In India, women’s safety is a promise no one can keep

It was Mother’s Day recently and we couldn’t stop gushing in our seasonal tribute about our love and gratitude for our parent. The rest of the day, we patted ourselves on the back and declared ourselves super mommies who deserved their day in the sun or rather the spa. But away from all the bleeding hearts and not too far away from the national capital, a mother spent the day watching her 10-year-old girl in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Days later, she continues to do so. There can’t be a bigger irony, because our declarations on social media don’t have a pulse on ...

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The parasitic relationship of Pakistan, the shark, and Afghanistan, the remora

Reality is more complicated than fiction. Before someone loses a fuse by just reading this statement, let me explain. Fiction, no matter how fantastical, has to make some sense at the end of the day, otherwise it would not be able to appeal to any ‘reasonable’ audience. I apologise for using the term ‘reasonable’ here but I must make some sort of differentiation, otherwise people would point out the weirdest fictions out there as examples also known as House of 1000 Corpses. In fiction, two brothers who despise each other throughout the narrative would somehow find common ground and get back ...

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For the US, it is time to say goodbye to the American dream

In an era of revenge politics where reprisal and retribution rule the roost, it comes as no surprise that the racist bigot who runs the United States now will go after each piece of legislation or any steps conducive to human well-being that were taken by the previous president who also happened to be a man of colour. Unpredictable Donald Trump, aka Agent Orange with his raccoon eyes and fake tan, is out to undo any and everything in true letter and spirit that his predecessor’s administration carefully put together to take care of the greater interests of the American people. For instance, to Trump and the Republicans, healthcare is not a human ...

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Barack Obama’s legacy is not of change, or even of hope

Last week, Barack Obama made his first public appearance after stepping down from office earlier this year. Back in his home territory of Chicago, where the former president started out as a community organiser before gaining nationwide recognition as an up and coming senator, Obama spoke in front of an audience of young people at the University of Chicago where he had taught law for years before entering into politics. The former president discussed the necessity of young people becoming involved in their communities and bridging the divide that’s cut a bloody schism across the nation. Hillary Clinton and Donald ...

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Marine Le Pen vs Emmanuel Macron: Who will win le melee?

With the second and final round of the French presidential elections due on May 7, 2017, both finalists are clawing to encroach on each other’s weathered enclaves while fiercely defending their own. The winner in the second and final round of a scandal-ridden, 11-candidate presidential campaign could affect the global power balance. Le Canard Enchainé, France’s leading satirical weekly’s investigative reporting had ensured a breathless ride by raking up the private dealings of two of the major contenders—François Fillon, a former Prime Minister under Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007, and the Front National leader, Marine Le Pen. “Fake news”, the new, hotly contested semantic battleground, has crossed the ...

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Will China be the saviour of the imminent US-North Korea war?

The latest missile test that was launched by North Korea came at a tumultuous time. The United States (US) had warned North Korea that it will face grave consequences if it were to go ahead with a nuclear or missile test. In an apparent disregard to both to the US and the United Nations (UN), North Korea went ahead with its ballistic missile test. The fact that the missile exploded during take-off last Saturday is another story altogether.   There is an imminent danger of the US launching a surgical strike on North Korea as it has refused to bow down to threats. It should be credited ...

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Why Yogi Adityanath’s decision to prune official holidays should be applauded

One of the most contentious political appointments in India in recent times has been the elevation of Yogi Adityanath as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh (UP), the country’s most populous and politically significant state. After the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) emphatic victory in the recent assembly elections, there was prolonged suspense over who would ultimately get the coveted position. There were a number of strong candidates, and though Adityanath’s name was in the fray, he certainly was not the front-runner. The announcement therefore took a lot of people completely by surprise. Surprise would actually be a bit of an understatement given the kind of ...

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India’s problem is not Pakistan; India’s problem is India

A self-confessed Indian spy was caught in Pakistan to be sentenced to death, so some people in Mumbai went to an apparel outlet and stomped on clothes that were made in Pakistan. Sometimes, facts can be more absurd than fiction. The store, the ever popular Zara, that carries clothes made in multiple countries, was accosted by Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). Hindu hardliners and Indian nationalists all in one, the party is known to take extreme stances on multiple issues concerning Muslims, cows, Pakistan, etcetera. The violence that the party usually propagates is interestingly in direct contrast with the glossy image India reflects to the world; the land of breakthrough ...

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Nature granted me a front seat to the northern lights and it was everything

The place was a sharp contrast to what I had experienced over the past three days, trekking through the Southern Highlands of Iceland. I had traversed through 30 kilometres of landscape made of black volcanic ash with little vegetation but fragile moss, rainbow-coloured rhyolite hills that belched sulphurous steam, dark clouds hovering low and foreboding a rainstorm at every moment, and no signs of life but the occasional audacious hiker. The daytime scenery was the most incredible I have seen in my travels through the European Alps and highlands, but it was the much famed night-time spectacle that I ...

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Of Halala marriages and the sexual exploitation of Muslim women

According to a BBC undercover investigation, some Muslim women in South Asian diasporic communities in England are facing exploitation, blackmail and sexual abuse via various online accounts. These accounts provide services for divorced women to fulfil the requirement of a so-called Halala marriage, in order to remarry their former spouse after they have been divorced through the ‘triple talaq’ process. Triple talaq takes place when a man says ‘talaq’ (divorce) three times in a row to his wife, convincing many Muslims that this ends an Islamic marriage immediately. These online services let women pay to marry strangers, consummate the marriage with them and then divorce them, after which they are ...

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