links for 2011-06-23

Women in Politics: Planning ahead of 2015 elections

The role of money in political pariticpations especially for the female politicians was so glaring in the just concluded 2011 elections. The lack of strong financial based for many female politicians hindered the large coverage of campaign and their popularity. No one is advocating for blood money or fraudulent resources but hard earned money or support from credible sources to do the necessary public awareness, campaign and rallies.

There is no denying the fact that there are many other obstacles alienating women from political participations and offices. Patriarchy is a key factor, violent and unsafe political landscape as well as parties’ discrimination and unfair selections have tremendous roles to play but with these many obstacles, if women do not have money for their campaign and to start early will these not be a double tragedy?

Roy and Lahiri: India, home and diaspora

‘They are trying to keep me destabilised- so begins a recent interview with Arundhati Roy, published in the UK Guardian on the eve of the release of ‘Broken Republic’, the latest in an ever elongating list of non-fiction books by the author of the great Booker Prize winning novel, ‘The God of Small Things’

With Arundhati Roy, we’ve waited for a second novel for over a decade, in vain. In 2007 the author announced she was writing it but has failed to deliver the goods. She keeps churning out polemics instead. The novelist has given way to an outspoken critic of the Indian government on Deforestation, globalisation, Kashmir and so on. Like Hill, Roy’s detractors paint her as shrill, a loony, even her interviewer in The Guardian could hardly keep such insinuations from his text of the interview. In this part of the world, we’ve never had problems with our writers being activists as long as they remain faithful to the calling that gave them a platform and a listening/reading public in the first place. After buying Roy’s ‘An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire’ years ago, I’m refraining from buying any more of her non-fiction work (and this, from a committed reader and writer of non-fiction!) in the hope she gets that damned second novel out already.

South Africa: Bring back the truth and dignity from 1976

On Youth Day this year the nation will be celebrating 35 years since the struggle of the youth that died for Freedom, Democracy, Justice and Equality in 1976. We as Abahlali youth agree that the courage of the youth of 1976 must be celebrated. But we also wish to bring back the truth and the dignity of those youth that sacrificed with their lives in 1976. We need to make that truth and dignity a living force now. The struggles of the past must not be misused to silence the struggle of the present. The struggles of the past must be used to support the struggles of the present. Every generation must be free to take their own struggle forward.

Wikileaked Cable Describes How State Department Influenced Aljazeera’s Post-Quake Coverage of Relief Effort

Department cables Wikileaked last year revealed a State offensive against unfavorable media coverage of the U.S. role in the aid effort, with Hillary Clinton instructing all embassies to “push back” against “inaccurate and unfavorable international media coverage of America’s role and intentions in Haiti.”

newly released cable, made available through Wikileaks’ partnership with Haiti Liberté and The Nation, reveals in detail how such “push back” worked, in one case at least.

Frantz Fanon 50 years on

Fanon would certainly not have wanted to be canonised as an authority outside of the context in which he wrote and struggled. On the contrary he constantly stressed, from his first book to his last, that a living thought must always be an engagement with a particular situation.

But 50 years after his death our world is both strikingly similar and strikingly different to the world in which Fanon lived and struggled with such an incandescent passion. His remarks about the oil of Iraq having ‘removed all prohibitions and made concrete the true problems’ and the ‘marines who periodically are send to re-establish “order” in Haiti’ are hardly strange words from another time. His account of the degeneration of national liberation struggles into organised plunder is routinely described as prophetic by new readers in Southern Africa.