Jan 23 2020

MODI MIGHT HAVE FINALLY GONE TOO FAR

E&L has been following the rise of Right national populism throughout the world. One of its distinctive features is to redefine nation-states on ethnic (cultural) grounds, with one ethnic group holding supremacy and ‘others’ targeted  for oppression and sometimes repression. On 2018  the Israeli Knesset  introduced a new Nation-State Act, which provides constitutional underpinning for what had long been, in practice, a Jewish  supremacist state. In 2019, the Indian government, led by the Hindu supremacist Narendra Modi, passed the  Citizenship Amendment Act, which targeted Muslims. These attempts to maintain states on an ethnic supremacist basis have the support of the Right populists across the globe, including the USA and UK.  Both New Labour, under Gordon Brown and the Tories under Michael Gove,  had tried to underpin British citizenship (read subjecthood) by selected cultural criteria. The current global ascendancy of of Right national populism will lead to attempts to further this process, following the election of Johnson’s Tories  and  the continuing  Brexit saga. We are reposting an interview by Thomas Crowley of Jacobin with Achin Vanaik, writer and social activist, about the impact of Modi’s attacks in India.

 

MODI MIGHT HAVE FINALLY GONE TOO FAR – Thomas Crowley interviews Achin Vanaik 

 

 

With the ongoing mass protests to Modi’s anti-Muslim Citizenship Amendment Act, India is at last seeing a real challenge to right-wing Hindu nationalism.

 

Over the past few weeks, protests have erupted across India, in perhaps the most extensive challenge to the Modi government since it came to power in 2014. The state has responded with brutal force, as dozens have now died in police violence aimed at protesters. The spark for the protests was the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act, pushed through the Indian legislature by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The act introduces discriminatory religious qualifications into citizenship laws. Continue reading “MODI MIGHT HAVE FINALLY GONE TOO FAR”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Sep 21 2014

Rana Plaza – When art meets reality

Pauline Bradley reports on art that brings to life the struggle of sweatshop
workers in Bangladesh

No caring person can have failed to be shocked at the news of the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory on 24 April 2013. This eight-story commercial building collapsed in Savar, a sub-district in the Greater Dhaka Area, the capital of Bangladesh. It is considered the deadliest garment-factory accident in history, as well as the deadliest “accidental” structural failure in modern human history.

I recall feeling anger and helplessness at the time. I tried to direct other’s anger on social media towards union campaigns such as IndustriAll, an international union who covered the disaster and were working to strengthen health and safety rights and hold the big brands to account for their negligence.

A year and a half later I attended the annual Document 12 festival at the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow, where journalists, artists, and film makers with a human rights interest show their work. Here Carla Novi’s film “Rana Plaza” was screened followed by a Q & A with Carla.

The film began with riots from two rival groups in Bangladesh but no women were visible “They are all at home or at work,” Carla was told. Carla made her way to Rana Plaza where she sympathetically interviewed 15 women garment workers including Dilori Begum. One worker sang a song about the hardships of working in the factory, a kind of Bangladeshi version of “The Factory Girl”.

Continue reading “Rana Plaza – When art meets reality”

Tags: , , ,