I received the following document today through a mutual contact of the fact-finders and mine. It was presented at a press conference today, September 24th 2019, in New Delhi. I am sharing it to highlight both the situation in Kashmir, and to enable us who are far away to get as close to the actual … Continue reading Fact-Finding Visit to Kashmir
The current treatment of Kashmiris, mainly Kashmiri Muslims, is a sign that should alert all of us, that should shake all of us awake. Maybe we are willing to buy the propaganda that people in the valley are happy. But if the people in the valley are indeed happy, then why the restrictions? Why are the telephone lines restricted? What are the reasons for the internet still being banned? I argue that the means employed by the Indian government signal to the residents of Kashmir that it is either too impatient to find a better strategy, or that it is too unwilling to resort to less violent strategies. While there may be two sides to the story, we cannot afford to miss the warning signs. Oppression, typically, does not manifest through an evil-doer admitting to want to oppress someone. Oppression does not become manifest by just listening to the words said, but by interpreting the deeds and the body language. They will indicate the speaker’s true intentions.
For those who don't know: The world's biggest (not greatest) democracy just re-elected its previous Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a second term. In the words of the satire magazine The Onion: "India Continues Surge Towards Status As First World Nation By Reelecting Racist, Right-Wing Authoritarian". Not just that, but Modi's BJP won more votes … Continue reading And I’m Still Well Off – Thoughts on India’s Elections
Short answer: Yes, it can. It may be no surprise to those who have been following my blog to read yet another article which is critical of human rights narratives and human rights discourse. However, I want to walk you through why exactly using a human rights language may lead to serious issues in regards … Continue reading Can insisting on human rights mess up the delivery of health care in war zones?
Bengali-American author Avijit Roy lost his life on February 26th, 2015, in the streets of Dhaka after he was attacked with a machete. I recorded this piece as an attempt to be a cornerstone, a point of orientation, to grab hold of the many facets of the political and societal chaos Bangladesh has come to … Continue reading Why? – A Tribute to Avijit Roy and Bangladesh
[The] more I write and research, the more I feel that I am not helping the situation at all by doing so. Instead of properly lobbying, I am pouring oil into the flame of societal divisions. [...] It is very, very easy to learn how to call out for people’s rights. It is much more difficult to find a path to actually help people. And I am utterly confused about how to do the latter.
Recently, I read two journal articles that took a closer look at some of the less ideal sides of human rights, one by wa Makau Mutua from 1996, and one by Sally Engle Merry from 2003, and I believe both of them are still relevant today. In the end, the existence of human rights is … Continue reading Why We Have to Rethink the Way We Talk About Human Rights
Indeed, and there will be more soon! Below is a "trailer" to a longer video on Human Rights I will upload on Monday, the 10th of December, International Human Rights Day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbVaB4elYWc&t=42s
This post was originally published in May 2018 after attending an event by Amnesty International. Back in 9th grade, I learned about Gross National Happiness. At University, I stumbled upon it again, and found it to be an appealing way to measure the prosperity of a country - not guided by purely economic factors or … Continue reading Thoughts on Bhutan