Shows: March 17, 2009

Photo for 'A Weekend of Protests in Pakistan'
AP

Landmark Dalit Gang Rape Verdict

In January of 2008, in Patan, a town in the state of Gujarat in northern India, a female high school student fainted at school. She was taken to a hospital, where it was discovered that she had been gang raped by six teachers. The girl victim is a Dalit, a group at the bottom of India’s ancient caste system. Dalits make up 16.2% of the total Indian population and are the most vulnerable, marginalized population in the country. Many of them are agricultural day laborers and manual scavengers, and are victims of segregation, violence and other atrocities. All over India, rape of Dalit females is a regular occurrence and has largely gone unpunished. We will speak with MANJULA PRADEEP, a Dalit leader who heads the largest Dalit organization in Gujarat and has represented Dalit issues internationally.

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Gary Locke: Change or Business as Usual?

Tomorrow, the U.S. Senate will hold confirmation hearings for Gary Locke, who has been nominated by President Obama to be Secretary of Commerce. If confirmed, the former Governor of Washington State will be the third Asian American cabinet member, joining Eric Shinseki, Secretary of Veteran Affairs and Stephen Chu, Secretary of Energy. But will Locke’s selection as Commerce Secretary bring the "change" Obama promised in his presidential campaign, or will he continue the same pro-business policies? Join us as we talk to LORI WALLACH, Director of Global Trade Watch, an organization which has been following Locke’s career and positions closely for many years.

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A Weekend of Protests in Pakistan

In Pakistan yesterday, after a weekend of demonstrations and protests, President Asif Ali Zardari agreed to reinstate chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, who had been dismissed by Pervez Musharraf two years ago. It was widely seen as a victory for the lawyers’ movement and for supporters of opposition leader and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. On Sunday, Sharif had defied orders of house arrest, leaving his residence outside Lahore to begin a 200-mile “long march” to Islamabad that culminated in Chaudhry’s restoration to his post. We will speak with SAADIA TOOR, an assistant professor of sociology and a Pakistani activist, about what this victory means for political movements in Pakistan and for the presidency of Zardari amidst an escalation by the Obama administration in attacks on the camps of suspected insurgents.

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