Stories published in August, 2017

Toilet: Ek Prem Katha is the perfect sugar-coated medicine to treat the illnesses in India’s society

When Neeraj Pandey and Akshay Kumar collaborate, they never fail to impress. Brilliant performances, power-packed scripts, remarkable messages – this is what they are known for. Now, the duo is back with Toilet: Ek Prem Katha. First things first, who would want to watch a movie named Toilet in the first place? But trust me, it goes from zero to 100 real quick. From dealing with major issues of sanitation to the problems of defecation in open areas, Toilet brings a lot of India’s present day concerns to the big screen. Not only does the movie deal with social issues, it also critiques Narendra Modi’s government and takes ...

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Divided States of America: Donald Trump will not condemn the Charlottesville attackers because they are the ones who voted for him

Donald Trump’s vicious win as the 45th president of the United States caused quite an upheaval in the country. He spoke outrageously and millions applauded. However, in wake of the recent Charlottesville, Virginia tragedy, a new wave of hate crimes and violence has taken charge – and it is doing us more harm than good. The incident in Charlottesville is a perfect example of it. However, this time it shook me to my bones as the tragic event took place in my home state, Virginia. A group of anti-far right protesters gathered in Charlottesville for a demonstration which ultimately led to an innocent civilian’s death, and ...

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Ziaul Haq’s legacy consists less of his own policies and more of the actions successive governments have taken to undo their effects

Throughout human history, there have been numerous individuals whose existence and actions have adversely affected the course of a nation or the world on a whole. They have been the cause of great pain and suffering directly such as Joseph Stalin with his agricultural program or Adolf Hitler’s war on Jews and the minorities of Germany and later on, the rest of the world. Pakistan too has had its fair share of such individuals but none of them stand out in comparison to the man who sowed the seeds of dissension, discord, sectarianism and extremism in our country – General Ziaul Haq. On the ...

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With John Wick’s David Leitch at its helm, Atomic Blonde will definitely deliver on the action

In 2014, two stuntmen David Leitch and Chad Stahelski made their foray into directing their debut feature John Wick. The film wasn’t anything more than a predictably-plotted action film. However, one thing it did differently from every other action film around was that it made sure you felt every punch of the action. With their extensive experience in stunts, Leitch and Stahelski proved that there was still room in Hollywood for slick, well-choreographed and well-shot action films that didn’t have to rely on rapid editing cuts and big explosions to capture the audience’s attention. Since then, both Leitch and Stahelski have gone ...

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Give Pakistani women a solid tech platform and watch them break every glass ceiling in sight

The empowerment of underprivileged women in the absence of technology is hard to imagine. After all, a basic understanding of programming can encourage them to identify new market trends and eventually embrace entrepreneurship. Similarly, exposure to data analysis and web development skills can afford easier penetration into Pakistan’s booming Information Technology (IT) industry. The industry is home to some of the highest paying jobs in the country, but a dearth of technological training has denied females a level playing field. Therefore, HerDomain has the perfect strategy in place to change that. HerDomain is a non-profit technological startup that provides coding skills and ...

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Is Trent Alexander-Arnold the new Steven Gerrard for Liverpool?

Ask football fans to identity their favourite player and majority of the answers would include names who have graduated from the club’s academy to become a mainstay in their team’s first 11. In other words, the homegrown star, the local lad who made it big in a sport that has gone global. He’s someone who fans can truly claim as their own in today’s day and age, where football allegiance can change at the drop of a hat (or with the promise of a few extra millions). Over the years, Manchester United might have had dozens of superstars play for them, ...

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Why weren’t other religious minorities forced to videotape their Independence Day celebrations in India?

As if ghar wapsi programs and beef lynching was not enough, madrassas in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruled state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) have been told to celebrate the Indian Independence Day with great fervour and patriotism. And to prove that their students are very good and patriotic citizens of India, those who manage Indian madrassas will have to submit videos of how they celebrated the patriotic day. Of course, it shouldn’t surprise us, since after the appointment of a rabid anti-Muslim like Yogi Adityanath as the chief minister of India’s largest state (with a large Muslim population), killings of Muslims suspected to have eaten beef have increased. Now, ...

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The rape story we are all living inside of

It’s not science fiction and it’s not the nation’s growth story. It’s the rape story we are all living inside of. In this rape story, your female/male/trans body is owned broadly by the state but specifically and practically by your father, and next to him, your elder brothers, and next to them, your uncles and your younger brothers. They decide who to hand over your body to. This new person now has rights to access your body, its seed and its fruit. Sometimes money exchanges are involved in this story. The new owner of a female body takes money in addition to control ...

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Dear Tahirul Qadri, you cannot be a leader as you are three years too late to demand justice for the Model Town brutality

In January 2013, The Express Tribune reported, “Dr Tahirul Qadri’s ‘million-man march’ began from Lahore towards its destination, Islamabad.”  For much of Pakistan, and the rest of the world, this was the first time people had heard of Tahirul Qadri. Before he rose to eminence, Qadri was best known for the altruistic and educational activities of his international religious charity, the Minhajul Quran Foundation. He also issued a 500-page long fatwa against terrorism at London’s Wembley Stadium, securing his place amongst the moderate clerics in the Islamic spectrum. In just a few weeks’ time, he became part of the defining political movement in Pakistan in 2014 – the Islamabad ...

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Game of Thrones S07-E05: Mellow yet extremely important

After the fourth episode, I felt that Game of Thrones (GoT) would definitely slow its pace down for the fifth episode, which it did. This would have naturally made the episode quite dry in comparison to the nail-biting fourth episode, except it was quite the contrary.  Even though the fifth episode, Eastwatch, may not be the best one so far, it sure is the most important one. The fifth episode had quite a few important details that could completely turn the tables around for quite a few characters. In Winterfell, the northerners are still dismayed about their king, Jon Snow, deserting them and putting his sister, ...

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