Cracking coconuts is a monthly podcast that explores political and social issues in South Asia. By providing a platform for voices that are often oppressed or censored, we aim to provide you an alternative perspective to the status quo. This podcast is brought to you by 47 Roots.
47 Roots' Vinorshan and Maiyoraa discuss India’s current relationship with China, the ongoing tension on their borders, India banning Tiktok and a special tribute to the late and great S. P. Balasubramanyam.
Cracking coconuts is a podcast on South asian current affairs produced by 47 Roots. 47 roots is a digital magazine, providing a platform to discuss South Asian politics, culture and social theory. Make sure to check us out on 47roots.com and to follow us on instagram and twitter @47roots.
On May 2nd, screenshots of boys talking about their underage classmates, the way they look and their dressing sense in a derogatory manner, circulated across Facebook and Instagram. In this episode, we are joined by Shruti Balaji, a PhD candidate in LSE’s Department of International Relations, to discuss how social media provides a platform for rape culture and harassment to go unnoticed and what can be done to combat this behaviour.
Protests began in Minnesota, the week before, to end police brutality against black folx in response to a video showing a white police officer killing Floyd, an unarmed black man. The protests have erupted globally calling for an end to police brutality, an end to the police state, and an end to institutionalised racism. In this episode, we will be unlearning racial prejudices and how to dismantle anti-blackness and white supremacy. For this, I’d like to welcome Tamarakile Koroye-Crooks, also known as Tk, a political intellectual and Human Rights and Politics student.
Sri Lanka: The month of May is a momentous one in the long history of the Tamil people. For many Tamils, May is a month of mourning, commemorating and remembering. 11 years ago, tens of thousands of innocent Tamil civilians were massacred. Today, we are joined by Sagi Thilipkumar, PEARL’s Advocacy Coordinator for Switzerland and founder of Tamil Narratives, to discuss developments in the past year in terms of accountability and amplify the work of activists who endeavour to bring war criminals to justice.
What's it like on the frontline? On this episode of cracking Coconuts, we speak to a UK based intensive care doctor about treating coronavirus patients admitted to critical care units, the importance of social distancing and the outlook for the coming weeks and months. Vinorshan and Nahim also discuss coronavirus super spreaders, cheap testing kits and al things lockdown in South Asia.
In this episode we’ll be explaining the violence that has come about in Delhi in the last couple months, starting with the clashes with students in December to the recent state-sanctioned pogrom. This has now escalated to a full-blown discriminatory attack on Muslims in Delhi with at least 51 people killed and around 250 injured. We are joined by Sahima Gupta, from LSE, to deconstruct the violence, understand what’s going on and discuss the foreseeable future of India.
Does the coronavirus signal the end of humanity? Vinorshan and Nahim take over this episode of Cracking Coconuts, to discuss the origins of the COVID-19 virus, its global spread and how it's impacting South Asia.
The information discussed here is accurate as of recording, which took place on Saturday 7th March 2020.
A rape takes place in India every 20 minutes. The rape of the 23-year-old student took place just before Christmas 2012, bringing thousands of people on to the streets to demand greater protection for women. All of this happened before the current prime minister, Narendra Modi, took office, but he would like the entire subject to just go away. We’re joined by Adrija Dey to discuss digital activism and how it has shaped political engagement in India, especially given the repression under the current Modi government.
In parts of rural Nepal, women are forced to isolate themselves in huts or caves during their menstruation period. Recently, a 16-year-old girl suffocated to death in her goth. In recent years, some women have turned their back on the ritual: a few burnt their sheds. But although the country's supreme court banned practising chaupadi in 2005, the custom dies hard. I am joined by Subuna Basnet, a central committee leader in the Bibeksheel Nepali Party, to discuss this practice and women’s rights in Nepal.
What was Britain’s involvement in the Sri Lankan war other than just arms trade? Phil Miller, an investigative journalist, has written a “Keenie Meenie: The British Mercenaries that got away with war crimes.” This book unveils the work of British mercenaries and former politicians and councillors in training and committing atrocities against Tamil civilians. In this episode, Miller discusses his work and what these mercenaries did and what little consequences they faced and the impact they’ve had on the Tamil community.
