MASALA CANADA
WITH WOJTEK GWIAZDA



MASALA CANADA is an eclectic mix of stories, conversations and music with a South Asian flavour. Hosted and produced by Wojtek Gwiazda, this weekly radio program deals with everything from art and culture, to economics, politics and everyday life. 
 
MASALA CANADA is heard on shortwave and the Internet throughout India, South Asia and the world. In Canada, it's heard on the Internet, and on Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 95. 
 
If you have questions, comments, or suggestions the Report's direct e-mail address is: masala@rcinet.ca , or contact us through Twitter, or the Masala Canada Facebook group

April 11, 2021
 
On this edition of MASALA CANADA (originally broadcast March 28, 2009) I talk to foreign affairs specialist Dr Denis Stairs. He's a Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the Centre for Foreign Policy Studies at Canada's Dalhousie University. We discuss how a declining budget and other factors are changing Canada's diplomatic service.  
 
Artist and curator Tejpal Ajji tells us about a visual arts exhibition that he has just co-curated called “South-South: Interruptions and Encounters” in which eight artists whose work encounters African and South Asian history, politics and culture. The exhibition is on until May 19 at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery in Toronto, and is co-sponsored by the South Asian Visual Arts Centre (SAVAC).  
 
And Dr C.V. Madhukar, founder and director of the Indian non-profit organization PRS Legislative Research, explains how PRS helps Indian parliamentarians deal with new legislation and other issues before them.  
 
 
WEB LINKS:  
Centre for Foreign Policy Studies - here  
Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute - www.cdfai.org  
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery – www.jmbgallery.ca  
South Asian Visual Arts Centre – www.savac.net  
PRS Legislative Research – www.prsindia.org  
Jay Sean info and music – www.jaysean.com  
Delerium info and music – www.delerium.ca  



April 04, 2021
 
On this edition of MASALA CANADA I talk to Deepak Obhrai, Parliamentary Secretary to Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, about why he spoke about the issue of untouchability and India's Dalits in Canada's House of Commons. 
 
Vishal Urva, better known as DJ Vicious, talks about the Montreal music trio The Bilz & Kashif. He explains how the group was formed and how their latest single “One Voice” came out of their concern over poverty, terrorism, and the financial crisis. 
 
Then I have a conversation with the man who represents most of Canada's unionized workers. Ken Georgetti is the president of the Canadian Labour Congress. He and other labour leaders met Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown and other leaders at the G20 summit in London to convince them they had to act quickly on the financial crisis. 
 
WEB LINKS: 
Dalit Freedom Network - www.dalitnetwork.org  
Testimony of the Network's Dr D'souza - here  
Canadian Labour Congress - www.canadianlabour.ca  
Annette Ducharme music and info - www.anetmusic.com  
The Bilz & Kashif music and info - www.bilzmusic.com



March 28, 2021
 
On this edition of MASALA CANADA I talk to foreign affairs specialist Dr Denis Stairs. He's a Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the Centre for Foreign Policy Studies at Canada's Dalhousie University. We discuss how a declining budget and other factors are changing Canada's diplomatic service. 
 
Artist and curator Tejpal Ajji tells us about a visual arts exhibition that he has just co-curated called “South-South: Interruptions and Encounters” in which eight artists whose work encounters African and South Asian history, politics and culture. The exhibition starts on April 2 at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery in Toronto, and is co-sponsored by the South Asian Visual Arts Centre (SAVAC). 
 
And Dr C.V. Madhukar, founder and director of the Indian non-profit organization PRS Legislative Research, explains how PRS helps Indian parliamentarians deal with new legislation and other issues before them. 
 
 
WEB LINKS: 
Centre for Foreign Policy Studies - here 
Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute - www.cdfai.org 
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery – www.jmbgallery.ca 
South Asian Visual Arts Centre – www.savac.net 
PRS Legislative Research – www.prsindia.org 
Jay Sean info and music – www.jaysean.com 
Delerium info and music – www.delerium.ca 



March 21, 2021
 
On this edition of MASALA CANADA I talk to Raza Mirani, General Secretary of the Pakistan-Canada Association, about Pakistani-Canadian reaction to the Long March in Pakistan, and the reinstatement of Pakistan's Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. 
 
