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India: The Prime Target For The American Left

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It has been quite amusing to watch “eminent political analysts” in the Indian media talk about Kamala Harris’ Indian roots and seeing everyone else obsess over this has ensuresd that a Democratic President at the White House will be a boon for India. There are two aspects to this wonderfully ignorant assertion that need to be addressed. The first being Kamala Harris’ Indian heritage and this somehow ensuring that she will be friendly towards India and the second regarding the hate that exists in the minds of the Left-wing in America for India.

Kamala Harris Is No Friend Of India

The Indian media’s commentary and some of the Indian citizens making a fool of themselves over Kamala Harris tells a lot about our still-colonized minds. To think that she is one of ours, due to her having a Tamil mother shows a grave lack of knowledge among Indians. Here is some food for thought. Look at the following tweet by Kamala’s sister the day she was picked as the VP nominee;

No mention of Harris’ Indian links whatsoever. Harris, whose father was a Jamaican Black, identifies herself more as a Black woman. Why? Because, in America, Kamala’s success depends on promoting her patriarchal line that appeals to African Americans and left-liberals who are a key support base for the Democratic Party in a nation divided along racial lines. Kamala also sees herself as a Black Baptist. A possible reason which would explain her lack of enthusiasm to prosecute the Christian clergy accused of sex crimes.

Joe Biden’s only two qualifications for being the Presidential nominee are that he is “not as bad as Trump” and that he is relatively more moderate as compared to the other Communist Democratic front runners (Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren etc),  people that were worrying to the Democratic Party’s backers. Kamala Harris was only picked to balance out the ticket in race-wrecked America.

If the Democratic Party was truly inclusive and not just looking for the token black woman to run for top office, they would have picked the most charismatic candidate of them all – Tulsi Gabbard. But God forbid anyone chose a “devil-worshipper” in evangelical Christian America. Especially the fascist, Sanghi Tulsi Gabbard who had the audacity to congratulate Narendra Modi after his second election victory in 2019?

She was demonized for being sympathetic to Hindutva especially by the evangelical and left-wing parts of American media. Anti-Hindu religious bigotry runs deep in America, left or right. American politicians, of whichever religion or skin color, have to be judged and dealt with as simply Americans and not on the basis of their alleged roots or sympathies with India. So, please don’t obsess over Kamala Harris’ Indian-Hindu roots, because she certainly isn’t.

The American Left Is A Threat To Modern India

Traditionally, Indian governments have found Republican administrations (which tend to be more transactional) easier to deal with than Democratic ones with their holier-than-thou attitudes. India’s bigger problem is dealing with a Democratic President with a significantly larger Democratic presence in Congress, and not the two persons in particular who will end up holding the top office.

Left alone, Biden is no threat to India. It’s his party. Or rather, what his party has turned into. The only reason American and India are “friends” right now is because America’s geopolitical interests align with those of India’s. All that a US President has to do is to put America’s interests first and by default, it helps India.

However, the Democratic Party has become a dangerous establishment. They have a brazen anti-American agenda. The party now runs on twin motors of Islamism and Communism. People like AOC are bigger fans of Stalin and Mao and Che Guevara than Lincoln or Kennedy or Washington or Reagan. People like Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar genuinely hate America and the American way of liberty and freedom.

Biden is none of those things, but he is old and weak. Sooner or later, the radical elements in his party will take over and he would have to make concessions. This is where India comes in. India could be the prey that Biden hands over to the radicals in his party to tear and destroy. All the propaganda that has been run by the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, etc regarding CAA and more (without citing the hundreds of other examples of “positive discrimination” that are followed in India) has also maligned the mental image of India in an average American’s mind.

The Key Facets Of The Dynamic

  1.  India is very far away, geographically, from America.
  2.  Its major religion is different from anything Americans know.
  3.  Nobody knows what the majority in India has historically faced at the hands of the minority.
  4.  Our constitutional model is very different from theirs and includes positive discrimination.
  5.  We are big enough that they can hate us without feeling like a bully or expecting reprimands of racism from the leftist media.
  6.  In fact, they get points from the Islamist and left-liberal lobby for hating us.

So, a Democratic President will more or less ensure the American Left comes to power; which will ultimately be bad news for India. Neither Kamala Harris’ Indian roots or “Joe Biden is not Trump” will help us then.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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