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Nelson Mandela – the world leader and his legacy

Nelson Mandela, who is respected as the father of the nation in South Africa, died on December 5, 2013. He was the most popular world leader of our time and was revered by many heads of states. Like many human rights activists, I have been a great admirer of him. I remember that I participated in protests and demonstrations in the USA that were organized by the Third World Coalition and CISPES (Committee In Support for the People of El Salvador) as a student in the Apartheid Days demanding that the USA and the western world divest from the apartheid South Africa. I remember my attending a lecture given by Bishop Desmond Tutu (a Nobel Laureate) at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles in the mid-1980s.
Many of us within the human rights camps throughout the globe did lot of work to create the public awareness about what was wrong with the South African system and eventually bring down the fall of the apartheid regime. It was not an easy task, esp. in the western world. The…

International Rohingya Conference in the USA Calls for Stopping Genocide in Myanmar

The Rohingya people, who mostly live in the western Rakhine state of Myanmar, are the most persecuted people in our time. The Rohingyas are denied every right in this Buddhist-majority country simply because of their Muslim faith and ethnicity which is at variance with the dominant race and religion. Not a single of the 30 clauses of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), enshrined in the United Nations, of which Myanmar is a member state, is honored by the racist government in this den of hatred, intolerance and bigotry.

Although the ancestors of the Rohingyas have been the bhumiputras or first settlers to the silver crescent of the Arakan (now named Rakhine state to obliterate its Islamic connection), bordering Bangladesh, from time immemorial, they were declared stateless in their own country by President Ne Win. Dr. Aye Kyaw (now deceased), a Rakhine Buddhist academic, who lived in New York, was behind this xenophobic law to uproot the Rohingya, the second largest ethni…

THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE IN THE USA ON THE ROHINGYAS OF BURMA (MYANMAR)

THE DECLARATION FROM THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE IN THE USA ON THE ROHINGYAS OF BURMA (MYANMAR)
The 1-day human rights conference on the plight of the Rohingya people of Myanmar – “Stop Genocide and Restore Rohingya’s Citizenship Rights in Myanmar”, held in the campus of University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee on December 14, 2013 passed the following resolutions:
1. The Rohingya people, who mostly live in the western Rakhine state of Myanmar, are the most persecuted people in our time.
2. The tragic events unraveling since May 28, 2012 have made it obvious that the Rohingya people are victims of eight stages of genocide – Classification, Symbolization, Dehumanization, Organization, Polarization, Preparation, Extermination and Denial, as clearly documented by Professor Gregory H. Stanton, President of Genocide Watch.
a)The level of anti-Muslim intolerance, hatred and xenophobia had simply no parallel in our time! Extremists have denied the very existence of the Rohingya people, in spit…

Indian Diplomat arrested for visa fraud in NY

An Indian diplomat in NY - Devyani Khobragade - was recently arrested in New York. According to the U.S. attorney’s office, Khobragade was helping her nanny fill out fake visa forms that claimed the diplomat was paying her $4,500 (U.S.) a month, which works out to $3,927 a month more than the woman’s actual $3.31-an-hour salary, which they documented in a secret contract. The irony of the whole episode is that in the past year, Khobragade has repeatedly spoken to the media in connection to her duties as an advocate for “underprivileged” women’s rights. And now she seems caught red handed for taking advantage of her own nanny.

The information concerning her arrest can be seen by clicking here, here and here.

Bengal under the English Rule (1757-1905) – An Analysis

When Bengal was colonized by the East India Company in the second half of the 18th century, it was the richest jewel on the British crown. Bengal by then had been ruled under Muslim rule for nearly six centuries. During this long period from 1203 to 1757, as the rulers of the territory of Bangalah (Bengal), Muslims held the administrative positions. And yet, when the territory was divided in 1905 – less than 150 years of English colonization – into East Bengal, which was to later become the province of East Pakistan in 1947 and subsequently the independent People’s Republic of Bangladesh in 1971, and West Bengal, which was to later become a state within the Republic of India – the Muslims of Bengal lagged behind their Hindu counterparts economically and politically. Why?
To understand the causes, it is necessary that we have a fairly good grasp of the political, economic and social landscape of the territory, at least dating back to the time of the fall of the last independent Nawab o…