Auto worker Dave Milling, a member of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union, talks about how he and nine other workers occupied a plant this past Tuesday to get better severance pay and benefits for workers fired from their jobs. 
 
And then, the man behind the wide ranging fusion of the band and concept Eccodek, Andrew McPherson, talks about fusion, the award Eccodek just won, and the big one they hope to win next weekend. 
 
(Photo Credit: AP Photo/B.K.Bangash) 
 
WEB LINKS: 
Pakistan-Canada Association – www.pakcan.com 
Canadian Auto Workers Local 195 – www.cawlocal.ca/195 
Rosina Kazi and LAL info and music – www.myspace.com/lalforest 
Eccodek info and music – www.eccodek.com 



March 14, 2021
 
On this edition of MASALA CANADA I talk to Raoul “Deejay Ra” Juneja about his hip hop literacy campaign, about being socially committed, and his work with Toronto hip hop artist Imaan Faith. 
 
Nik Mutta talks about the latest news from the Toronto-based band the Nawtiks, and how he and Nawtik's partner Randy Kahlon are influenced by their South Asian roots and their DJ backgrounds when they create their unique sound. 
 
And then an economist and forecaster patiently explains the economic crisis to me. Surprisingly Peter Dungan, Associate Professor of Business Economics at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, has some good news as well. 
 
WEB LINKS: 
Raoul Juneja's website – www.lyricalknockout.com 
Imaan Faith's myspace page – here 
Nawtiks website – www.nawtiks.com 



March 7, 2021
 
On this edition of MASALA CANADA I talk to Yudhvir Jaswal, cricket enthusiast, radio host and newspaper editor, about how the South Asian community in Canada has reacted to the deadly attack on Sri Lankan cricket players in Pakistan. 
 
Then, Mishelle Brown talks about how she and her husband prepared for the possibility of his death. Her husband Warrant Officer Dennis Brown was one of three Canadian forces soldiers killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. 
 
And then, is water a feminist issue? Seema Kulkarni thinks so. She's one of four founding core members of the Society for Promoting Participative Eco-System Management in India (SOPPECOM). She talks about water, women and South Asia. 
 
WEB LINKS: 
“South Asian Pulse” radio pgm at AM 530 – www.am530.ca 
Midweek News Weekly – www.midweektoronto.com 
SOPPECOM – www.soppecom.org 
IDRC and International Women's Day info – here 
Kiran Ahluwalia music/info – www.kiranmusic.com 
Bruce Cockburn music/info – www.brucecockburn.com 



February 28, 2021
 
On this edition of MASALA CANADA (originally broadcast Feb 7) I talk to Fariha Rashed, the CEO of an all new Pakistani magazine called INK. She talks about why her magazine is different, why it was important for her to start it, and her determination to promote people in music, theatre and dance.  
 
Then Concordia University film studies professor Tom Waugh talks about Danny Boyle's film “Slumdog Millionaire”, about its structure and impact, and about Canadian attitudes towards Indian films.  
 
And former UN Assistant Secretary General and political scientist, Dr Ramesh Thakur discusses whether India's rising and shining is hiding a false dawn, which is the theme of his presentation at the India Lectures of the International Development Research Centre.  
 
WEB LINKS: 
INK magazine – www.ink-on-the-web.com  
India Lectures info - www.idrc.ca/indialectures  
A.R. Rahman music/info - www.arrahman.com  
Shobha music/info – www.myspace.com/shobhamusic



February 21, 2021
 
On this edition of MASALA CANADA I talk to New York based filmmaker and producer Mridu Chandra about, Monitor 5, the New South Asian Short Film and Video Festival she curated for the South Asian Visual Arts Centre (SAVAC). The films will be shown in Toronto, February 26.  
 
Then Qasim Virjee has the latest from IndianElectronica.com which is not only a website and a forum for fans of the music, but also home to a 24 hour radio stream. As of March, Virjee is also adding another radio stream indochill and starting a monthly re-mix competion.  
 
