Free Radicals

A walking tour in California celebrates South Asian American activism

01 July 2017
Anirvan Chatterjee and his partner, Barnali Ghosh, have researched stories of South Asian activism around Berkeley, which they recount on a monthly walking tour.
courtesy api equality northern california

On a downtown street crossing in Berkeley, California, a group of about twenty people listened intently as Barnali Ghosh made a request: “Think of something you’re really angry about.” Recent news cast a long shadow across the sunny morning. It was 26 January, the day after US President Donald Trump announced a travel ban against citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries. One by one, Ghosh’s companions spoke up.

“I’m angry at ‘reasonable Republicans.’”

“I’m angry at the ‘us versus them’ mentality.”

Sonia Paul is an independent journalist, radio producer and contributing editor at She is a senior fellow with the Fund for Investigative Journalism and Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University. From 2013 to 2015, she was based in Lucknow, India, as a freelance journalist. She was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Keywords: activism California South Asia Indian Diaspora Leftist race South Asian diaspora