On November 17th, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was announced as the new president of Sri Lanka. A man who conducted mass atrocities against the country's minorities has just taken up the highest office. In this episode, our guest, Dr Thamil Venthan Ananthavinayagam, discusses the election result and what it means going ahead in terms of security, economy and human rights accountability. Dr Thamil is a lecturer for international humanitarian and international criminal law at Griffith College Dublin. He recently published “Sri Lanka, Human Rights and the United Nations” in which he provides an explanation for the limited impact of international human rights engagement on the Sri Lankan human rights infrastructure. We hope to bring you a critical analysis of the election campaigns and insight into the future of Sri Lanka.
00:00 - 02:09 Intro
02:10 - 11:20 Analysis of Election Results
11:21 - 20:15 Chinese Influence in Sri Lanka
20:16 - 43:10 Human Rights in Sri Lanka
43:10 - 45:15 Future of Sri Lanka
In this episode, we discuss Vanni, a graphic novel illustrated by Lindsay Pollock and written by Benjamin Dix. The novel draws on research and eye-witness accounts to bring to you a family’s struggle to survive during the Sri Lankan civil war. The conflict claimed the lives of over 220,000 Sri Lankans and generated a global diaspora of 600,00 to 800,00 Sri Lankan Tamils.This year marks a decade since the end of the Sri Lankan civil war, one of the world’s deadliest conflicts. Our guest, Benjamin Dix, shares with us his work as well as personal anecdotes that are sure to take you on an emotional rollercoaster.
01:00 - 08:14 Inspiration for book
08:14 - 11:52 Working with the UN
11:52 - 20:45 Evacuating Vanni
20:45 - 22:18 International Community and Reaction
22:18 - 25:56 Friends lost in SL
25:56 - 32:46 View of Tigers
32:46 - 34:56 Purpose of Graphic Novel
34:56 - 40:38 Reactions
In conversation with Rachel Seoighe of the Tamil Information Centre.
Ten years on from the end of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka, minority communities on the island are continuing to face heavy surveillance and further restrictions on their basic human rights. The Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka only reaffirmed this as we saw mobs attack Muslim minorities in their homes and places of worship, and the government stood in utter silence. In this episode, we discuss with Research scholar, Rachel Seoighe, about her work on the normalisation of genocide in Sri Lanka and the upcoming exhibition, Tamils of Lanka, which aims to capture the lives of Ilankai Tamils.
00:00 - 01:45 Intro
01:46 - 04:46 Easter Sunday Bombings
04:47 - 10:36 About TIC (Tamil Information Centre)
10:37 - 24:38 Sinhala Supremacy and the Normalisation of Genocide
24:39 - 36:07 “Tamils of Lanka: A Timeless Heritage” Exhibition
The recent events of March 2019 brought the world’s attention to Kashmir; when Pakistan and India almost went to nuclear war with each other. It’s important to note that the coming weeks will see a major election in India where Kashmir has become a contentious topic and one that has been wielded to gain support. In this episode of Cracking Coconuts we attempt to dissect the complexities of Kashmir’s struggle through the lens of a Kashmiri citizen. Having been born and raised in India Occupied Kashmir (IOK), our guest will share his stories growing up under occupation.
00:00 - 02:41 INTRO
02:42 - 08:37 Growing up in India Occupied Kashmir (IOK)
08:38 - 12:13 Repercussions on Kashmiri Youth
12:14 - 15:32 Identity
15:33 - 25:23 Struggles of a Kashmiri Muslim in New Delhi
25:23 - 30:23 Analysing India’s view of Kashmir and Kashmiris
30:24 - 35:15 India’s Ongoing Elections
With the striking of a Colonial Era Law, also known as Section 377, we have seen a surge of support for the LGBT+ community in India. Dancer Shiva Raichandani is best known for his work in advocating for LGBTQ+ rights. On this week’s podcast, he and Maiyoraa discuss Bollywood and gender binary in the new era.
01:45 - Defining LGBTQIAP
08:30 - Section 377 & India’s Media
13:22 - Deconstructing Gender
15:32 - Representation in Bollywood
31:30 - Toppling the Gender Binary
Recently, Sri Lankan politics has seen a tumultuous turn of events with the unconstitutional appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as PM. Rajapaksa, former president of Sri Lanka, oversaw the massacre and genocide of Tamils during the civil war and has an infamous human rights rapport. To dissect and understand the situation further, we have a conversation with Thusiyan Nandakumar, Editor on Board at Tamil Guardian. Is this coup a manoeuvre of power or emblematic of the tyranny that is to come?