And finally, a big visit to Canada. The first presidential foreign trip of US President Barack Obama was to Canada. We hear what he had to say, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's reactions, and analysis from David Biette, the Executive Director of the Canada Institute, at Washington's Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars.  
 
WEB LINKS:  
SAVAC film/video festival – www.savac.net  
Indian Electronica site – www.indianelectronica.com  
Canada Institute website – here  
Melanie Doane music/info - www.melaniedoane.com 



February 14, 2021
 
On this edition of MASALA CANADA I talk to Canadian filmmaker Richie Mehta about his film AMAL, which has just been nominated for six Genie awards, Canada's equivalent of the Oscar film awards. The film is a modern day fable about an auto-rickshaw driver in New Delhi.  
 
Then Diamond Dugal of Birmingham's Swami talks about Swami's latest album “Equalize”, the beginnings of the group, the direction of Desi music, and his love of Mumbai. 
 
And Amish Patel, the Chief Executive Funny Man of the Toronto comedy group Fade to Brown, talks about comedy, stereotypes, and being brown in Canada. 
 
WEB LINKS: 
Amal the film - www.poormansproductions.com/amalfeature 
Swami music/info – www.myspace.com/swamimusic 
Fade to Brown website – www.fadetobrown.com



February 7, 2021
 
On this edition of MASALA CANADA I talk to Fariha Rashed, the CEO of an all new Pakistani magazine called INK. She talks about why her magazine is different, why it was important for her to start it, and her determination to promote people in music, theatre and dance. 
 
Then Concordia University film studies professor Tom Waugh talks about Danny Boyle's film “Slumdog Millionaire”, about its structure and impact, and about Canadian attitudes towards Indian films. 
 
And former UN Assistant Secretary General and political scientist, Dr Ramesh Thakur discusses whether India's rising and shining is hiding a false dawn, which is the theme of his presentation at the India Lectures of the International Development Research Centre. 
 
WEB LINKS: 
INK magazine – www.ink-on-the-web.com 
India Lectures info - www.idrc.ca/indialectures 
A.R. Rahman music/info - www.arrahman.com 
Shobha music/info – www.myspace.com/shobhamusic 



January 31, 2021
 
On this edition of MASALA CANADA I talk to Mumbai-based artist Shaina Anand about her unusual video art piece “Khirkkeeyaan” which uses surveillance cameras, microphones and televisions in a very public attempt to let people in Delhi's urban village of Khirkee talk to each other. 
 
Then a conversation with Toronto rock musician and singer jsin. Just this past week he released his first CD “Born”. We talk about his love for rock, Guns N' Roses, and bhangra music. 
 
And business professional Pavel Rahman will tell me about the Young Bangladeshi Canadian Professionals group, and how in just a year of existence they've held a number of successful networking events. 
 
WEB LINKS: 
Shaina Anand info/videos – www.chitrakarkhana.net 
Power Plant Art Gallery – www.thepowerplant.org 
jsin's website – www.jsinisrockmusic.com 
Young Bangladeshi Canadian Professionals group – here 



January 24, 2021
 
On this edition of MASALA CANADA I talk to researcher and doctoral student Ahmed Rashid about his work in Bangladesh which looks at how low income people are using mobile phones in all kinds of innovative ways, including sending money home to families in rural villages. The research is part of a larger project of Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC). 
 
Then I talk to Dipesh Pabari the director of the South Asian Mosaic of Society and Art (SAMOSA) Festival in Nairobi, Kenya. He'll talk about the festival, and Awaaz magazine, which created the festival. We'll also discuss the whole issue of identity, and South Asians in Kenya, and in East Africa. 
 
WEB LINKS: 
IDRC – www.idrc.ca 
Samosa Festival – www.samosafestival.com 
Awaaz Magazine – www.awaazmagazine.com 
Dipesh Pabari blog - sukumakenya.blogspot.com 
Amanda Marshall info/music - www.amandamarshall.com 
JSIN info/music - www.jsinisrockmusic.com 



January 17, 2021
 
On this edition of MASALA CANADA I talk to photographer, musician, geologist Jayanta Guha about his upcoming (January 25) photo exhibition at the Kolkata Information Centre. We talk about patience, life and photography. 
 
