Stories published in May, 2015

‘Modi is the best thing to happen to India’ – Think again

Interacting with the Indian diaspora in Shanghai and Seoul recently, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi boasted that his countrymen world-over feel proud of their Indian origin ever since he has become the prime minister of the country. In his address to non-resident Indians (NRIs), he added that it was a moment of shame to be an Indian before his assumption of power in Delhi. Such churlish and insulting statements by the Indian leadership at a foreign soil drew large scale condemnation both inside and outside India. Modi would like the world to believe that he is the best thing to happen ...

Read Full Post

Mad Max: Fury Road – Setting a new benchmark for action movies

Thirty years after Beyond Thunderdome, George Miller has returned to the Australian outback in the grandest way possible. Mad Max: Fury Road continues the story of Max Rockatansky – the character Mel Gibson made so iconic back in the day – as he continues to navigate his way through the post-apocalyptic wasteland. Still haunted by the demons of his past, Max (Tom Hardy) must team up with Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a renegade on the run to survive and bring order to the wasteland by combating the threat of the tyrannical warlord, Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) Mad Max: Fury Road is a ground breaking piece of work. Not only is ...

Read Full Post

As we bid adieu to American Idol, the legacy lingers on

The American singing competition, American Idol unfortunately meets its finale this year. Created by Simon Fuller based on the British series Pop Idol grasped my attention since its very first season in 2002. Being a fan of the idol platform, American idol had me glued to the screen for at least nine consecutive seasons. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t missed any season over all, but the anticipation decreased significantly as Simon Cowell left the judges panel. I mean, I’m a fan of Jennifer Lopez, but only as an artist, not too sure about her as a judge. Simon Cowell and ...

Read Full Post

Is Pakistan capable of protecting its minorities?

The recent attack on the Ismaili Muslims in Karachi brought a lot of things into perspective. Firstly, it exposed the ineffectiveness of various military, rangers and police operations, and, secondly, it unveiled the dangers our minority communities are exposed to. But seeing this attack in isolation would not be of any help. We need to understand how religion has facilitated the state and, by extension, the militant organisations over the past decades and how it has led to the conundrum that we find ourselves in now. The first time Islam came to serve the government was in 1953, for Mumtaz Daultana, which led to ...

Read Full Post

Don’t want to pay for a hotel while travelling? Find a couch!

“Hello Azhar. Yes, I will be available to host that weekend. Regards, from Germany.” This was the reply I received from Markus, my to-be host, with regards to my couch-surfing request that I had sent, for a two day night-stay in Heidelberg. I was nominated by my employer to attend a week-long seminar in Frankfurt, Germany and after the five-day sponsored-stay was over, I had decided to stay back and explore other parts of Germany on my own. I searched on the internet for tourist attractions in the country and picked Heidelberg, for its scenic beauty and diversity. But for this two-day stay, I chose not to ...

Read Full Post

2019 World Cup qualifiers: Is India better than Pakistan?

Football has never been able to achieve much recognition as a professional sport in Pakistan, even though there are many Pakistani football fans present. This is perhaps because most of our attention is reserved for cricket exclusively and hence, like all other sports, football too has suffered. The game has never been invested upon with the aim of building a professional team. Pakistan’s history of football is marked by its underachievement on both national and international levels and the country is perceived as minnow in this sport. Photo: AFP However, there have been surprising instances, where our team ...

Read Full Post

Tanu Weds Manu Returns with a bang

Tanu weds Manu returns with a bang. Where the first part, although entertaining, was quite anti-climactic and had a clichéd story line, the second part promises to overturn any complaints you might have had with the acting or the dialogue delivery from the prequel. It’s been four years since Tanu (Kangana Ranaut) and Manu (Ranganathan Madhavan) got married, but boredom finally takes its toll, adversely affecting their marriage. When Manu loses his calm during a counselling session, he is forcefully admitted into a ward, while his wife calmly exits and makes her way back to her hometown, Kanpur, India. For heart-broken ...

Read Full Post

What are you trying to prove by denying Geelani a passport, India?

Ignorant of their own history and overlooking how leaders like Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and Subhash Chandra Bose visited countries like South Africa, England and Germany to further their political ideologies, a certain ultra-jingoist Indian media channel recently aired a provocative debate titled Fly Pak Flag, Seek Indian Passport. This was done on Kashmir’s octogenarian resistance leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s request for a passport, as he wanted to visit his ailing daughter, Farhat Jabeen Geelani, in Saudi Arabia. Did Gandhi, Savarkar and Bose visit European countries as Indian citizens and on Indian passports? Did they surrender their political ideology and abandon their struggle for freedom in exchange of ...

Read Full Post

“It was funny… (he) squealed like a pig”: Germany’s Muslim-intolerant police force

The recent news circulating about a German police officer who shared a gruesome video on Whatsapp that featured him torturing a Moroccan Muslim man has had me in a spin. The video shows how the victim was forced to eat rotten pork off the floor. The same German officer is also being prosecuted and thereby is being investigated for physically abusing (and strangling) an Afghan refugee. Until last week, I, being a college counsellor for one of the top ranking schools in Lahore, was trying to educate my students on the perks of gaining further education from Germany – a country that is offering foundation ...

Read Full Post

Misbahul Haq deserves to play at home, one last time for one last goodbye

Six years ago, Muttiah Muralidharan bowled his last over against Khurram Manzoor in Lahore, after which Pakistan saw the deadliest international cricket draught ever in its history. But yesterday, that barren spell was broken, when a fearless Anwar Ali bowled the first over of the T20 match between Pakistan and Zimbabwe – marking the end of a dark era. The Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore was jam-packed and lit brightly for all to see the return of international cricket to Pakistan. Pakistani batsman Ahmed Shehzad (R) congratulates to his teammate Mukhtar Ahmed after scoring 50 runs against Zimbabwe during the ...

Read Full Post