Daya Varma and Vinod Mubayi


INSAF Bulletin was started as an organ of the International South Asia Forum (INSAF), which was founded at a Conference at Montreal on September 4-5, 1999, attended by over 125 delegates. The purpose of INSAF was to act as a coordinator of many existing South Asian organizations, to promote secularism, democracy and above all friendship among all countries of South Asia, particularly between India and Pakistan. The rise of Hindu fundamentalism in India starting with the agitation leading to the demolition of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya in December 1992, and increasing tension between India and Pakistan, were recognized as key hurdles to the peace and prosperity of South Asia; this has determined the underlying theme of INSAF Bulletin. Although INSAF as an organization ceased to exist shortly after its Second Conference in Vancouver held on August 10-11, 2001, INSAF Bulletin has attempted to fulfill the mandate of the founding organization.


The present issue marks the 100th issue of continuous publication of INSAF Bulletin.  As a monthly e-zine, we have tried to present a range of views from a broadly progressive perspective of events, happenings and movements in all of the South Asian countries with a focus on their political and social aspects.  We have not hesitated to criticize left parties and movements, whenever we felt in our own understanding that it was justified, although we hasten to add that our own understanding may well be incomplete or imperfect on many issues.


Whatever measure of success we may have achieved on this journey over the last decade is due to the support we have received from our readership.  We have also benefited immensely from the writings and views provided by our guest contributors, in both India and Pakistan.  We are extremely grateful for the messages of support, reproduced below, from our guest contributors and readers.




1. It is great pleasure to know that 100th issue of INSAF Bulletin  is soon going to be published. INSAF Bulletin has shown great commitment to secular values and peace and communal harmony. Daya Varma and Vinod Mubayi both have been doing a yeoman service to this great cause. It has provided a rich resource to several activists for peace and harmony, religious and cultural pluralism. I wish this bulletin continues and continues to serve this cause.


Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer


Chairman, Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, Mumbai


2. In this era of mega blogs , disinformation and a clutter from the so called chattering classes there is an almost desperate need to have available a source of penetrating , incisive, informed, balanced and most of all honest analysis of events in South Asia. India’s unsurpassed rich intellectual tradition has made it among the global epicenters of “spin”, Disinformation enters the ether glibly and without any remote credulity cascades like the mountain origins of the great river systems of the subcontinent. Whether in addressing the issues of the poor, tribal or not, or the strategic decisions of the Nepali progressive forces, or the problem of Bengali peasants and women, or the nature of the forces militating for change within India, there is an integrity to the INSAF enterprise which gives meaning to what progressivism is in this current period of history. 


Sam Noumoff


Professor, McGill University



3. Congratulations on the 100th INSAF Bulletin! INSAF has been the source of many provocative and informative discussions and debates about social and political movements in India and the subcontinent, from a socialist perspective. Please publish another 100 issues of this important and rare resource.


Herman Rosenfeld


Socialist Project and the Greater Toronto Workers Assembly


4. I am very happy to know that INSAF Bulletin, which has been informing, enlightening and debating the diverse issues related to contemporary politics, is coming out with its 100th Issue. Its focus on the issues related to rise of fundamentalist politics in South Asia is very relevant. This bulletin has been a source of information on issues dogging the political scene in South Asia in particular. It is a valuable bulletin for South Asian friends living in West. I extend my heartiest congratulations to the editors Daya Varma and Vinod Mubayi for their relentless efforts in ensuring the high quality of the content and wish and hope that it continues its useful work in times to come.


Ram Puniyani


5. The INSAF Bulletin has consistently informed its South Asian readers with important and illuminating analyses from a perspective that is left-wing but non-dogmatic, together with news about important events. For an effort that is purely voluntary, surely one good issue would have been a contribution. But to have had one hundred is remarkable. The labour of love put in by the editors deserves applause from the Bulletin’s readers.


Pervez Hoodbhoy,


Professor of Physics, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan

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