Stories about independence

Pakistan, India and Bangladesh have always been much better off without the British

In 1944, Beverley Nichols’ sensational Verdict on India came out with a slap in the face of what we know today as Bangladesh, India and Pakistan — or BIP, to duck a mouthful. Nichols thoughtlessly trashed BIP’s society and culture, out-doing Churchill’s well-known: “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.” The religion might have been Hinduism, but the cigar-puffing fat man’s book, The River War, reveals as much contempt for Muslims. Nichols’ vitriol, though, stands in a class of its own. BIP’s classical music was a “… shattering onslaught of sheer Bedlam … hullabaloo … pandemonium.” He dismissed Ayurveda, ...

Read Full Post

A common Pakistani’s response to Happy Bhag Jayegi director’s open letter

Mr Mudassir Aziz, Proud Indian, Director of Happy Bhag Jayegi. Dear Mr Mudassir Aziz, I just read your open letter to Pakistan on The Quint regarding the unfortunate ban on your film Happy Bhag Jayegi in Pakistan. I am not the person in charge but merely a common Pakistani, for whose benefit you want to get the film unbanned. Let me say at the outset, that having successfully fought against the YouTube ban as a lawyer in the Lahore High Court, I am absolutely opposed to censorship of any kind. I believe any speech, no matter how offensive, should be allowed unconditionally. I recognise that this ...

Read Full Post

We’re celebrating Pakistan’s Independence Day, but are we really independent?

On August 11, 1947, a newly-formed Pakistan held its first parliamentary session. The purpose was to draft a constitution. During this session, Pakistan’s founding father Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah famously reaffirmed the pluralistic values the new nation had been founding declaring: “You are free, you are free to go to your temples; you are free to go to your mosques or any other place of worship in the state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the state.” This year will mark the nation’s 69th year ...

Read Full Post

Will the Muslim women in India find protection in the courts?

One may accuse Trupti Desai’s symbolic entry to the Haji Ali Dargah, Mumbai, and her earlier attempt to enter the Shani Shingnapur temple, as a well thought out publicity stunt highlighting her political intentions. However, one has to grant her and her organisation, Bhumata Ranrangini Brigade, due credit for their gumption to take on religious clerics and other religious organisations. Her determination resulted in the decadent old custom that prevented women from entering places of worship, into the public domain. It is indeed a sad commentary that even after 69 years of India’s independence; Indian women have to fight for their rights. Women have to constantly fight ...

Read Full Post

You can work as a waiter or a driver in the US, but not in Pakistan

My love for Pakistan is unfathomable! From the lush green valley of Chitral to the hustling bustling streets of Lahore, my love for my country has, in fact, grown over time. Pakistan is my home – mom’s food, sister’s amazing chai, random hangouts with school friends, street food, the streets of Lahore; the list of things I absolutely adore about my home is unending. When I came to the US, initially I thought this journey was more like a survival challenge for my existence. I was nostalgic and missed everything about home. But now I feel those things are not missed so much ...

Read Full Post

Iqbal: Relevant yesterday but not today

An airport, university, countless schools and roads – the list of places and institutions bearing the name of Allama Iqbal goes on and on. If Pakistan was a religion, Iqbal would be a prophet. Iqbal came to prominence in a time when the Muslim World was in apparent decline. Spain was long gone. The Mughal Empire was dead. For Muslims in his native British India, Iqbal’s poetry was a rallying call to rise; extremely relevant for his times on a socio-political level. 76 years after his death, however, his relevance needs to revisited. Iqbal was not a capitalist. He wasn’t a socialist. He criticised ...

Read Full Post

20 and about to get married? Say goodbye to your dreams and careers

“I can’t wait to pursue my bachelor’s degree abroad,” I beamed with delight. With disdain, as if I had said something extremely outrageous, I was asked,  “Wait, are you not going to get married?” Recently, my Facebook newsfeed was flooded with pictures of bridal and baby showers of girls whom I went to school with. I am 20-years-old and some of my friends are already married and have children. While I was taken aback by this at first, soon realisation began to hit me. This was it. This was the end of these young girls’ carefree lives and that too at the ripe ...

Read Full Post

Catalonian independence equals Spanish football without Barcelona

Despite Scotland’s ‘No’ vote on independence, the Catalans are adamant to break away from Spain as they push ahead defiantly for their own ballot on self-rule. Just hours after the Scottish referendum results were announced, Catalonian parliament passed a law authorising them to hold a non-binding consultation on independence from Spain. However, Spain has refuted that it is unconstitutional for Catalonia to break away from them. Politics and sports are often intertwined; so the question is, what if it does break away? Furthermore, under the assumption that Catalonia breaks away from Spain, what impact will it have on the Spanish football, since ...

Read Full Post

Scotland referendum: Is the glass half full or half empty for the Scots?

History will remember this simmering September with shimmering words, as the world witnessed Scotland choosing to remain a part of the United Kingdom (UK) on September 18, 2014; where the two letter word ‘No’ subjugated the three letter word ‘Yes’ in the referendum; where a clear majority of 55% to 45% decided to continue the 307-year-old affiliation with UK. No one can flout the historical fact that Scotland’s three centuries old odyssey with UK is one of the strongest political unions in European history this world has ever seen. However, a simple question springs in many minds that why this ...

Read Full Post

Scotland referendum: If they can have it, why can’t Kashmir?

Today, on September 18, Scots will decide whether they want to stay with the Great Britain or opt for independence. This is a big day, not only for Scotland but for the entire world as this referendum will seal the fate of the United Kingdom. It’ll be a great setback for UK if they lose in the referendum, as David Cameron expressed on Twitter: On Thursday, Scotland votes – and the future of the UK is at stake. Please help keep our family of nations together: https://t.co/j0JkdjiK7f — David Cameron (@David_Cameron) September 15, 2014 The Scots are very happy about this step, as people are seen waiting excitedly ...

Read Full Post