FUCK YEAH SOUTH ASIA!

FUCK YEAH SOUTH ASIA is devoted to anything and everything about India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Kashmir and the Maldives. This includes (but is not limited to) natural beauty, music, film, history, literature, news and politics, food, discussion of the diaspora, language lessons and much more. We feel that the view of South Asia that is often presented is very flat and one-dimensional and we hope to do our small bit to change that.

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Posts tagged "Asia"

What a waste

How India is throwing away the world’s biggest economic opportunity

IN THE past 35 years, hundreds of millions of Chinese have found productive, if often exhausting, work in the country’s growing cities. This extraordinary mobilisation of labour is the biggest economic event of the past half-century. The world has seen nothing on such scale before. Will it see anything like it again? The answer lies across the Himalayas in India.

India is an ancient civilisation but a youthful country. Its working-age population is rising by about 12m people a year, even as China’s shrank last year by 3m. Within a decade India will have the biggest potential workforce in the world.

Optimists look forward to a bumper “demographic dividend”, the result of more workers per dependant and more saving out of income. This combination accounted for perhaps a third of the East Asian miracle. India “has time on its side, literally,” boasted one prominent politician, Kamal Nath, in a 2008 book entitled “India’s Century”.

Reasons to be cheerless

But although India’s dreamers have faith in its youth, the country’s youngsters have growing reason to doubt India. The economy raised aspirations that it has subsequently failed to meet. From 2005 to 2007 it grew by about 9% a year. In 2010 it even grew faster than China (if the two economies are measured consistently). But growth has since halved. India’s impressive savings rate, the other side of the demographic dividend, has also slipped. Worryingly, a growing share of household saving is bypassing the financial system altogether, seeking refuge from inflation in gold, bricks and mortar.

The last time a Congress-led government liberalised the economy in earnest—in 1991—over 40% of today’s Indians had yet to be born. Their anxieties must seem remote to India’s elderly politicians. The average age of cabinet ministers is 65. The country has never had a prime minister born in independent India. One man who might buck that trend, Rahul Gandhi, is the son, grandson and great-grandson of former prime ministers. India is run by gerontocrats and epigones: grey hairs and groomed heirs. The apparent indifference of the police to the way young women in particular are treated has underlined the way that old India fails to protect new India.

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mehreenkasana:


The Middle Man in Chapati Mystery by Manan Ahmed
The construction of nationalist identity in Pakistan, since 1971, has relied exclusively on a communal reading of South Asian histories – positing Hindu and Muslims as inchoate categories. Such reductive narratives may suit the purpose of nationalist discourses but they do not represent history. I have decided to tell the story of Seth Naomul Hotchand as a story of a broker between regimes of power, as a local negotiator of globally written politics. In my telling, Hotchand is a symbol—not of treason or collaboration but—of the fugue state that cripples the modern nation-state, which forgets pasts just as easily as it invents new ones to fill the gaps.
The “Orient” is a fiction, and a romance. The fiction espoused by the British officer in the opening quote frames our colonial and postcolonial stories – a Hindu son’s revenge for a Muslim injustice wrought upon his father. This romantic story swivels on its axis in postcolonial Pakistan – all Hindus are traitors, and can be represented by the money-lending, vengeful Seth Naomal Hotchand, who brought down a princely state. In what follows, I lay out a fuller picture of Hotchand’s life and argue that the real tragedy lies with the collective memory to which his history has been ascribed.
[x]
Painting by Daisy Rockwell.

Wish this was a chapter in our national curriculum on both sides of the border.

mehreenkasana:

The Middle Man in Chapati Mystery by Manan Ahmed

The construction of nationalist identity in Pakistan, since 1971, has relied exclusively on a communal reading of South Asian histories – positing Hindu and Muslims as inchoate categories. Such reductive narratives may suit the purpose of nationalist discourses but they do not represent history. I have decided to tell the story of Seth Naomul Hotchand as a story of a broker between regimes of power, as a local negotiator of globally written politics. In my telling, Hotchand is a symbol—not of treason or collaboration but—of the fugue state that cripples the modern nation-state, which forgets pasts just as easily as it invents new ones to fill the gaps.

The “Orient” is a fiction, and a romance. The fiction espoused by the British officer in the opening quote frames our colonial and postcolonial stories – a Hindu son’s revenge for a Muslim injustice wrought upon his father. This romantic story swivels on its axis in postcolonial Pakistan – all Hindus are traitors, and can be represented by the money-lending, vengeful Seth Naomal Hotchand, who brought down a princely state. In what follows, I lay out a fuller picture of Hotchand’s life and argue that the real tragedy lies with the collective memory to which his history has been ascribed.

[x]

Painting by Daisy Rockwell.

Wish this was a chapter in our national curriculum on both sides of the border.

The impact of America’s drone war in the likes of Pakistan and Yemen will linger on, especially for the loved ones of the 178 children killed in those countries by U.S. drone strikes.

U.S. Drone Strikes Are Causing Child Casualties: Video and Report.

War Costs’ latest video (with accompanying report) brings attention to the children who have died as a result of drone strikes. The video names some of the children who perished in these strikes, and points out the obfuscation tactics of American officials who will not own up to the significant amount of civilian casualties that have occurred due to this legally- and morally-dubious policy.

The nauseating irony that these strikes are being carried out with the approval of a Nobel “Peace” Prize winner.

