Short film about saffronization at IAAC film fest

The short film ‘In Whose Name?’ by Nandini Sikand is screening Nov. 7 at the IAAC film festival in Manhattan. Shashwati Talukdar, the film’s editor, writes:

It explores the hijacking of “Indian Culture” by the right wing, something very disturbing to those of us who grew up loving the very things that took on a very sinister meaning down the road. Sometimes I wonder if I hadn’t learnt classical music and dance, this co-optation would have been as disturbing as it is.

Buy tickets for ‘In Whose Name?’ here and for the full film festival here.

Indian nurses face racial harassment

Two new studies, one done in the U.S. and the other in the U.K., document the systematic discrimination against Indian (mostly Mallu) nurses. From Indolink:

The author says that the [U.S.] study ‘underscores the continuing inequities of our health care system’ and concludes that the challenge is to establish a more just and effective environment for those who provide health care.

As one of the nurses said, “I have proven myself over and over. What do we have to do to get recognized? What makes me mad is I would never have been able to do all the things I have done if I had stayed in India…We own a house, my children have gone to college, and yet…here, I feel like I don’t belong.”

Another commented: “I have not been treated badly, but I know I am not treated the same as the other White nurses…”

An Indian nurse with 26 year’s experience observed: “I think I am in the middle…White is the top and Black is the bottom.”

The British study notes similar conclusions:

The British study by Michael Shields and Stephen Price, and entitled ‘Racial Harassment…Evidence from the British Nursing Profession,’ defines racial harassment as behavior towards the individual nurse that is perceived to be ‘difficult, aggressive or hostile’ on the grounds of race or color.

This study confirms that nurses from South Asia are victims of racial harassment from hospital staff as well as patients. Furthermore, the study reveals that South Asian nurses are likely to experience abuse on a frequent basis. More than half of the Indian nurses reported having been the victim of racial harassment by patients or their families during their working lives.

Election monitoring in troubled countries

Fresh off from duty in war-torn Afghanistan as an election monitor, K Jagannatha Rao is headed to the next troubled country to perform similar duties. From the Times of India:

Rao, who returned to India a few days ago after overseeing the polls in trouble-torn Afghanistan, will leave for the US on October 28.

“Ohio will be a challenge because it is more controversial than Flordia,” Rao told The Times of India on telephone from New Delhi.

Rao is among the 14 international observers invited by the Global Exchange International, a NGO, to monitor the US presidential elections this November 2.

Hopefully Ohio doesn’t embarass us. I am a proud American and don’t want us to fail our global test with the whole world watching.

“I will be at liberty to point out any fraud,” Rao said. He has already gathered a background about Ohio which he feels might come in handy during detection of any fraud during polls.

I hope his intelligence dossier includes the fact that Ohio State football sucks.

Treating AIDS patients like animals

I usually think its great when some do-gooder American goes to India or Africa to help with the AIDS problem, but not like this. From

Police in India are seeking government permission to extradite three Americans for allegedly testing an animal vaccine on Indian patients with HIV 10 years ago.

The indictment names Pierre Emanuel De Gaspe, a Florida-based financier, Dr Bharav Bhattacharya, a veterinary scientist from New Jersey, and AIDS-patient counselor Dr Maya Gogte whose hometown in the US was not available.

All three are charged with medical negligence leading to death.

The case dates back to March 1994, when 10 HIV-positive patients were allegedly injected with a Bovine Immuno-deficiency Virus (BIV) vaccine meant for cows during medical trials conducted in Mumbai.

How often do we allow extradition of criminals anyways? Not including for torture I mean.

Kashmir – Not so fast…

Sepia Mutiny recently reported The New Hope for settling the decades old Kashmiri situation. Alas, the plan appears to be DOA – – Kashmir plan rejected in Pakistan – Oct 26, 2004 -

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan’s opposition rejected a formula proposed by the country’s president for solving the lingering issue of Kashmir, saying on Tuesday they will never allow him to change the status of Kashmir against the wishes of its people.
The Pakistani opposition’s reaction came a day after President Gen. Pervez Musharraf told journalists in Islamabad that Pakistan and India must consider changing their positions on Kashmir to settle a decades-old dispute over the Himalayan region. Both nations claim the Himalayan region in its entirety. “We have arrived at a stage where … we have to consider options in a purposeful manner going toward a solution” over Kashmir, Musharraf said Monday. He said New Delhi and Islamabad should consider making some areas of Kashmir independent, placing them under joint Indian-Pakistani control, or putting them under the administration of the United Nations.
Posted in Uncategorized

From the mouth of a babe…

Julie Ann Titus is no longer in the running for America’s Next Top Model. Has-been/Naomi Campbell-successor Tyra Banks sent our girl packing, ostensibly because Julie didn’t “want it” enough. Whatever.

The October 25 issue of In Touch magazine featured Julie in its “Losers of the Week” column. I painstakingly reproduce the extensive three question interview for SMers here: ;)

What have you been doing since getting kicked off?

I’m going to school, and then I’ll start my fashion business.

Are you glad they didn’t cut your hair short (during the makeover segment)?

I have good hair, why mess it up? Women should have long hair.

Are you over wanting to be a model?

Nope. I still want the world to see my face.


Word, JT.

Oh, and despair away boys…here’s a snippet from Julie’s exit chat transcript from the UPN website that may be of interest to you…

missy: Last season some of the photos had nudity involved. You said your parents wouldn’t like that, would you do a photo like that anyway?

Julie: I figured my parents would get over it because they blessed me with good genes. I wouldn’t have problems with a nude shoot but a more conservative family would.


Julie, we hardly knew ye…or what ye looked like nekkid. ;)

Posted in TV

Immigrant Entrepreneurs – Cabbie bids $360K for Medallion

This dude is hard core – New York Daily News – Home – Cabbie’s 360G buys medallion & a dream

It cost him $360,000, but Mohammed Shah is glad to be in the driver’s seat. The Queens cabbie shelled out the record cash for a taxi medallion yesterday, mortgaging his East Elmhurst house and laying out a 10% down payment to finance the purchase at a city auction. “I work 50 hours a week,” the Bangladeshi immigrant said with a smile. “Maybe now I just work 40 hours. It’s nice to be your own driver.”
Shah came to the United States 23 years ago and is married, with two boys and a girl. His second son was born 10months ago. He worked in a restaurant until 1996, when he turned to driving a taxi. He already had achieved the American Dream of homeownership, and now he’s notched the cabbie New York Dream. “Now I own everything, a car and the medallion,” he said.

A big Sepia Mutiny BRAVO to you, Mr Shah.