Stories about bullying

Hasan Minhaj’s ‘Homecoming King’ tackles racism, bullying and the effects of 9/11 on desis one joke at a time

Hasan Minhaj is a writer, comedian and actor, but he is mainly known for his political satire. He is a senior correspondent on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and recently hosted the White House Correspondents Dinner (WHCD) for which he got much applause since it was a hard gig to pull off without the presence of President Donald Trump himself. Homecoming King is his first stand-up special aired on Netflix, in which he mainly talks about what it is like to be an immigrant in America. The show is the story of his life, lit with photos and seasoned with Urdu/Hindi phrases which make it all the more entertaining. From the pressure of immigrant parents to being bullied at ...

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We are all Pakistanis and that itself is enough to glue us together

Recently, I came across an advertisement made by Filumbaaz for Leisure Club, a clothing company in Pakistan.  Inspired by Denmark’s TV2 ‘All That We Share’ concept, it was certainly something that we Pakistanis needed to see, especially keeping in mind the events of recent times. We have seen violence result from verbal disputes over literally nothing. We have seen people pull out guns because someone looked ‘weird’.  We have seen a person lynched over a rumor. The advertisement itself was dedicated to Mashal Khan and others who were forced to leave us long before their time. It starts with various people walking into a ...

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This is how American Muslims feel about Trump running for president

As a Pakistani growing up in Pakistan, I grew up watching undignified politicians. That was my norm. I trudged along my childhood, wonder years, idealistic teens and 20s, and jaded adulthood, along the lines accepting politicians to be lacking in persona, dignity and honesty. In essence, consenting to the tragedy of a deceitful and corrupt political system, where accusations and the actuality of rigged elections, killing, bullying and being a thug is a badge of honour – in and out of office.  This is unlike the United States (US), where truthiness is considered essential though political lies are rampant, and selective accountability with the appearance ...

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Mommy tips: How to raise a mini activist

When we hear the word “activist”, we immediately think of khadi clad, jhola carrying men and women braving water cannons and lathi charges. But an activist is one who campaigns for social change of any kind, someone who identifies the rot in society and speaks about it. There are various degrees of activism and similarly various ways of showing dissent. Thomas Jefferson said, “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism” and any thriving society needs such voices. Such conscientious persons are not born but raised. One might feel that preteens are too young to grapple the socio-political dynamics of a complex society, ...

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Holi should stop being an excuse to sexually harass women

Delhi in the month of March is really a beautiful city – the weather is mildly cool and the sun is not that sharp. One would expect that more tourists would visit the place during springtime for whiffs of fresh air. In short, peaceful sites to travel around, before the hot winds begin. But surprisingly, in this month, you will find anything but peace on the streets. This is a different kind of war I am hinting at – those who have booked their tickets for the hills to flee from the Holi horror show know exactly what I am talking about. More ...

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Why did my daughter always pick a petite doll with lustrous blonde hair?

It is pertinent for children to grow up with a realistic idea of beauty. I know and support this because being a mother of a five-year-old daughter; I have closely witnessed how the toys we choose and introduce to our children play a huge part in constructing their ideals of beauty. My daughter always picks a petite doll with blonde lustrous hair, and she roots for Maria Sharapova rather than Serena Williams during a tennis match. Perhaps, inadvertently, the toys I choose for her has begun to limit her idea of beauty and acceptance. Here, I would like to add another important observation ...

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I wasn’t dumb or slow, I was dyslexic

I gave my first speech in front of more than 500 people when I was just nine-years-old. When I was 15-years-old, I represented Pakistan in Regional UNESCO Youth forum for scouts of Asia Pacific Region. In the same year, I was awarded President’s Gold Medal award by the President of Pakistan. However, I was never the best student academically, neither was I the worst. Teachers and fellow students considered me one of top 10 students in my class due to my active participation, but my result never reflected it. As a child, I had a lot of trouble with spellings and numbers. Some people around me thought I was too lazy to ...

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Pakistanis should no longer live in fear of other Pakistanis!

Imagine having to wake up every day and being afraid of going to school. Afraid that other students will harass and torment you because of your – perceived or actual – sexual orientation, gender expression, ethnicity, disability, or just because. That is the reality that many Pakistani students face every day. Kids in schools today are harassed because of perceptions related to their sexual orientation and are bullied because of their gender expression. The world community, including the media, general public, opinion leaders and policy makers will commemorate International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia this year on May 17th; but who in ...

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Zulfiqar Mirza and his abuse of power

On May 3, 2015, Zulfiqar Mirza marched into a police station, allegedly harassed and bullied a police official and then took along with him a few of the prisoners as he left. Because of this, the police charged him under an anti-terrorism clause and decided to arrest him. As policemen approached his farm house, a whole army of his goons came out to protect Mirza. As a result, he was granted a pre-arrest ‘protective bail’ on May 4th , which was extended to May 9th on Wednesday by the Sindh High Court. According to rumours, the extension has been put in place because ...

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‘Whiplash’ takes you into the mind of your scariest teacher

Think of the most terrifying teacher you have faced, the thought of whom still makes you jittery years after graduation. If you dare, he may appear on your screen in the shape of the tyrannical Terrance Fletcher in the latest cinematic masterpiece, Whiplash. JK Simmons, best known as the meme-worthy boss of Peter Parker in the earlier Spiderman movies, finally lands himself a role where his naturally fiery eyes and hardened countenance are put to good use. In Whiplash, Simmons plays a dreaded conductor at a cut-throat conservatory for gifted musicians. The Shaffer Conservatory, being no place for passionate amateurs with newly purchased instruments, has a dire reputation ...

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