Then FatLabs music producer Vikas Kohli talks about his passion for music production. He gives advice for musicians going into studio, and talks about his experience recording with Punjabi pop star, Mika Singh. 
 
And writer and professor Lionel Lumb talks about Ango-Indians, and the latest anthology he's edited “The Way We Are – An Anglo-Indian Mosaic”. He also talks about how important the Internet has been in connecting Anglo-Indians worldwide. 
 
WEB LINKS: 
Jayanta Guha information and photos here 
Vikas Kohli studios – www.fatlabs.com 
Anglo-Indian anthologies – www.blairrw.org 
Mika Singh music and info – www.mikasingh.in



January 10, 2021
 
On this edition of MASALA CANADA I talk to Manan Gupta, editor and publisher of Road Today Magazine about the trucking industry in the Canadian province of Ontario, and what's on the minds of truckers during hard economic times and a tough winter. We also talk about the fact that 60 to 70 per cent of the drivers are of South Asian origin. 
 
Then Goan musician, composer and sound engineer San talks about his latest album “Atmosphere” and about how he uses the Internet, not only to share his music, but also to get musicians from around the world into his recordings. 
 
And, Neethan Shan, Executive Director of CASSA, the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians, talks about the latest priority issue of the Toronto-based Council: poverty among South Asian Canadians. 
 
WEB LINKS: 
Road Today Magazine – www.roadtoday.com 
San music and info – www.myspace.com/realworldrecord 
CASSA – www.cassa.on.ca 
Daniel Powter music and info – www.danielpowter.com



January 3, 2021
 
On this edition of MASALA CANADA (originally broadcast November 8) Daljit “DJ” Parmar tells us how he and some other friends involved in media are fighting gang violence in the community with different kinds of media tactics, including the latest: dumping body bags on the streets of Vancouver with the web address stayout.ca 
 
Last November Canadian singer Kiran Ahluwalia started her first big concert tour of Europe. Before she left she talked about her music, and how she mixed ghazals and Portuguese fado music. 
 
And internationally renowned China expert Dr Alka Acharya talks about the ups and downs of the Indo-Chinese relationship, and about western misconceptions about the two countries. The editor of the academic journal “China Report” also talks about how she became interested in China studies. 
 
WEB LINKS
- “Youth Against Gang Violence” website www.stayout.ca 
- Kiran Ahluwalia's myspace site www.myspace.com/musickiran 
- More on Dr Alka Acharya here



December 27, 2020
 
On this edition of MASALA CANADA (originally brodcast November 22), I talk to Indian author, writer and blogger, Shobhaa Dé about her most recent book “Superstar India: From Incredible to Invincible”. We also talk about Barack Obama, and about being Shobhaa De. 
 
MASALA CANADA listener, and Los Angeles based singer-musician Tariq “Tee-M” Mirza talks from Karachi about his latest concert tour there, the success of his CD “Earthiotic”, and life. 
 
And economist and political scientist Dr Navsharan Singh talks to me from Mexico City at a special conference set up by Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) to look at the impact of government decentralization on the lives of women in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. She concentrates on experiences in India, Nepal and Pakistan. 
 
WEB LINKS: 
- Shobhaa Dé blog: shobhaade.blogspot.com 
- Tariq Mirza website : www.tee-m.com 
- IDRC's Mexico conference : here



December 20, 2020
 
On this edition of MASALA CANADA I talk to Ronjon Lahiri, Director of Indiatourism Toronto, who's responsible for Canadian tourism to India about the impact of the Mumbai attacks on Canadian tourism. 
 
Television host and personality Parminder Singh talks about his new Punjabi language television program Tuhadi Sehat [Your Health] that focuses on health issues and the South Asian community at the multi-ethnic television network OMNI TV. 
 
And, Anupam Bagchi of The Malhar Group talks about how the Group is promoting Indian classical music to South Asians and others in Canada through house concerts, listening sessions, lecture demonstrations and school visits. 
 
WEB LINKS: 
- India tourism – www.incredibleindia.org 
- OMNI TV - www.omnitv.ca 
- Malhar Group on Facebook: here 
- Marc Jordan music – www.marcjordan.com 
- Shahid Parvez music – www.shahidparvezkhan.com 



December 13, 2020
 
On this edition of MASALA CANADA I talk to spoken word artist Sheniz Janmohamed about the differences between what she does and poetry, about the numerous issues she raises in her performances, and why it's important. 
 
Then political scientist Ron Deibert tells me why he started the Citizen Lab, at the Munk Centre for International Studies, at the University of Toronto. He talks about his research on internet filtering, or blocking, of websites, and access to the Internet. And about why it's crucial to stop governments and private corporations from increasing control of the Internet. 
 
WEB LINKS: 
- Sheniz Janmohamed (audio/video) 
www.myspace.com/shenizpoetics 
- Citizen Lab - Internet resources – www.citizenlab.org 
- A.R. Rayman music website – www.arrahman.com 
- Neeraj Prem music info – here 
 



December 6, 2020
 
On this edition of MASALA CANADA I focus on the reactions in Canada's South Asian community to the Mumbai attacks in conversations with Minoo Gundevia of Montreal's South Asia Research and Resource Center (CERAS) and Ajit Someshwar, National Convenor at the Canada India Foundation. 
 
Then Montreal dancer and choreographer Amrita Choudhury tells me about her research into traditional Indian dancing, her trip to India, and a remarkable 92 year old Indian temple dancer, Sashimani Mahari. 
 
Then I talk to Penguin Canada President and Publisher, David Davidar, about Canadian publishing, how he started Penguin India, the challenge of publishing and promoting authors, and the popularity of South Asian writers around the world. 
 
WEB LINKS: 
- Canada India Foundation – www.CanadaIndia.org 
- Amrita Choudhury website – www.ananda-amrita.com 
- Penguin Canada website – www.penguin.ca 
- Tom Cochrane music and info – www.tomcochrane.com 
- Doug Cox et al music and info – www.dougcox.org 



November 29, 2020
 
On this edition of MASALA CANADA I talk to Jason Keith Fernandes,the main organiser of the Goan Peoples' Film Festival, about why the festival was set up, what it hoped to achieve and the village federation behind it's organization, the Ghor Ganv Rakhon Manch (Home and Village Protection Platform). 
 
Then certified coach Satya Murty talks about coaching for personal and business development, the importance of the International Coach Federation, the growing popularity of coaching in India, and how it's actually a mix of eastern wisdom and western management techniques. 
 
And then a conversation with Dr Rajeev Barghava, Director of Delhi's Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, about the issues of multiculturalism, affirmative action, religion and democracy. 
 
WEB LINKS: 
- Goan Peoples' Film Festival web page here 
- International Coach Federation website 
- Centre for the Study of Developing Societies www.csds.in 
- IDRC India Lectures here 
- Nawtiks music and info – www.myspace.com/thenawtiksbegin 
- Shobha music and info – www.myspace.com/shobhamusic 



November 22, 2020
 
On this edition of MASALA CANADA, I talk to Indian author, writer and blogger, Shobhaa Dé about her most recent book “Superstar India: From Incredible to Invincible”. We also talk about Barack Obama, and about being Shobhaa De. 
 
MASALA CANADA listener, and Los Angeles based singer-musician Tariq “Tee-M” Mirza talks from Karachi about his latest concert tour there, the success of his CD “Earthiotic”, and life. 
 
And economist and political scientist Dr Navsharan Singh talks to me from Mexico City at a special conference set up by Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) to look at the impact of government decentralization on the lives of women in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. She concentrates on experiences in India, Nepal and Pakistan. 
 
