Stories published in March, 2014

Will the 2014 World T20 be the most competitive ever? Yes!

In 2012, West Indies won the ICC World T20 final after defeating host Sri Lanka. Irrespective of conditions, Pakistan considers it its birth right to play in, at least, the semi-final of every World T20. Conditions are ideally suited for Asian champions, Sri Lanka and the ODI World champions, India. The Aussies and the Kewis (New Zealand) are in hot form, especially in limited-overs cricket. South Africans are looking for their first ever title in world cups. England, down, dilapidated, desperate and defeated in recent times, will be looking to repeat their heroics from the 2010 World T20, when they lifted the ...

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Adolf Hitler and Narendra Modi, what are the similarities?

If there’s one thing that is common among all the great dictators and demagogues – from Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Slobodan Milosevic to Narendra Modi – it is their uncanny adroitness in garbling and falsifying facts so as to mislead the masses and thus, suit their nefarious designs. It seems Hindu nationalist leader and Bhartiya Janta Party’s (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi – who finds himself in hot water over his alleged involvement in the 2002 Gujarat riots – has learnt a lesson or two from Herr Hitler’s shenanigans. When on April 1, 1920 Hitler changed his German Workers’ Party’s name to the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, his ...

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They said they would take care of our children in their manifestos, did they lie?

The majority of us, particularly those in the power corridors, may not remember that 2013 was declared the ‘Year of Child Rights’ in Pakistan on November 20, 2012 by the then prime minister of Pakistan while speaking at a function to commemorate Universal Children’s Day. Unfortunately, however, his government couldn’t take any tangible steps in the first two and half months of the year. 2013 was also the year of elections in Pakistan and we heard political parties share their programmes and manifestos with the masses and make commitments related to improving health, education, social protection and other social indicators. This blog is an attempt to ...

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Confessions of a liar

I’m sorry but I had to impress you. I had to put up my best act to make sure you fall for it, compare me to other men you knew and conclude that I am the best. I always felt inferior to you. People around you made me feel vulnerable and insecure. There was an aura of romance and sensuality about you, I was bare. You were beautiful, I wasn’t. You had friends, I had responsibilities. You had money, I had dreams. Can I blame my insecurities for what I did? I felt I had to compete to get you and so I decided to cheat. Will you take that as a genuine ...

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Pakistan cannot be an ‘Islamic’ republic, not if women are being raped everyday!

On March 13, 2014 a girl from Muzaffargarh set herself on fire outside the local police station when justice was not served to her. This innocent girl was allegedly gang raped by five rapists, who were granted bail by the police. People just stood there, watching her burn alive – as if she was giving a circus performance and our efficient media covered the incident from every angle possible to make sure it sold like hot-cakes on TV. The mother threw sand on her daughter in an attempt to save her. And finally one policeman, among the dozens who were watching, remembered his ...

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Of biased history: Wait, wasn’t Nehru the bad guy?

“Oh Jinnah sahib? Suna hai ke woh Nehru ki takkar ke thay.” (Oh, Mr Jinnah? I have heard that he was quite the equivalent of Nehru.) Stunned by the honest answer to my question by my Indian friend, I tried to process what he had said. It was the third day of the Boy Scouts Messengers of Peace Camp and we were in Delhi riding together on a bus to visit a monument – the Qutub Minar, I believe. Over the last few days that I had been in India, I had noticed that only a select few of my Indian counterparts knew ...

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The problem with our drama industry and its depiction of Pakistani women

The troubled image of modern Pakistani women conjured up by Pakistani dramas is extremely distorted and single dimensional. Stories, it is said, are a subtle yet are the most influential way of documenting the social evolution of a society. The story of a woman sells but the modern media has gone one step ahead by proving that the story of a woman being abused, tortured, beaten and humiliated sells faster. The massive projection of domestic and women related violence might appear as an attempt to serve the cause but a closer look will reveal an entirely different and gross story. The disturbing image of woman ...

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Saying “Children die every year in Thar” doesn’t make it acceptable, Sharjeel Memon!

The Information Minister of Sindh, Sharjeel Inam Memon, has been advocating a conspiracy of false hype regarding the Tharparkar draught and claiming that the media is wrong. He even expressed his views on Waseem Badami’s show 11th Hour on ARY News: This is a classic case of the ‘feudal mindset’ – how dare the voice of the poor reach the media? A feudal never likes that. This negligence is not really an inefficiency to perform; rather it’s a policy. A feudal likes it when people come to him with issues and if all their problems were resolved, how would he make them feel indebted ...

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The ‘place’ for women is not just ‘the kitchen’

The term ‘male-dominated society’ does not mean (against common misconception) the subjugation of women to physical violence or having biases towards them. However, to say that it is nothing will also be a gross understatement. The term basically means an opportunity to attest and exhibit supremacy, in any form. Even a demeaning nod at the idea of an achievement by the opposite gender is as derogatory as the worst form of it may be. One doesn’t have to advocate ‘feminism’ or ‘masculinity’ to believe in gender equality – this only gives birth to more sexism. Sexism, like racism, should not be ...

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Bahria Town project and it’s invisible hands

It was back in October last year, when I first noticed the crowd around the Bahria Town Karachi office at Shahre Firdousi. Having physically witnessed the extravagance of Bahria Town (BT) projects in the country, I was excited about their expansion in Karachi and across Sindh. The masses in Karachi too, were delighted by the launch. What pushed me to pen this piece was the chaos and, somewhat, surreptitious mechanism that the BT adapted for the launch of these projects, specifically the Bahria Town Karachi (BTK). It was initially launched with an undisclosed location, which triggered heavy subscription, reflecting the unshaken confidence ...

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