Aswini Anburajan

Aswini Anburajan is a writer for Feet in 2 Worlds, an ethnic media reporting project supported by the Center for New York City Affairs at the New School.

Recent Articles

The Lost Voices of Moderation

As we witnessed scenes of killing and rioting in the Arabic and Islamic world this weekend over the burning of a Quran in Florida, it's easy to paint entire nations as extremist. Twenty-two people are dead, including seven United Nations workers and Afghan children. The sad part is that it appears that world events can swing from the extremism of one angry group to another. Were Terry Jones' actions hateful and bigoted? Of course, and more important, he was warned by individuals in the White House and the Department of Defense that his actions could instigate violence, and he did it anyway. In turn, religious clerics in Afghanistan incited angry mob violence. But the irony, often mimicked in our own political discourse in the United States, is that the voices of the moderates are lost in heady chants of those on the extreme right and left. I would argue in this insistence that even Hamid Karzai is partly responsible for the violence . Knowing that the United States government and...

Low Consumer Confidence Plus High Gas Prices Do Not a Recovery Make

It's worth revisiting this Robert Reich op-ed from two days ago in light of today's jobs numbers. Reich points out that while job growth has grown slowly though not at the rate needed for recovery, consumer confidence is at it's lowest since the Great Depression, largely because of the rise in fuel and commodity prices. What's even more ironic in all of this is that cash-strapped states are considering raising state taxes on gas to fund infrastructure projects while the federal government won't budge on the rate of 18 cents per gallon. The Wall Street Journal reports : Connecticut's first-year governor is proposing to raise the state tax on a gallon of gasoline by 3 cents and on diesel by 2 cents. Maryland's legislature is considering a dime increase for each. Officials in Nebraska, Hawaii, Virginia, South Carolina and South Dakota have considered proposals to raise gas taxes in recent months, according to transportation experts and information compiled by the National Conference of...

Latinos Pressure Obama on Immigration

Pressure around the issue of deportation of undocumented immigrants appears to be coming to a boil, the Associated Press reports. The anger comes from a statement by President Obama at a Univision town hall that he couldn't use executive orders as president. Obama had said that using executive orders "would not conform with my appropriate role as president." In 2008, the AP points out that Obama raised the issue of deportation as a matter of rights and dignity and a system that was broken. His comments at that time were in reference to violent immigration raids conducted by the department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement at meatpacking plants in Iowa, where children were literally separated from their parents. However, in what appears to be a form of concession with immigration activists, both the departments of Labor and Homeland Security "will refrain from conducting raids or doing other immigration enforcement activities if there's an ongoing Labor Department investigation at...

Who Are Libya's Rebels?

As reports come in that CIA operatives are aiding Libyan rebels and Western leaders are considering arming them, the question of who Libya's revolutionary force actually is -- is worth answering. Juan Cole at Informed Comment makes the argument that the fears that the Libyan rebels are either al-Qaeda members, Hezbollah members, or other revolutionary ne'erdowells is likely false. However, that doesn't mean we shouldn't establish a sense of who and what the rebels represent. Knowing thy allies should be as critical as knowing one's enemies, as the U.S. learned in supporting and arming Afghan rebels in the war against the Soviets in the 1980s. The BBC reports that Nato Operations Commander, Admiral James Stavridis, has said that there are "flickers" of al-Qaeda activity among the rebels, but overall there's a question mark in who these individuals are. Jon Lee Anderson for The New Yorker writes on his take of who the opposition in Libya is: Significant questions remain about the...

The Realities of War Reporting

When I first joined NBC in 2005, I had a dream of going to Iraq and becoming a rising star. It was a formula that had made many other journalists before me leading commentators on world events including Richard Engel and Lara Logan . At that time, young journalists had flocked to the country and were reporting, writing stories, and sharing beers at the end of the day in a camaraderie that I've only seen mirrored in disaster areas and on the campaign trail. And then it got violent, and I still wanted to go, and voiced all my thoughts to a senior correspondent at NBC who was a veteran war reporter and back for Christmas from Iraq. He encouraged me, and I let his words kindle my hope for dreams of adventure and journalistic glory even more. And then he told the senior foreign news producer at Nightly News, who called me into her office and smacked down those dreams with a grim reminder of the realities of war. I was reminded of that incident again as I reviewed the commentary from four...

Pages