Local South Asian groups invite leftist writer and broadcaster David Barsamian to Vancouver
Saturday's Vaisakhi parade in South Vancouver will attract huge crowds to celebrate the annual South Asian harvest festival. It begins at 11 a.m. at the Ross Street Temple before winding its way west along Marine Drive and north up Main Street.
But that's not the only event of interest this weekend to people curious to learn more about India.
On Sunday (April 15) from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., the founder and director of Colorado-based Alternative Radio, David Barsamian, will speak about at SFU Harbour Centre about why he was kicked out of India last year.
Barsamian has coauthored books with celebrated leftist writers Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Tariq Ali, Arundhati Roy, and Edward Said.
He's also a winner of the American Civil Liberties Union's Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism.
Last September, the Indian government deported Barsamian from the Delhi airport, which prevented him from conducting interviews about thousands of recently discovered unmarked graves in Kashmir. He had also planned to speak with Dr. Binayak Sen, who was sent to prison after providing medical aid to Naxalite insurgents.
The South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy, the Committee of Progressive Pakistani Canadians, and the Progressive Nepali Forum in Americas is sponsoring the talk.
SANSAD treasurer Abi Sharma, the owner of Café Kathmandu on Commercial Drive, told the Georgia Straight that Barsamian's discussion will focus on media and democracy in India.
"He ended up being persona non grata in the so-called largest democratic country in the world," Sharma said.