a·him·sa (a-hĭm )

False notions of propriety or fear of wounding susceptibilities often deter people from saying what they mean and ultimately land them on the shores of hypocrisy. But if non-violence of thought is to be evolved in individuals or societies or nations, truth has to be told, however harsh or unpopular it may appear to be for the moment.

- M.K. Gandhi

he mission of the Alliance for Humanitarianism in Modern South Asia (AHIMSA), UC Berkeley’s premier South Asian-American socio-political organization, is to foster the progressive values of tolerance, peace, and equality within the South Asian and South Asian-American communities through various educational and service-oriented projects.  As students of South Asian descent, it is our belief that understanding the socio-political issues of both these communities, and how they are related to one another, is essential to promoting our progressive values on campus, in the surrounding community, and around the world. UC Berkeley, with its student-history of speaking out, taking action, and upholding the truth, is the preeminent locale for our organization.

It is time to hear both sides. False notions of propriety or fear of wounding susceptibilities have no place here, for we are not scare-mongering; this is really happening; truth has to be told. With this in mind, we challenge you to think critically of the world around you; not to merely accept, but to question; to engage each day in non-violent thought. Whether you trace your origins to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Fiji, Trinidad, Guyana, or any other region of the world where South Asians have made their home, AHIMSA welcomes you. If you do not belong to any of these groups, but are simply interested in supporting our progressive cause, you too are welcome. Through alliances with other progressive organizations, both South Asian and non-South Asian alike, AHIMSA hopes to bring about positive change in the world.

Our activities encourage you to debate, not scapegoat; to reason, not stereotype; and most importantly, to face your own prejudices in the hopes of eradicating them. This process is one of education, of consciousness-raising, and of building our identity. As such, AHIMSA supports not only keen intellectual debate, but the full spectrum of arts and expressive discourse. From film, drama, and music to painting, poetry, and prose, we promote the artistic endeavors of South Asian-Americans. Through these modes of expression, we create the meanings of our world, we shape and mold our views, we expose our hypocrisies, and we progress.

Please peruse our website and use all the resources it offers: articles, discussion boards, event updates, and much more.

Thank you,

AHIMSA Executive Committee