India's Snake Charmers Fade, Blaming Eco-Laws, TV: wildlife protection laws and increased education about snakes via nature TV programs is contributing to the decline of a profession, according to the people affected.
Gujarat earthquake: Land of the damned: on the distribution of aid in the aftermath of the 2001 Gujarat earthquake.
Gujarat's poor are Dalits, or untouchables. Before the earthquake, discrimination against untouchables in Gujarat was subtle; afterwards, it was blatant. Their plight has divided Indian opinion: how Gujarat's poorest families were ignored is either a human-rights violation, or the natural order of things according to the Hindu Lord Krishna. (Only very slightly better off than Dalits in this very Hindu state are Gujarat's Muslims.) Through a simple accident of being born lowest in India's caste system, poor Gujaratis are considered so unequal that they have received less food and water, fewer blankets and smaller houses (if they were given one at all) than upper castes.
Some untouchables, like Baba Jogi, are deemed so inferior that aid for them, according to a few higher-caste Indians, is almost unthinkable. Which poses a terrible question for those of us making phone pledges to help poor people in dire distress. Are our disaster-relief efforts only making the gap between the rich and poor greater?
- Dalistan Organisation
- National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights
- Roger Bilham's page on the tectonics of the earthquake
Blaming the Hindu Victim: Manufacturing Consent for Barbarism: on media response to the firebombing attack that started the latest round of religious violence in India. [via little green footballs]
India's dangerous flames: background behind the religious violence which erupted in India over the last week.
India's government has moved firmly in an effort to quell any violent backlash to the latest spate of killings over a controversial campaign to construct a Hindu temple on the site of a demolished mosque. The issue is a flashpoint for religious violence in India. In three days, more than 200 people have died in the western state of Gujarat. More than 50 Muslims died after their homes were torched in a shanty town near Ahmedabad, the state's largest city. Police have been ordered to shoot troublemakers on sight and troops have been sent in to help keep order.
In 1992, 3000 people were killed in the riots that started when the mosque was demolished.
- Srikrishna Commission Report on the Riots in Bombay
- BJP's White Paper on Ayodhya & the Rama Temple Movement
- Anger in India: the Columbia Journalism Review looks at the effect of foreign media on the riots in 1992