Why being a bystander is not an option

IMG_1714

Photo: Harsh V.

My column Personal Political published in the Cambridge Chronicle, June 8, 2017

Beena Sarwar

“You don’t even speak English,” comes a male voice across the fading evening light.

We glance past Cambridge Public Library’s main entrance. The man is bending close to someone sitting on a bench on the other side. A couple of homeless guys slightly drunk, ribbing each other?

The voice breaks through the dusk again. “This is not your country. Why don’t you go back?”

I jump up and walk purposefully towards them, suppressing a reminder that I’m a small brown woman heading towards an unknown situation.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Harsh Mander and his vision of “a world of new solidarity”

My column in Himal Southasian, published 10 June 2016 –  Harsh Mander on why we should raise our voice against injustice

By Beena Sarwar

Photo : Beena Sarwar

Harsh Mander: Committed, consistent and soft-spoken. Photo: Beena Sarwar

Cross-border solidarity isn’t exactly a new idea. The rallying cry, “Proletarians of all countries, unite!…” that emerged in 1848 from The Communist Manifesto has resounded around the globe in many forms since it was first articulated.

Meeting Harsh Mander, one of India’s foremost activist-intellectuals and a courageous former civil servant, again revived the idea for me, but this time, beyond workers. I had first met the soft-spoken Mander in Karachi, when I worked for Geo TV. He had been part of a small delegation from India visiting Pakistan in early 2004, a visit aimed at improving understanding between India and Pakistan, organised by the social-cultural group Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD). Continue reading

#ChapelHillShooting All lives matter. “Terrorism, their’s and our’s”

Deah, Yosur, Razan#‎AllLivesMatter‬ My heart goes out to the family and friends of Deah, Yosur, and Razan, the beautiful young people whose lives were so cruelly snatched in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, ostensibly over a ‘parking dispute’.

It’s not front page or breaking news in the US mainstream media the way that racial killings or murders committed by Muslims make the news. Those defending the media in this case say that the murders were not motivated by Islamophobia, and that to highlight the religion of those involved is to create conflict. Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: