Who We Are

South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD) is an organization of the South Asian diaspora based in British Columbia, Canada. It comprises people with origin in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

The people of South Asia, currently citizens of various nation states or scattered in diasporic communities share a history and culture that weaves diversity, confluence, conflict, and transformation.

Identities of people in and from this region are currently dominated by differences along nation-state interests and religious affiliations consolidated by military and civil violence. But the people of South Asia also share a common interest in peace, friendship across borders, education, health, housing, and environmental, economic, and cultural wellbeing.

The South Asian diaspora reflects the divisions between and within the nation states in South Asia. But its positioning outside these states gives it the potentiality of creating a secular and democratic identity that foregrounds the common interests of South Asian people against the divisive state of violence and militarization.

A secular and democratic South Asian diaspora can promote peace and just development in South Asia by affirming human rights, the rule of law, and the full and equal participation of all people in the economic, cultural, social, and political life of the region.

The formation of such a secular democratic identity within the South Asian diaspora in Canada with the aim of realizing the common interest of the people of South Asia is the goal of SANSAD.