ASATA members attended a lecture at UC Berkeley on February 27, 2014: Manufacturing Choice - The media and Indian elections: A talk by Journalist Kalpana Sharma
Kalpana Sharma is a Bombay-based independent journalist, columnist and media consultant. She spoke to us about the way news media has changed in India over the last few decades. Her descriptions of media monopolies, and how TV news reduces complex issues into adversarial binaries — invisibilizing the voices of people truly impacted by political changes — is all too familiar for those of us who know Fox News and CNN in the U.S. There are no rules in India about cross-ownership of media
Business interests have completely captured media.
Sharma focused specifically on the role of journalists, the corruption of reporting outlets, and the manipulation of voters in India. She left us with an optimistic realization that many Indian voters are able to see through the inaccurate and skewed data being reported on TV.
The success of the Aam Aadmi party shows that people are fed up with corruption. The support for this “common man” party could be a direct response to the lack of transparency in governance. Regardless of how Aam Aadmi performs, their message is resonating and has led to renewed civic engagement.
ASATA has participated in petitions to hold Narendra Modi accountable for his role in the 2002 Riots and to deny his visa for visiting the U.S. India’s mainstream media has named Modi as the likely winner of the upcoming elections. As we all continue to follow the news coming from India, it is helpful to have the context and analysis of a journalist like Sharma.
The event was live tweeted by the Center for South Asian Studies at Berkeley.
ASATA members with Journalist Kalpana Sharma.
ASATA’s sponsored project the Totally Radical Muslims Zine was featured in the East Bay Express. Check it out!
Devika, Nadia, Vin, Sabiha and Preeti at the AACRE retreat, January 2014
On January 25, 2014, six ASATA members attended the Asian Americans for Civil Rights and Equality (AACRE) retreat.
The day-long retreat was an opportunity for all the AACRE member organizations to hear updates on each others’ work, talk about what we are as a network together, and hear some advice/lessons learned from other organizers who have done coalition building work.
ASATA members participated in a conversation on feminism, solidarity, Asian American identity, intergenerational activism (with a shoutout to BASS), and more — and as a bonus you get to see /hear from our very own Taz Ahmed!
You can watch the video here: http://notyourasiansidekick.com/
Nadia Hussain and Sabiha Basrai represented ASATA at the final AMEMSA Civic Engagement Fund Convening at the Islamic Cultural and Community Center in Oakland on October 28, 2013. The convening concluded the three year capacity building project and left us with ideas and plans to continue supporting each other’s work. ASATA’s participation in the Civic Engagement Fund has renewed our connections with Arab Resource and Organizing Center, Narika, and Third i, while also building new relationships with African Advocacy Network, Omid Advocates, Council on American Islamic Relations, and several other awesome organizations. Our participation has also included grant money that has helped projects like BASS and the Totally Radical Muslims Zine get off the ground.
It has been especially interesting to learn about how Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP) built support for this fund. The AAPIP staff is committed to helping our Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian organizations continue to build capacity and bring our community voices to issues of immigrant rights, civil rights, and civic engagement.
photos courtesy of AAPIP.org
November 1, 2013
Dear friends, fam, crews, co-conspirators, inspirators, mentors, poets, activists, artists, teachers, musicians, painters - you whom I walk with,
Today, marks the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Ghadar Press, and thereby oft gets noted as the founding date of Ghadar headquarters in San Francisco. Ghadar (‘Revolt’, in urdu/punjabi), inspired South Asian expatriates to rebel dream — not just for India’s independence from British rule, but for all enslaved bloodlines the world over - to breathe, love, burn, and die for real freedom.
ASATA co-sponsored this panel on gender-based violence featuring three South Asian feminists, and moderated by ASATA’s own Preeti Shekar.
The event was live tweeted.
As members of South Asians for Justice – Los Angeles (SAJ-LA), the Alliance for South Asians Taking Action (ASATA), and Friends of South Asia (FOSA), we vehemently oppose the construction of a proposed power plant in Mithi Virdi, Gujarat. The plan would have a devastating impact on the people and environment of the region. It would displace hundreds of thousands of people in surrounding villages, deprive farmers of their livelihood, wreak havoc on the environment, and would negatively impact the health of communities, not only in surrounding villages, but in the entire region.
Our organizations stand in solidarity with villagers and farmers who have organized tirelessly to protect their land, livelihood and families from this unjust encroachment.