Stories published in September, 2014

Contradicting the Constitution (il)legally

“Wherein adequate provision shall be made for the minorities freely to profess and practice their religions and develop their cultures… Wherein adequate provision shall be made to safeguard the legitimate interests of minorities and backward and depressed classes… No person shall be deprived of life or liberty save in accordance with law… All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law… There shall be no discrimination on the basis of sex… No child below the age of 14 years shall be engaged in any factory or mine or any other hazardous employment… The State ...

Read Full Post

Thinking of buying the Apple Watch? Think again!

While watching the Apple product launch live-stream at 3am in the morning, I was honestly really impressed with the new Apple Watch. As an Android user, I didn’t really care much for the ‘innovative’ new iPhone with its bigger screen (which my HTC already possesses). But yes, the Apple Watch struck me. Not so much at first though, because the square design seemed a bit too antique for me. However, with the unveiling of numerous different kinds of straps for the watch, its beautiful design, the features it offered you, and its nifty ‘clock faces’, as well as the clever way of communicating ...

Read Full Post

10 things Pakistani and Indian drama industries need to do

Pakistani dramas are suddenly all the rage across the border yet again. Indian actors like Paresh Rawal, Kajol and Javed Jaffrey have praised them as a new channel, Zee Zindagi, is playing the best Pakistani dramas for Indian audiences who are happily lapping them up. There was always a cross-cultural exchange between India and Pakistan, but with the Pakistani film industry in the doldrums, and the Ekta Kapoor-style serials’ overwhelming popularity, it had become a one way street. Before this channel arrived, Indian fans, and indeed the entire sub-continental diaspora, used to watch Pakistani dramas over the internet just as we ...

Read Full Post

Can Modi become a role-model for the children of India?

When we earn something hard, we flaunt it too often. This is exactly what has happened with Prime Minister Narendra Modi – he worked really hard to become the PM of the largest democracy in the world, and he doesn’t leave any opportunity to flaunt his newly acclaimed status. Delivering the Teachers’ Day speech and making it compulsory for all students and teachers to listen to it was just another attempt to tell the world that he has arrived. The huge Manekshaw auditorium in New Delhi was chock-a-block with enthusiastic students who asked him some well-rehearsed questions. Donning the avatar of Chacha Nehru (as ...

Read Full Post

After 67 year, we are still unprepared for rain

When it rains in Pakistan, the words of Ardeshir Cowasjee seem very pertinent: “Gutter tou bana nahi saktay, atom bomb banatay hain”. (They cannot even make a gutter but are making atom bombs). Rain, a blessing of nature (or should I say curse in disguise), has wreaked havoc in parts of Punjab and Kashmir. It has not only cost lives and casualties, but also led to the spread of water-borne diseases. These torrential rains have flooded areas where lands have been cleared, people have been displaced and livestock has been harmed. One wonders then whether authorities, such as the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), Water and Sanitation ...

Read Full Post

Balochistan: Self-inflicted misery?

My fondest childhood memories are of rolling down the landscaped gardens of the rest-house located beside the Quaid-e-Azam’s residency in Ziarat. The undulating open space spotted with the frosted looking juniper trees provided an ideal environment for the equally inviting wooden dens; and the fresh dew on the grass under the clear blue sky was then so tempting for us to feel. Visiting these dream homes used to be the highlight of our summer vacations. The short picnics to Hanna Lake, Ziarat and Wali Tangi were enriching and peaceful to say the least. Quetta, I should say, was one of the most ...

Read Full Post

Great expectations… from the Lahore Lions

The Lahore Lions will be part of the Champions League T20 2014. After winning the local T20 competition, the Lahore Lions are all set with visas in hand to take on the big guns and probably slay a few giants. Led by Muhammad Hafeez, the former T20 captain of Pakistan, Lahore Lions are capable of spoiling the party for many favourites. The team is decent to say the least. The captain is one of the best all-rounders going around; sometimes he impresses more with his bowling than his batting, but he is a match winner especially in the shortest format. He’s likely to open, ...

Read Full Post

Either pay attention to K-P or resign, Imran Khan!

A Sikh trader, Harjeet Singh, was killed in Peshawar. This was the fifth target killing of Sikh traders living in Pakistan; in 2014, two Sikhs were killed in Charsadda and two were killed in Peshawar. But the reaction to Harjeet Singh’s murder was very different. Sikhs have been living in Pakistan since the 19th century when Peshawar and Punjab were under the rule of Ranjeet Singh. While many other minority communities left Pakistan after the partition in 1947, a number of Sikhs stayed back and considered themselves safe in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA). However, after the recent killings, the scenario has ...

Read Full Post

Kashmir: Battling floods and false-reporting by the Indian media

Kashmir is battling the worst of times in its living memory. A flood that has inundated half of the valley is causing unimaginable devastation, yet the hyper-nationalist and jingoistic Indian media has made the so-called rescue operations by its army the centre of its attention and coverage. “Army and air force are risking their own lives to save lives in #JKfloods. Separatists who have only abused the fauj should feel chastened now,” tweeted the cheerleader of India’s broadcast media Barkha Dutt. Army & Air Force are risking their own lives to save lives in #JKfloods. Separatists who have only abused the Fauj should ...

Read Full Post

Mary Kom: A punch in the right direction

When you think of movies under the Sanjay Leela Bhansali banner, you think of epic romances, of the colours blue, grey, and black, of love and passion, and women dancing in the most extravagant of lehngas. But the last thing you would expect from a Bhansali movie is a story about a young girl trying her luck in the patriarchal field of sports. This is why the movie Mary Kom was pleasantly surprising. But Mary Kom coming from a big production house is not why I liked it. I liked it because of the following reasons: 1) It is a biopic. This kind of cinema is really inspirational and it ...

Read Full Post