Kshama Sawant, the die-hard socialist member of Seattle City Council, continued to keep the banner of labor and working class aloft last week as she won the Nov. 5 City Council election, holding on to the seat in her second reelection since 2013. Standing in front of a massive “Tax Amazon” banner, Sawant declared victory Nov. 9 after winning the race that was essentially seen as a battle between her and and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
It was a bolt from the blue for many in the Indian-American community when lawmakers, one after another, pilloried India in the Congress last month taking the Narendra Modi government to task for its alleged human rights violations against minorities, particularly its actions in Kashmir after stripping its special status under the Constitution.
A senior Republican lawmaker, Rep. George Holding, the GOP co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India, in an apparent pushback and hefty swipe against this Democratic counterpart Rep. Brad Sherman — for his stinging criticism of India’s human rights violations in Kashmir at the Congressional hearing he recently convened — has strongly defended the Modi government’s action’s in the Valley.
There is no such thing as a free lunch. It may be an adage, but Prof. Stephen Philip Cohen (1936-2019) often paid from his pocket to prove it wrong. I am one among those scores of South Asian scholars, journalists and policymakers fortunate enough to come in contact with this brilliant and generous mentor.