WEB LINKS: 
- Shobhaa Dé blog: shobhaade.blogspot.com 
- Tariq Mirza website : www.tee-m.com 
- IDRC's Mexico conference : here 



November 15, 2020
 
On this edition of MASALA CANADA Sandeep Junnarkar, the president of the South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA) tells us about a financial fellowship grant for journalists who want to do an in-depth report on a South Asian topic or about the South Asian diaspora. Submissions between November 15 and December 15, 2008. 
 
SAVAC, South Asian Visual Arts Centre of Toronto celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. SAVAC's Executive Director, Haema Sivanesan, talks about the beginnings of the Centre, the challenges faced by South Asian artists in Canada, and how the Centre helps them. 
 
And I'll have a conversation with Indian political scientist Dr Pratap Bhanu Mehta. He's the President and CEO one of New Delhi's leading independent think tanks and research institutes, the Centre for Policy Research. He was in Canada to give a talk entitled “Precocious India: Economic Transformation and Political Conflict in Contemporary India.” 
 
WEB LINKS
- South Asian Journalists Association Site www.saja.org 
- South Asian Visual Arts Centre Site www.savac.net 
- More on Dr Pratap Bhanu Mehta here 
- LAL music and info at: www.myspace.com/lalforest 
- Duniya Project - Catherine Potter music - www.catherinepotter.net



November 8, 2020
 
On this edition of MASALA CANADA Daljit “DJ” Parmar tells us how he and some other friends involved in media are fighting gang violence in the community with different kinds of media tactics, including the latest: dumping body bags on the streets of Vancouver with the web address stayout.ca 
 
Next week Canadian singer Kiran Ahluwalia starts her first big concert tour of Europe. Before she left she talked about her music, and how she mixed ghazals and Portuguese fado music. 
 
And internationally renowned China expert Dr Alka Acharya talks about the ups and downs of the Indo-Chinese relationship, and about western misconceptions about the two countries. The editor of the academic journal “China Report” also talks about how she became interested in China studies. 
 
WEB LINKS
- “Youth Against Gang Violence” website www.stayout.ca 
- Kiran Ahluwalia's myspace site www.myspace.com/musickiran 
- More on Dr Alka Acharya here



November 1, 2020
 
On the second edition of MASALA CANADA, actor and writer Anusree Roy talks about what led to the writing of her play “Pyaasa”. The play focuses on ten days in the life of an 11 year old girl called Chaya and the question of untouchables in India. 
 
Punjabi-Canadian television personality Parminder Singh talks about the huge success of the Punjabi version of Canada's iconic sports telecast “Hockey Night in Canada”. 
 
And international law and human rights expert Dr Ratna Kapur talks about the “dark” side of human rights, in a post-colonial reflection that also touches on the war on terror. 
 
 
WEB LINKS: 
- Theatre Passe Muraille - link to "Pyaasa
- NHL Hockey in Punjabi – Facebook group here 
- More information on Dr Ratna Kapur here 
- More on the latest music of Eccodek here



MASALA CANADA - October 25, 2020
 
On the FIRST EDITION of MASALA CANADA we look at the impact of Canadian South Asians on the results of the Canadian election of October 14 with Sunil Rao, the editor of the South Asian Focus newspaper. 
 
Actor and dancer Anita Majumdar tells us about the challenges of her latest play “The Misfit” which is showing at Toronto's Theatre Passe Muraille until November 15. 
 
And I get to talk to a number of scholars of religion about the increasing tendency towards sharing knowledge about each other's religion. And one scholar, Arvind Sharma, focuses on the particular case of India and the attitude of India's intelligentsia towards religion. 
 
 
WEB LINKS: 
- South Asian Focus newspaper - link here 
- Theatre Passe Muraille - link to "The Misfit
- McGill Faculty of Religious Studies - conference info here (PDF) 
- Dr. Arvind Sharma web page here






HOST AND PRODUCER
• Wojtek Gwiazda
PROGRAM CONTACT INFO
masala@rcinet.ca
Masala Canada 
Radio Canada International  
P.O.Box 6000  
Montreal, Canada  
H3C 3A8  
 
Phone messages - toll-free number (only in Canada) at:  
1-866-202-0145
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