Tag Archives: Activism
Let’s recap. Last month in Mangalore, India, a Hindu right-wing party — the Sri Ram Sena — descended upon a bar and chased out any women who were drinking.Â This incident, involving many male members of the Ram Sena kicking the escaping women, was video-taped and spread like wild-fire across the nation. Though the Mangalore situation caused much outcry, the leader of the group, on bail, still maintains that it “is not acceptable for Indian women to go into bars” (BBC South Asia).
In retaliation, women (and men!) across the country have formed the “The Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women.” With over 5,000 members, the Consortium has revealed its Valentine’s Day plan of protest. Not only are women encouraged to hit up the bars, but they are also encouraged to mail-in a pair of pink “chaddis” that will be sent en-masse to the Ram Sena. To clarify:
A spokeswoman for the group, Nisha Susan, told the BBC it was giving chaddis (Hindi colloquial for underwear) as they alluded to a prominent Hindu right-wing group whose khaki-shorts-wearing cadres were often derisively called “chaddi wallahs” (chaddi wearers).
The Hindu Nationalist BJP government of Karnataka (the state where Mangalore is located) has distanced itself from the Ram Sena, of course. Without a doubt, it is certainly a very interesting way to protest such massive idiocy (really, beating women for drinking?). The problem is though thirty people were arrested, I am sure a majority of them got away without a very harsh penalty. (Because that’s how India tends to work.)Â Thankfully, many women’s groups, as well as women in the government, have spoken out.Â They need to keep speaking out and keep women’s rights in the forefront.Â There has been much progress in this arena, but still so much more ground to cover — a lot of India, especially rural areas, are stuck in the past.Â Truly, I hope the Ram Sena appreciates the gift as they are not going to get much other love on Valentine’s Day.
The 2008 election may be over, but one of Michigan’s Congressman can benefit from just a little more activism.Â Rep. John Dingell’s (D-Michigan) Chairmanship of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce is being challenged by Henry Waxman (D-California).Â Waxman’s challenge is likely to divide the Democratic Caucus at exactly the time when Democrats should be united around Barack Obama’s historic victory and the possibility of finally resolving some of the difficult challenges our nation faces.
Chairman Dingell’s continued leadership on the Committee is crucial to the state of Michigan.Â With President-Elect Obama and two new Democrats in our Congressional delegation, Michigan may finally have an opportunity at recovery and the removal of Dingell as Chair would be devasting to the potential for progress.Â As Dean of the House of Represenatives, John Dingell has the expertise, the knowledge, and the ability to help turn Michigan around.
So, while the election may be over, you can still do your part to protect one of Michigan’s Democratic Congressman – a huge asset to this state and this nation – by visiting the Michigan Democratic Party’s website and signing the petition (which will then send an email to Nancy Pelosi).Â Then make sure that you send it along to 5 friends when prompted.
You may also call Speaker Pelosi at (202) 225-0100 to encourage support for Chairman Dingell.
By flooding the Speaker’s office with calls and emails from Democrats, we can send a clear message that Chairman Dingell has the support of the American people – the same people who just delivered a clear mandate to Democrats in Washington.
Do Your Part – Get Involved!