Stories published in December, 2012

Tahirul Qadri, the Bhutto boy, and the establishment’s last play

Based on the political events of the last 10 days, one of the most commonly asked questions in Pakistan is: ‘What is going on?’ As in what is going with the whole Qadri parade, what is up with Bilawal’s launch, and generally what on earth is going on in Pakistan? Simply put, there are two sides going up against each other and all of these events, or whatever you want to call them, are just parts of that. Who are these sides and what are they after? One side to all this is the establishment. For the last five years, the establishment has played one ...

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Education’s own ‘class conflict’

Pakistanis constantly face the dilemma of choosing the right education system for our children. Most of us, no matter which education system we belong to, would somehow always prefer the Cambridge system over the local Matric system when it comes to choosing for our children. I, myself, would make that choice. The reason is very clear: the British education system ‘imported’ for our progress is undoubtedly better than the home grown one. Children who get the opportunity of appearing for Cambridge International Examinations tend to have an edge over the Matric students. But the edge comes at a high price – inequality. ...

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Tony Greig: More than the sum of the parts

The first time I heard of Anthony William Greig I was listening into a Test Match special in 1972 – the first Ashes test at Old Trafford. The voice of John Arlott describing Greig scoring a 50, when England was in need of runs. He scored another 50 in the second and then took a few wickets in Australia’s last knock. The match is remembered for a late assault by Rod Marsh, when Australia looked down and out. It did not win the match, but for us serial non-England supporters created last session excitement. In those days live television was rare and when I ...

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New Delhi gang rape: Who can change the attitude of such men?

By now most of you know that the victim of the New Delhi bus gang rape in India has died. Along with the Indians, a lot of people across the world are still reeling from the shock of the cruelty and utter barbarianism that was meted out to her. A lot of people are still wondering why… Let’s just remind ourselves what happened to her exactly. On December 16, she, along with her fiancé, was coming back after watching a movie. The couple wanted to go to Dwarka, a place in southwest Delhi when they were tricked into boarding a bus ...

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How Bollywood entertained us in 2012…outside the cinema!

What would Bollywood be without drama? And I don’t mean just the films. The lives of former stars, current stars and even potential stars are scrutinised to death, sometimes over the most trivial of issues. Here, we compile a list of some of the more interesting, albeit inconsequential and even silly, controversies from 2012. The Shahrukh Khan chronicles: For the King of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan (SRK), this was not a good year for the most part. In the first half of the year, he was embroiled in two controversies – fist fights, no less – leading to Bollywood gossip pundits spelling ...

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Hockey ignored by Pakistan’s cricket obsessed media

Most Pakistanis now know about the country’s hockey team winning against India in Asian Champions Trophy, all thanks to the cricket team being beaten by India… yet again. Pakistan was declared the Asian Champion after a score of 5-4 against India. The Indian team boycotted and walked out when the penalty goal was reversed and the Pakistani team showed some Gangnam Style moves before taking the final round of the ground to celebrate their victory. I know all these details because I was a part of the crowd at Al Rayyan Stadium, Doha, where the crowd outside the stadium was just ...

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If I am an introvert will society not accept me?

My mother, in that vexing and endearing way in which mothers operate, called me up recently to confide about my brother’s faltering performance at school. Concerned, I inquired about this new development to which I got the following response: “His teacher says that he doesn’t participate in class. She says he’s just average.” I was dumbfounded, not because my brother had under-performed but as to how the criteria for being ‘average’ had been relegated to class participation. I had to ask myself – what ever happened in this socially constipated century that has us so vehemently convinced of the inferiority of introversion? Introversion, for a ...

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Spare a thought for the policeman

I am an honest policeman disgruntled by the stigma attached to my profession. So, in order to let everyone see what my life is like, I have decided to pen down what a month in my shoes looks like. Despite performing my duties without taking any bribes, I fear I am still labelled a “chillar”, “thief”, “dishonest” and “corrupt”. There is no doubt that there are many people in my profession who may deserve those labels, but stereotyping everyone as the same isn’t an honest act either. I grew up like any other ordinary child with few facilities and festivities – ...

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From BB to Bilour: Politics in the time of terrorism

“And one morning, all that was burning, One morning the bonfires leapt out of the earth, Devouring human beings, and from then on fire, Gunpowder from then on, and from then on blood.” Thus spoke Pablo Neruda, a Chilean poet, on the horrors and ghastliness of war. Gruesome images coming out of war stricken zones from all over the world evoke the same feeling of revulsion irrespective of colour and creed of the dead. Common people, who do not have anything to do with the supposedly bigger scheme of things, come under the axe and bear the brunt of war. A mother crying on ...

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Yuvi’s masterclass: A star in T20 cricket!

India -Pakistan matches are always torrid love affairs, and what a nail-biting encounter the second T20 turned out to be! Pakistan’s loss and inability to cross the finish line with just 26 runs pending in the last two overs was a deeply heart rendering sight- however, the credit for that goes primarily to Yuvraj Singh. Yuvraj may not be cut out for Test cricket as his repeated failures have shown, but in limited-overs cricket, he is one of the fiercest strikers there is and yesterday’s innings was a master class in clean hitting. This is one of those times when statistics tell the story ...

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