In response to the rising communalization of South Asian
societies, the Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia was formed in
The Alliance is made up of concerned individuals in the Boston area. It
represents many South Asian countries as well as people of South Asian descent
in the USA. Since its conception it has consistently sought to spread awareness
about the challenges against secularism and democracy in South Asia. It has also
always expressed solidarity with other movements against injustice and
oppression. Events organized by the Alliance include film screenings, talks,
cultural programs, vigils and rallies.
In coalition with other progressive groups in the Boston Area, the Alliance
offers an open platform to all for participation in creative solutions to the
challenges facing our people. We meet every week to debate, organize and plan.
Please contact us at info@SouthAsiaAlliance.org for more information.
We are residents of the Boston Area concerned about the rising communalization
of South Asian societies. We formed the Alliance for a Secular and Democratic
South Asia in January 1993 in response to the communal violence unleashed
throughout South Asia by the destruction of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, India
The principles and beliefs that unite us include:
Condemnation of violence perpetrated
against any group on the basis of religion, caste, language or gender.
Communal violence is fostered and
manipulated by vested interests that profit from such divisive tactics.
Democracy is essential for
secularism. Furthermore, democracy can not be merely the ritual casting of
votes but must entail equal access to all people to the resources of
society regardless of economic or religious background.
Secularism is not a choice but a
necessity for the diverse and deeply interlinked societies of South Asia.
The Alliance has:
Organized lectures and panel discussions on politcal issues of relevance
to South Asia, with noted activists and scholars, such as Asghar Ali Engineer
(social scientist from India), Asma Jahangir (human rights activist from
Pakistan), Ananad Patwardhan (activist film director from India), Maitrayee
Choudhury (on the Uniform Civil Code) and Noam Chomsky
Screened documentary videos and films, such as Eclipse (on the womens
movement in Bangladesh and the conservative religious reaction to it), Father,
Son and the Holy War (on the symbiotic relationship between patriarchy and
religious bigotry in India), The War Crimes File (on unpunished war criminals
from the 1971 genocide in Bangladesh) , Something Like a War (Feminist
perspective on Reproductive & Sexual Rights in India).
Raised funds for relief work and activist organizations in South Asia, including
during the flood in 1998 in Bangladesh
Campaigned in support of civil rights issues, including petitions for jailed garment factory leaders in Bangladesh (2010),
release of Dr. Binayek Sen (2009).
Organized cultural events with well-known artists from South Asia, such
as Shabana Azmi and Habib Tanvir as well as local artists from the area
Held a Youth Conference (South Asian Solidarity Seminar for Youth 1998)
in cooperation with proXsa (Progressive South Asian Exchange Net), FOPA (Forum
of Progressive Artists), and SAAAC (South Asian Action & Advocacy Collective).
Observed South Asia Day each August from 1999 to 2010.