangladesh, Eve Ensler, India, Kamla Bhasin, Nepal, OBR, One Billion Rising, Pakistan, VAW, Violence against women | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 6, 2012 by beenasarwar
This is a slightly longer version of my interview of Bangladeshi photographer-activist Shahidul Alam published in Latitude News, May 4, 2012, with reference to his exhibition at Queen’s Museum in New York. The exhibition is an attempt to internationalise the issue of extra-judicial killings. Thousands have been killed in such ‘crossfire’, allegedly at the hands of Bangladesh’s Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) that the U.S. and UK governments have been training and providing arms to.
In “Crossfire,” an exhibition of photographs at the Queens Museum of Art in New York that closes on Sunday the 6th, acclaimed Bangladeshi photographer and activist Shahidul Alam chronicles the extra-judicial killings allegedly committed by Bangladesh’s Rapid Action Battalion, or RAB.Over a thousand victims have been ‘cross-fired,’ or executed by police without trial, in the last four years in the South Asian country, human rights activists claim. Many more people, perhaps thousands in total, have suffered similar fates, they say. Continue reading
Filed under: Human rights | Tagged: Bangladesh, crossfire, Drik Picture Library, extra-judicial, Human rights, Majority World, Queens Museum, Shahidul Alam | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 11, 2012 by beenasarwar
'Saving Face' co-directors, Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy: American-Pakistani cooperation wins
My report for IPS, featuring an interview with Dr Mohammad Jawad, published before ‘Saving Face’ premiered on HBO on March 8, International Womens Day
Acid survivors fight back: a story of hope amidst despair
BOSTON, March 8: When the Oscar-nominated film ‘Saving Face’ won an Academy Award in Hollywood Best Documentary (Short Subject), it was the triumph of several ‘firsts’: the first time ever that a Pakistani filmmaker had won an Oscar; Pakistan’s first Oscar winner was a woman; and it was the first time that an American and a Pakistani had co-directed an Oscar-winning film. Continue reading
Filed under: Gender | Tagged: acid attacks, acid survivors foundation, acid survivors trust, Activism, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Daniel Junge, dr jawad, India, inspiration, Katie Piper, oscar, Pakistan, sharmeen obaid, VAW | 5 Comments »
Posted on December 17, 2011 by beenasarwar
Thank you Mark Dummett, for the report in BBC today paying tribute to Anthony Mascarenhas, the brilliant and courageous Pakistani journalist who had to flee abroad in order to be able to tell the truth – Bangladesh war: The article that changed history.
“Eight journalists, including Mascarenhas, were given a 10-day tour of the province (East Pakistan). When they returned home, seven of them duly wrote what they were told to,” writes Dummett.
“But one of them refused.”
That was Mascarenhas, who died in 1986 in London.
His wife Yvonne Mascarenhas told Dummett that she remembers him coming back distraught: “I’d never seen my husband looking in such a state. Continue reading
Filed under: Human rights, Media | Tagged: 1971, anthony mascarenhas, army, Bangladesh, bbc, democracy, goan christian, history, journalism, Media, Pakistan, sunday times | 8 Comments »
Posted on August 14, 2011 by beenasarwar
Mishuk Munier at The Real News (photo TRN)
Catherine, Tareque and Nishad (Daily Star)
Shocked and grieved beyond words at this tragic news about the road accident that killed prominent Bangladeshi filmmaker Tareque Masud (The Clay Bird) and television journalist Mishuk Munier who helped start The Real News. Mishuk’s father Prof. Munier Chowdhury of Dhaka University was “perhaps the greatest dramatist and public speaker we ever had,” Bangladeshi journalist Afsan Chowdhury once told me. “That was in 1970 and i was in the first year of college. Prof. Chowdhury was picked up by the Jamaatis and disappeared, his body was never found”. Tareque’s wife Catherine (my classmate in college) is severely injured and in hospital. Their Nishad is a toddler, barely a year and a half old. My heart goes out to her and to the families of those killed. Here’s a link to the report of the accident in The Star, Bangladesh. TRN’s obit of Mishuk here, and The Daily Star report today ‘Fate puts a full stop‘.
Filed under: Media | Tagged: Bangladesh, catherine masud, clay bird, journalist killed, mishuk munier, tareque masud | 1 Comment »