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South Asian Peoples Unity Conference 2009 - Toronto

South Asian Peoples Unity Conference 2009 - Toronto


 Conference Objectives  

South Asian Peoples Unity Conference: Unity against the Neoliberal World View (April 23 - 26 2009)

We live in a world whose powerful players promote the doctrine of neoliberalism through the institutions of the IMF, World Bank and the WTO. They offer us a morally empty vision filled with hunger, poverty, environmental destruction, fundamentalism and ethnic division, militarism, and unequal economic development. But there is also a world in the minds and hearts of peoples all over the world which emerges in every struggle to challenge corporate globalism, the neoliberal doctrine, and the war mentality. To strengthen this we need the unity of working people across national borders which now serve to only weaken us in our separation through mutual ignorance, suspicion, and competition. How can we, South Asian people, collectively join to develop and promote an alternate world view within our region? The conference we propose for October 2008, in conjunction with the annual Ghadri Mela of the Greater Toronto Area, will bring together longstanding participants of this struggle to address this question, in part through the lens of the diaspora (those who no longer reside in South Asia) and in part through the necessities of the struggles in South Asia. Here we recognize that the peoples of South Asia include a large number of progressive and Left-leaning people in the diaspora (community-based + university-based as well as activist) who left our countries for political and economic reasons but are deeply concerned with the effects of neo-liberal agenda imposed forcibly on the masses.

The participation in this conference of Left activists, party leaders, and intellectuals of social movements fighting on the front lines against the dominant neoliberal and military agenda will strengthen us in the diaspora to unite and in turn support the struggles in South Asia. The impact that we expect will encourage isolated progressive people to join our movement, create space for further growth of South Asian Left ideas in the diaspora amongst multiple generations, and will strengthen our ability to counteract the existing religious and right wing networks that dominate. Delegates from the US, UK or Europe will add to the consolidation of a space for discussion of diasporic issues as well as those of South Asian struggles.

Hence, this conference will generate a multifaceted dialogue through

  1. Providing the space to talk and share across national borders, ideological lines, organizations, and issue-lines on ongoing strategies and struggles to challenge the entrenchment of a neoliberal and imperial military project in South Asia
  2. Providing a vigorous and politically realistic, Marxist, anti-imperialist and feminist intellectual and political space to think through the relevant issues
  3. Providing a space to link activists in the diaspora with struggles in South Asia
  4. Developing a sharpened understanding of the need to lower borders, and gaining clarity for a regional level framework to resolve particular issues. This in turn will allow us to think about long term strategies towards removing borders and uniting the people of South Asia.

To participate or for more information, please email us at and  with your full affiliations and a short bio data


 Program Table  
The SOUTH ASIAN PEOPLES FORUM proudly presents an International Conference on South Asian People’s Unity “SECURING SOUTH ASIA FOR THE PEOPLE OF SOUTH ASIA”
Thursday April 23rd Friday April 24th Saturday April 25th Sunday April 26th
Location Codes: TPC – Trinity St-Paul Church, 427 Bloor Street West (Spadina subway stop) BLH –
Bennet Lecture Hall, Flavelle House,
78 Queens Park, University of Toronto Law School (Museum subway stop)

9:30am sharp
Imperialism and South Asia: Critical Perspectives

Chair: S. Iqbal
Vivek Chibber, NYU
Syed Azeem, York U
Amrit Wilson, SASG, UK
B. Pain, India

Location: TPC

9:30am sharp
Neoliberalism and Resistance

Chair: Malcolm Blincow
Ahmad Salim, SDPI
Kunal Chattopadhyay, JU
Gurdev Singh, Toronto
Hussan, NOII
Sima Zerehi, UFCW

Location: BLH

10 am sharp – 2 pm

Open Mic
Location: BLH

Chair: Aparna Sundar
Ahilan K, SLDF
Rohini Hensman
R. Cheran

Location: TPC
2 pm sharp

2:30 pm sharp
South Asian States: Violence, Terrorism, and Nationalism

Hamid Bashani, SAPF
Soma Marik, Jadhav U
Ijaz Syed, FOSA, USA
Shonali Bose, USA,
Naeem Malik, UK

Location: BLH

2:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Joint discussion with the International Resistance Poetry Festival participants on

Law in Social Movements

Literary Session with writers and critics from the subcontinent

3-6 pm

FEATURED SPEAKER Abid Hasan Minto, Supreme Court Advocate, Pakistan, with Sherene Razack, OISE
Location: BLH
6:30 pm
Followed by

7:00 pm

Left Politics –
South Asia and beyond

Chair: S. Azeem
Hari Roka (Nepal),
S. Kannavi, India,
Kunal Chattopadhyay, Left Party rep.s, Horace Campbell

Screening of Amu, followed by a discussion with the director Sonali Bose.
Chair: Harloveleen Kaur
Location: BLH 7:30 pm sharp

7-10 PM


Co-organizers: Ghadar Heritage Foundation and AIPSG Sponsors: UFCW, CUPE 3903, South Asia Programs of University of Toronto and York University, Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, and many individual donors

Registration Information: please visit