Stories published in September, 2010

Ban Tom & Jerry

Recently the Punjab government formed a committee to see whether cartoons based on Hindu mythology should be banned or not. The reasons given were that the children of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan might come under the influence of such animations and deviate from Islam. I am not going to get into how that is clearly ridiculous or how it is not in line with Jinnah’s vision as many have already addressed those issues. However, I would add that in case the Punjab government does decide to ban these cartoons, there are a few other things on TV that it ...

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Floods and the business of responsibility

These days Pakistan is going through the worst flooding in its history. Even before the floods, most people living in rural areas that have been affected were living in abject poverty. It is the responsibility of companies to participate in and finance projects that address the long term needs and social welfare of the flood victims. Occasional distribution of cheques and commodities is good but much more has to be done – and on a regular basis. The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is not new in Pakistan. Companies across the country participate in and arrange welfare activities to ...

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Unwind: Pakistan bashing needs to end

The events over the last few weeks are disturbing and depressing for any Pakistani. Not because the unwanted happened for the first time or that Pakistan is the only country for such happenings. The depressing aspect was that media and especially bloggers that took Pakistan bashing and self-flagellation to new unprecedented heights. I do not defend the fake-degree holders, nor do I condone of match fixing, nor the Sialkot lynching. However, I am a great believer in human individuality and complexity of the human brain. What makes us different DNA is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in ...

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Echoes of revolution

Pakistan is experiencing the worst form of governance in its history and with this comes talks of revolution.  Even in a crisis like the deadly floods Pakistan’s  ministers have failed to focus on public service. The besieged government is unable to deal with conflicts – both man made and natural, and rumors of revolution echo through Pakistan’s political sphere. MQM chief Altaf Hussain was the first to test these waters by articulating the suspicion of Pakistanis when he accused feudal landlords of deliberately diverting waters to neighbouring villages to save their crops, live stocks and personal properties. The political reaction was a ...

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A reason to remember 9/11

Ever since I saw the movie V For Vendetta, I have a small ritual of sorts. Every year, on September 11, I keep my status for the whole day, “Remember, remember, the 11th of September, for I see no reason why it should be forgot.” It’s my way of paying tribute to the innocent men and women and yes, believe it or not, Muslims that perished no that tragic day. This year, a friend commented asking what it meant, and I gave her the cliff notes version of the original rhyme, explaining it was my way of commemorating the tragic ...

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Welcoming home Mr Musharraf

Former President Musharraf announced his intention to run for parliament or become President once again come election time, 2013. Rumours and reports suggest that his new party will be launched on the October 1,2010, after which his party will actively promote Musharraf as the nation’s saviour. Alliances are being formed, deals brokered and supporters invigorated. Democracy in action? Given the prospect of a new political force entering the country; it’s quite disheartening to read the near, unanimous denouncement of Musharraf’s return to Pakistan, or to politics, or both. Critics have argued that there is no room in politics for Musharraf anymore. I ...

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How a dog and a brand became celebs in Chile

Some people say marketing and advertising are going to the dogs – that may not necessarily be a bad thing! A while back I saw a very  simple but creative idea in an Adage video with Martin Lindstrom – something he called ‘doggy placement.’ Lindstrom is a marketing guru with a global following and outreach. He partners with Adage to showcase interesting and offbeat marketing tactics from around the world. The doggy placement idea is one he found in Chile. A local dog food firm called Master was thinking up a new way to get their brand onto a popular daily ...

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A pack of chips

I was travelling via air in the US in March this year and it skipped my mind that in local flights passengers have to pay for their meals. Very confidently, I asked the flight attendant for a pack of chips. “Well, you have to pay,” she said. As I was about to give her money, she informed me very kindly, “We take credit cards only and not cash.” The poor traveller in me was hungry but boldly let go of the pack of chips. Only for it to be returned with a smile by the flight attendant who said, “I often ...

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I love Facebook (sort of)

Old people, parents, employers and techno-phobes all love to expound on the many reasons to just bite your lip, rip off the Band-Aid and be done with Facebook forever, but most of us don’t really care. I’m going to be honest-the usual reasons people give for why social networking is such an insidious villain to the average twenty-something don’t matter to me at all. I don’t really feel that that my real personality is being compromised in favour of a Facebook-friendly version of it. I don’t have any secret sex tapes or otherwise questionable content floating around cyberspace and I ...

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What about our children?

I have witnessed many traumatic images in my few years as a media professional. However, the image of children watching their parents run after helicopters as they drop sacks of food, fighting and injuring each other in the process, is disturbing to say the least. Even writing about it pains me deeply. Penning my thoughts brings back images of some of the most inhumane images I have seen; especially, during the recent coverage of the devastating floods. I wonder what children go through when they witness their parents scuffling for food. Even as an adult I have trouble coming to terms ...

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