Shows: October 28, 2008

Photo for 'Nandita Das talks about her new film, Firaaq'
Firaaq

On The Road in Southeast Asia: Regional News

Whoever takes over the presidency after next week's election will face a host of issues in the Southeast Asia region. For a round up of current events in the area this week, we go to APF Collective Member Dorian Merina, reporting from Jakarta.

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Race Policy and the Election

The 2008 presidential election has proven to be the most diverse in the US history. While race has played a major role in the rhetoric around the election, policy in regards to race and ethnicity have not been as prominent. We speak to Seth Freed Wessler, of the Applied Research Center about where the candidates stand on race policy. We will also hear about upcoming racial justice initiatives and how the current state of politics will affect communities of color in the US.

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Asian American Voter Rights

n the 2006 mid-term elections, Asian American voters experienced mistranslated ballots, interpreter shortages, and poll workers who made hostile remarks. To hear about voter protection and rights this November, we speak with Bryan Lee, Voting Rights Coordinator at Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. AALDEF is a national organization that protects and promotes the civil rights of Asian Americans, through litigation, advocacy, education, and organizing.

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Violence in Orissa, India

As India celebrates Diwali today, the annual festival of lights, many religious minorities suffer from attack and persecution. This is true of Orissa's Christian community, in India's North East, which comprise 2.4% of the state's population. Orissa is also an area where the VHP party as a strong foothold, aimed at re-converting Christians to Hindu, and also documented attacks against Muslims. On August 23rd of this year, tensions ignited, when a revered 81-year old VHP leader Saraswati was killed. Theories range on the murderer- the State alleges it was the Maoists, who are trying to build a base in Orissa. The VHP insist in was Christian missionaries. In the weeks that followed, riots ensued, followed by house burning and killings. We speak with Paul Divakar, the Convenor of the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights and Dr. Roja Singh, President, Dalit Solidarity Forum in the US.

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Nandita Das talks about her new film, Firaaq

Acclaimed film actor, Nandita Das, is known for her performances in many politically driven independent films in India. Recently she stepped behind the camera and co-wrote and directed the critically acclaimed film, Firaaq. Firaaq takes place over a 24 hour period one month after the communal violence in Gujarat in 2002. The film traces the emotional journeys of ordinary people - some who were victims, some perpetrators and some who chose to watch silently. APF producer, Silky Shah, discussed the film with Nandita Das after its screening at the opening ceremony of the South Asian International Film Festival last week.

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This program is brought to you by Amy Paul and Silky Shah of the APF collective.

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