Feb 22, 2016

What you can do to #Stand with JNU

1.  Sign a petition: https://www.change.org/p/educationists-say-no-to-police-action-in-jnu-and-all-universities
2.  Support Devika's petition to have John Oliver cover this: http://talk.hbo.com/t5/Last-Week-Tonight-with-John/Topic-suggestion-Jawaharlal-Nehru-University-INDIA-State-assault/m-p/508880#U508880
you will need to register to do so.  Please do!
3.  Write to news sources in India (there are dozens of English language newspapers in the country, and many dozens more alternative press sites)
4. Organize your Department and Campus to be in solidarity with JNU and Indian students and send to kafila.org.  See below for an example
5.  Write to your local newspapers.  See my example.  It hasn't been published but I hope it will be. 
Why UMass, the Five Colleges, and the Valley should be standing by JNU and students in India

The Valley and its peoples pride themselves on their internationalism, which the woman on the street will claim is not restricted to the fact that the area is home to so many academic institutions. And much as we are delighted when we can find parking in the summer when the students are away, the students are a key part of what keeps the region vibrant and young.  We pride ourselves on our progressiveness and our openness to the world.  It is for all those reasons that we should be supporting the students at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, and students all over India who are so actively working to keep free thought and speech alive in the country that may well be know for having the most talkative people in the world.  

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is one of India's most celebrated public universities, and like many of the Valley's students, its students have a strong history of engaging in struggles for social change.  Last week, Kanhaiya Kumar, the elected president of JNU's student union, was arrested for ostensibly making "anti-national" remarks in his speech arguing for social justice.  At the behest of the government, the police slapped sedition charges on Kanhaiya Kumar, and suspended several students for organizing a peaceful protest. JNU's Vice Chancellor permitted the police to enter campus and they have been harassing students in hostels, homes and public spaces in New Delhi. While many mainstream media outlets work to discredit JNU and the students, the alternative press, student movements across the country, intellectuals and common folks in India are joining together to support Kumar, JNU and the right to critical thought and free speech.  These are preeminently issues that concern the Valley, and we should be standing with JNU.  What's at stake is not just our ability to visit India, do business with it India, and send our children there to study abroad.  What's at stake is the joint struggle to keep democracy and dissent alive and thriving.


6. Use your imagination and suggest other ways!

7.  Remain informed and see how it is linked to other issues you care about.


Aug 11, 2015

Back in the USA, which feels like a "man's world"

... Back in the US after living in Indonesia for two years.  Yes, going throug "culture shock."  For instance, went to the movies yesterday.  Granted we saw "Mission Impossible:  Rogue Nation," and granted that Rebecca Ferguson kicked butt.  But other than her, women were almost entirely absent from the movie.  They seemed to be entirely absent in the movie previews that preceded the feature.  Such poor representation begs poor questions: has the US has experienced a demographic shift such that women have disappeared from the country?  Or is this one more example of the absence of women from the Public Sphere?  Apropos which, check out Mary Beard's excellent address: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n06/mary-beard/the-public-voice-of-women