(via mehreenkasana)

(via mehreenkasana)

tanqeedorg:

On Balochistan, Elections and Mengal | Mahvish Ahmad
The government has denied any military operation in Balochistan. Its opponents – from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Nawaz Sharif to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s Imran Khan keep talking about ‘free and fair elections’. As the first and most important step, they say, to ‘fixing’ Balochistan.
There has been a lot of theories on why the nationalist leader, Akhtar Mengal, came to Pakistan. Rumors have circulated and theories have been spun on whether he talked to the army before coming. Did he broker a deal? Did he come so he could contest elections? Mehreen Zahra-Malik wrote a great piece on the talk about town.
But whether you applaud his visit, or downright condemn it, it’s hard to look away from his Six Points – all of which call for an immediate cessation to state-led violence.
More here

tanqeedorg:

On Balochistan, Elections and Mengal | Mahvish Ahmad

The government has denied any military operation in Balochistan. Its opponents – from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Nawaz Sharif to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s Imran Khan keep talking about ‘free and fair elections’. As the first and most important step, they say, to ‘fixing’ Balochistan.

There has been a lot of theories on why the nationalist leader, Akhtar Mengal, came to Pakistan. Rumors have circulated and theories have been spun on whether he talked to the army before coming. Did he broker a deal? Did he come so he could contest elections? Mehreen Zahra-Malik wrote a great piece on the talk about town.

But whether you applaud his visit, or downright condemn it, it’s hard to look away from his Six Points – all of which call for an immediate cessation to state-led violence.

More here

(via mehreenkasana)

mehreenkasana:

Pakistan’s legendary columnist and critic Ardeshir Cowasjee (1926 - 2012) passes away today
Famous (and even notorious) for his fearless, unapologetic views on his country Pakistan, Ardeshir Cowasjee was a man who did not think twice before uttering the truth. “Cowasjee was appointed by Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as Managing Director of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) in 1973 but was jailed for 72 days in 1976 by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto for which no explanation has been given to date; it is said that Prime Minister Bhutto did that to rein Cowasjee because the latter was becoming increasingly vocal about Bhutto’s authoritarian ways. Cowasjee subsequently started writing letters to the editor of Dawn Newspaper, which led him to become a permanent columnist. Since then, his hard-hitting and well-researched columns in Dawn have continuously exposed corruption, nepotism and incompetence in different local, provincial and national governments for the last twenty years.In 2011 Cowasjee bid farewell to Dawn by publishing his last article in the newspaper on 25 December 2011, however he has hinted that he may write rarely for the newspaper in the coming future.” [x]
I grew up reading his brilliant views, I saw him on national TV making anchors and hosts ever so uneasy with his bluntness, often saying, “Yeh sala log (Loosely: These bastards)” about the various governments of Pakistan. He was never afraid to call a spade a spade. It is said that he was once threatened by a judge to “watch his mouth” but Cowasjee did not budge, he did not change a single thing about his moral take on issues. He was an inspiration to many.
Ardeshir Cowasjee sahab was a “columnist extraordinaire, bane of landgrabbers, humanist, philanthropist,” as Human Rights Watch’s Ali Dayan correctly put him. Another Pakistani legend bites the dust. A golden piece of Karachi died today. May his soul rest in power.

mehreenkasana:

Pakistan’s legendary columnist and critic Ardeshir Cowasjee (1926 - 2012) passes away today

Famous (and even notorious) for his fearless, unapologetic views on his country Pakistan, Ardeshir Cowasjee was a man who did not think twice before uttering the truth. “Cowasjee was appointed by Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as Managing Director of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) in 1973 but was jailed for 72 days in 1976 by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto for which no explanation has been given to date; it is said that Prime Minister Bhutto did that to rein Cowasjee because the latter was becoming increasingly vocal about Bhutto’s authoritarian ways. Cowasjee subsequently started writing letters to the editor of Dawn Newspaper, which led him to become a permanent columnist. Since then, his hard-hitting and well-researched columns in Dawn have continuously exposed corruptionnepotism and incompetence in different local, provincial and national governments for the last twenty years.In 2011 Cowasjee bid farewell to Dawn by publishing his last article in the newspaper on 25 December 2011, however he has hinted that he may write rarely for the newspaper in the coming future.” [x]

I grew up reading his brilliant views, I saw him on national TV making anchors and hosts ever so uneasy with his bluntness, often saying, “Yeh sala log (Loosely: These bastards)” about the various governments of Pakistan. He was never afraid to call a spade a spade. It is said that he was once threatened by a judge to “watch his mouth” but Cowasjee did not budge, he did not change a single thing about his moral take on issues. He was an inspiration to many.

Ardeshir Cowasjee sahab was a “columnist extraordinaire, bane of landgrabbers, humanist, philanthropist,” as Human Rights Watch’s Ali Dayan correctly put him. Another Pakistani legend bites the dust. A golden piece of Karachi died today. May his soul rest in power.

The government in Lahore, Pakistan has approved the building of two underpasses at Kalma Chowk linking Garden Town and Gulberg’s Main Boulevard at a cost of Rs1.125 billion, with construction work due to start in just a few days.

Two underpasses at Kalma Chowk approved.

Lower income families can’t afford to go to school or get medical care, several towns don’t have access to clean water or good security, many don’t have food to eat but this irresponsible git goes on to make more unnecessary changes to the city. We’re not poor. We’re stupid.

(via mehreenkasana)