Essay

Purvi Shah / To shine a light / It is not that

Poems pass through moments, as do our lives. Both poetry and justice necessitate a vision, a series of quiet actions built from contemplation and our own observations. Both poetry & justice necessitate desires, this wanting & wanting more, this knowing & knowing more. This stitching between – a kind of locking of skewed, errant and yet beautiful tiles – is the movement between the world of poetry & this world itself, between the world itself & the world we desire – the world we will one day make.

The Trouble with Free Speech

"Free speech is neither an invention of the Western world nor is the Muslim world necessarily at odds with it. The key is to realize the weight that a "progressive" Muslim voice has in this discourse."

Crimes of Speech

"The infamous George Allen "macaca" comment is part of a long history of offensive speech. The words, though, are only the tip of the iceberg, walking the talk is the real challenge for politicians."

The Oppressed Truth

"The case of Shumail and Shahzina illustrates creative and selective judicial enforcement in Pakistan. By jailing the couple for "lying," a court fails to acknowledge the truth of Shumail's gender identity."

Letter to a Progressive Hindu

The re-election of Narendra Modi five years after the Gujarat pogrom signals that it is time for a progressive Hindu movement to reclaim the religion as one that is progressive, tolerant and secular humanistic.

Stories from Coming Out, Coming Home

"Satrang hosted a series of writing workshops for members of the LGBTIQQ South Asian community to excavate and craft their personal stories. Sky Kishore's "Shatterproof" and Alicia Virani's "Founder's Day" were presented, along with the other participants from the workshop, this month in Southern California."

From Barely Relevant to Key Voting Bloc

In a matter of months, what was considered a politically inactive community unable to leverage its political power was now being wooed by the rival parties for its attention. The South Asian and West Indian enclaves of Richmond Hill and Ozone Park became integral in deciding which party would control the New York State Senate.

The Audacity of Empire

If there is one unmistakable difference between Bush's wars and Obama's wars it boils down to this: we now have a president who can almost perfectly pronounce the names of the cities and villages US troops will occupy and bomb.

Adapted from a talk at a conference titled "Obama's Occupations" held at Pomona College, December 4, 2009.

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