Stories published in March, 2017

Should we be worried about Disney incorporating a gay character in Beauty and the Beast?

The inclusion of a gay character in Disney’s latest flick, a remake of Beauty and the Beast, has outraged many conservative Christians who believe that Disney is trying to push a “harmful sexual political agenda, one that offends the deeply held beliefs of countless parents and families”. Franklin Graham, a right-wing evangelical preacher marred in controversies, recently wrote on his Facebook account, “(Disney is) trying to push the LGBT agenda into the hearts and minds of your children—watch out! … I hope Christians everywhere will say no to Disney”.

Graham’s Facebook post has been shared nearly 95 thousand times at this ...

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Calling leaders in Western Europe remnants of Nazism will not gain Erdogan any friends

A unique diplomatic war is stirring between two prominent players in the European arena, the Dutch and the Turks. The drama started when the Dutch denied entry to two prominent members of the Turkish cabinet into their country. These members were to address the Turkish expatriates in the Netherlands over the upcoming referendum citing security concerns. The two sides do not appear to be interested in toning down the rhetoric or working towards normalcy. Turkish strongman President Recep Tayyip Erdogan upped the ante with the following remarks: “I have said that I had thought Nazism was over, but that I ...

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One month later, sifting through the sands of Sehwan

“May the curse of God be on the enemies of Qalandar. May the enemies of Ahle Bait (the family of the Holy Prophet (pbuh)) be always cursed”. It is 5am. After paying my respects at the shrine of Bodla Bahar, the disciple of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, as per tradition, I head to the shrine of his murshid (spiritual master). The vehement tabarra (cursing) mentioned above is the first thing I witness as I stand outside the closed gates of Qalandar’s shrine. A malang attired in black beats his fists into his chest as he mourns the blast that happened on February 16, 2017, one month ago, at ...

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Badrinath Ki (very predictable) Dulhania

If you think Badrinath Ki Dulhania is a comedy movie with witty scenes that will make you laugh, then you may be in for a surprise. While there is plenty of humour and entertainment, the film also shows its viewers a rather different side of society. Dharma Productions, the company behind this movie, is popularly known for its glitz, glamour, fast-paced story-lines, something about this movie is definitely different and you sense that immediately after the interval. Badrinath Ki Dulhania has every element that makes a Bollywood movie memorable, if not successful; it has social commentary forcing viewers out of their comfort zones. With ...

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Will José Mourinho regain his reputation as one of the best managers in Europe?

José Mourinho arrived at Manchester United with a big reputation. However, people were cynical about a Portuguese becoming the manager of the team. He didn’t follow the the policy of grooming the youth and letting academy players play, which is something that has always been an important part of club’s culture. Britain Football Soccer – Chelsea v Manchester United – FA Cup Quarter Final – Stamford Bridge – 13/3/17 Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho remonstrates with referee Michael Oliver after the match.Photo: Reuters United has improved under Mourinho in the last few months; especially after they were thrashed by ...

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People of Thar have no food or water, but thanks for the free WiFi, PPP

Recently, the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) inaugurated the first free WiFi villages in Tharparkar. The project, which will cost $2 billion and is projected to be completed in 2019, involves the production of 660 megawatts of electricity through the process of coal mining. An investigative article published in The National Geographic in 2014 states: “Coal provides 40% of the world’s electricity. It produces 39% of global carbon dioxide emissions. It kills thousands a year in mines, many more with polluted air.” Even though WiFi has become such a necessity in today’s world, the question that arises is: do the people living in the villages ...

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Game of Thrones Season 7 might see the end of Tyrion Lannister

Just like Melisandre brought Jon Snow back to life in season six, Game of Thrones (GoT) fans were resuscitated by producers after the teaser trailer for season seven was released on social media a few days ago. And the one-and-a-half minute teaser was as cryptic as GoT can get. Kit Harington in Game of Thrones. Photo: IMDb The trailer begins with sigils of all the major houses of Westeros, with famous dialogues by people belonging to these houses playing as the background score. We hear iconic lines from Daenerys Targaryen, the Mad King, Robert Baratheon, Cersei Lannister, Joffrey, Balon Greyjoy, Roose ...

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Drug addicts are born, not made

He brushed off the litter of ash from his clothes, pursed the filter between his nicotine stained lips, and inhaled another deep drag of chemically-infused smoke. He allowed the sensation of the hit to take over his entire body, feeling his head spin and his body go numb. It was like the doors of a dam opening, as a whirlwind of thoughts rushed through his head in chaos. His thoughts rested at their favourite home track where his train of thought often took him – why did he continue to do the same things over and over again, expecting different results each ...

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The Modi brand is here to stay

The man is bigger than his party. This is the crux of the results of five assembly elections in India, especially the crucial state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) that sends 80 MPs to Parliament. After these polls, there is no denying that Narendra Modi’s popularity overshadows not only the opposition but also his own party, the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). There was similar support for our first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, as was there for his daughter Indira Gandhi during her regime. Modi is no Nehru and is also quite different from Indira; the background of the ‘chaiwala’ has ...

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Why every Karachiite will be able to relate to ‘Karachi, you’re killing me’

Last month, I grabbed a copy of ‘Karachi, you’re killing me’ by Saba Imtiaz. The title was quite relatable and I knew I had to get my hands on that book. Since I live in Karachi, and have the privilege of going through the same misery (and joy) that was written at the back of the book, I knew I had to read it as soon as possible, even more so because Mohammad Hanif recommended it. The story opens with the happening life of a female journalist named Ayesha. The book illustrates the agonistic life of a journalist who has to wake up early for a work ...

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