#IStandWithEdhi: Making a video defaming the Edhi Centre is easy, but can you be as selfless as Edhi?

I recently came across a distressing video on Facebook where a woman with perfect makeup and a dupatta pinned to her head was going on about something she felt strongly about. I wasn’t bothered by her appearance as such; I was actually concerned about what she was saying and who she was saying it about. The woman was standing outside the Edhi Centre and talking about the filth and cruelty she had witnessed there. She said it was better to kill people rather than keep them in such conditions. After giving an emotional speech for around three minutes, she showed a room with inadequate bedding and some children sitting inside. ...

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Coke Studio 10: A season of tributes that is too star-studded to be true?

You cannot make everyone happy. And nowhere does this apply more fittingly than to every offering of Pakistan’s musical opus: Coke Studio. The show, a success story like no other, has put Pakistan on the global culture map, but continues to divide opinions roaringly, more so of late. If the show plays it safe with covers, it’s unoriginal; if it delves into too much innovation, it becomes another Nescafe Basement. Navigating through the public complaints doesn’t always seem smooth for this show that has single-handedly rejuvenated Pakistan’s musical scene. With the line-up for the latest season having just been released, the furore is already upon us. For ...

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Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Jr and Maria Toorpakay Wazir will have none of this gender conformity nonsense, and we salute them

A few days ago, I had the privilege of watching two videos. The central individuals in both the videos are totally different. One is a scion of the most famous political dynasty of Pakistan, while the other was born into a more humble background but managed to garner fame and success through talent, determination and hard work. One is a bearded young man who speaks softly and eloquently, while the other is a tough-looking female who talks in what would be considered a “masculine” manner in our society. One is a man who is trying to tell the world ...

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In Ramazan, the piety curtain falls and the ratings go up, but not for Mansha Pasha

Aah, Ramazan. Shaan-e-Ramazan. Ehtram-e-Ramazan. Naimat-e-Ramazan. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Hold your horses. Because in few minutes it will be, “Moti moti auntiyaan kidhar hain?”  (Where are all the fat aunties?) “Aam khaye ga aam?”  (Do you want to eat mango?) And my personal most favourite, “Who are you to question Jinnah?” Pakistani television shows during Ramazan are complete madness. And anyone who has had the displeasure of watching these shows would agree that each year they try to outdo their own madness and each year they succeed. From giving away children to planes, Aamir Liaquat is on some kind of unreal dare to prove that shock value generates money. Forget ethics or standards of ...

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Dear Rishi Kapoor, before pointing the “terrorism” finger at Pakistan, please take a look at your prime minister, army and country

Dear Rishi Kapoor, As a Pakistani, I am not ashamed to admit that I have grown up watching Bollywood movies, I have been entertained, and I have also questioned the integrity of the industry where ageing actors such as yourself would still get lead roles as heroes. Maybe it reflects the Indian mindset, maybe not. However, do you see how such a small detail can have such a lasting impression?  One of my favourite songs is ‘Dil lene Ki Rut Aye’, with you and Madhuri Dixit (an amazing actress and definitely one of a kind). Moving on, this is not about your career or acting abilities, rather it’s about ...

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What if Snow White was a little healthier and the dwarves were less perverted?

“What if Snow White was a little healthier and the dwarves were less perverted?” is perhaps what the poster for the new Snow White film should have said. Instead it said, “What if Snow White was no longer beautiful and the seven dwarfs not so short?” What if the marketing team of the South Korean children’s movie, Red Shoes & the 7 Dwarfs had more sense? The movie seems to have taken a rather strong and suggestive tone regarding breaking stereotypes, showing a version of Snow White that is a heavier girl unperturbed by the notion of “proper” behaviour that is commonly expected of ...

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Because gender equality can only be proven if women can show up to work in their underwear?

It’s 2017. Women are becoming more visible in possibly every field of work and professional capacities, proving that when they reclaim spaces, whether private or public, there is just no stopping how far they can excel. There is no one who can deny that fact. For centuries, women have been put down and pushed back with claims of natural and inherent incompetence based on their sex. Somehow, because a certain group of humans is born female with physical differences (read: different reproductive organs), they have been and still are considered not good enough to become successful or become leaders. However, the popular quote, “Time ...

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Why Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is a slap on the faces of Palestinian girls in Gaza

This past week, viewers from all across the globe flocked to their nearby cinemas to catch the first female superhero movie, Wonder Woman. People leaving the cinema published accounts of inspiration and motivation. Some even spoke of a rekindled sense of purpose and drive in their individual feminism.  Yet in the same news cycle, you could also find a piece or two decrying some ban on this blockbuster placed by Lebanon and then followed by a suspension in Tunisia and Algeria. Naturally, as every ban does, it piqued the reader’s interest. After all, what would the Lebanese, Algerians or the Tunisians have against women empowerment? It made little sense until you opened the closet and ...

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Virat Kohli chose ethics over business and we couldn’t be prouder!

Recently, Virat Kohli decided not to renew his contract worth millions with Pepsi due to his views of the product. The announcement came a few days ago in an interview where he expressed his views about Pepsi and many other products which he had endorsed before but would not be doing any longer.  He is currently ranked number one in T20 cricket and holds an impressive ranking in other formats of cricket too. Currently, he is in his fittest and healthiest form. According to Kohli, he won’t be endorsing products he doesn’t consume or consider part of a healthy lifestyle just for the sake of making money. No matter how ...

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While boys remain boys, girls become immoral and should be slut-shamed

Apart from trolling, social media also has the power of setting standards for women on the internet. By acting as moral warriors on social media, these stooges of patriarchy continue to perpetuate their misogyny by slut-shaming successful independent women; something that they can’t do at their home, workplace and/or any civilised social setting. With the rise of social media, these blabbermouths, with their prejudices concealed under the mask of culture and mannerism, mock, stigmatise and pass derogatory remarks on women. …And the worst affected are celebrities, especially Bollywood actresses. Recently, when Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Berlin, she was criticised for dressing indecently and showing her ...

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