Badar Chaudhary

Badar Chaudhary

An engineering graduate from Cardiff University, Britain, Badar tweets as @badarchaudhary

Perhaps Pakistan can learn from Austria’s madrassas

A year before a mosque in Kanpur (pre-partition India) was razed by our British overlords to pave way for a road, and while a Jinnah-less Muslim League was yet to overhaul its objectives – which until then asserted that ‘the party shall work towards manifesting a sense of loyalty to Britain’ – to work towards creation of a Muslim majority state (Pakistan was still a very distant idea), Austria passed a remarkably inclusive law, setting an example for the rest of the European countries. In 1912, Habsburg Emperor Franz Joseph passed an act guaranteeing its small minority of Muslims royal patronage by making Islam ...

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Showing off Pakistan’s achievements in 2014

2014 was like any other year for Pakistan in the last decade, with socio-political and religious excesses taking the lion’s share of space in the newspapers of the country. And yet, despite being overshadowed by dismal news, there was no dearth of winning moments for our country. In retrospect, this may just prove to be the year in which the foundation for a consolidated effort was laid, in the country’s quest to reclaim its lost glory of the 1960s. Progress was made in all domains of life. Some of those winning moments are herein under presented: Admittedly, in a country forever ...

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Value their lives, honour their deaths, Pakistan

The day after the legendary Mehdi Hassan died, I was at a restaurant where live ghazals were being sung by a budding singer. He was entertaining requests and invariably all the requests being made were of the ghazals sung by Mehdi Hassan. It was as if the people could not think of a better singer. I sat pleased for a moment that the star has truly been recognised. But then it ached deep down, wasn’t it too late? For weeks Mehdi Hassan had laid bedridden and yet, there had been no calls for prayer, no fans thronging his premises and no government officials ensuring ...

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A reason to laugh

Five years ago, I came across a very strange news story titled, ‘Conspiracy theorists convinced Neil Armstrong Moon landing was faked.’ Gaping with horror, I delved into the details quoting none other than the astronaut himself claiming how he may just have been hoodwinked into believing the moon-landing was real, although it wasn’t. More ludicrous was the reason cited as being the cause of disillusionment for Neil; an elaborate YouTube video that was prepared by a conspiracy theorist. Questioning all that was real, I immediately Googled to find other news sites claiming the same to convince myself of the veracity of the news. None existed. Sceptically, I ...

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Did qawwali die with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and the Sabri brothers?

The melodious voice became clearer as I walked towards the shrine. And just as I started up the stairs separating the dust of the polluted world from the spiritual atmosphere of the place, the lyrics became discernible as well, “Tajdar-e-Haram, O Nigah-e-Karam…” (King of the Haram, look upon us with mercy…) As strong as commentary can ever be, this poetry has always inspired reverence in faulted souls. Not more than a decade ago traditional qawwali was still thriving and the best place to listen to qawwalis was not a privately organised concert but these very publically hosted urs. Photo: Badar Chaudhary And ...

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A child’s broken dreams

A smile flickered on her lips as the fluttering butterfly evaded her for the umpteenth time and became a fugitive in the darkening skies. She cried out to her mother excitedly, “I nearly caught her!” To which her mother, Nargis, replied as always, “How many times have I told you not to tease such innocent souls, Ghulab Jahan? They will curse you and then you will never be able to become a doctor.” Ghulab Jahan, as pretty as her name implied, chuckled at the thought of a tongue-less creature complaining to God about her. Ghulab was an anachronism in many ways; she belonged neither to ...

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September 5, 2013
TOPICS

Fehmida’s beloved companion

Sitting thoughtfully, he smiled for no obvious reason. Or perhaps his thoughts had wandered off, from the hardships of the past few weeks since he had lost his job to the call he had received this very morning. Taking his cell phone out, which he kept like a prized commodity, he looked at it with a constant yet distracted gaze. He had listened through it with intent when Abdul Kareem, an old friend of his, briefed him about a domestic servant’s job, for which he was to come meet Ms Fehmida.  There was hope for him at last. He would finally ...

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Human Rights day: Lets hope for a better and brighter Pakistan

I hate to be an emissary of doom and gloom. Unfortunately, when I often look around to seek inspiration for my write-ups, I find the wretched in much greater numbers than the elated souls. My quest then becomes one of bringing forth the voice of those derelict yet quiet masses. It is on this note that I would be talking about today, December 10, which is celebrated around the world as the Human Rights Day. This exercise was taken up in the 1950s to commemorate the passing of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the United Nations (UN) general assembly ...

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Ahmadi plight: Dead but not resting in peace

Pakistan is the bastion of Islam, and Muslims in Pakistan the vanguards of the Islamic movement. They will shortly take over the world and govern it with Shariah laws. The only problem is for us to draw a consensus as to who really is a Muslim; the Sunnis or the Shias, sub categorised further into Barelvis, Ithna Asharis, Deobandis, Wahabis, the Ismailis or any other less popular sects? We’re at least a step closer to achieving that end. Ahmadis are non-Muslims, and our constitution corroborates that stand; if people from that sect still decide to be tactless enough, so as ...

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Cricket in Pakistan: Select on merit, not on favouritism!

And so the chief selector has spoken: No more messing around with the squad, unless a new player shows exemplary form in the upcoming domestic T20 event! The plan is to continue to stick with the tried and tested old guns. Iqbal Qasim seems to be working under the premise that too much shuffling around in the team compromises the players’ morale and confidence. The policy being sought is to allow a player ample time inside the field for him to mature up and to prove his mettle. This would have been a good strategy had the team shown sufficient potential, ...

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