When our commercials think domestic violence is funny, how can we expect society to take it seriously?

For the second time in only a few months, several of us (hopefully millions) are baffled with the ‘sense of humour’ of the artists and creative people of our country. First, the horrendous joke about child molestation at the Hum Awards, and now the extremely offensive TV commercial talking about beating up (dhulai kerdi) your wife. If you found the advertisement funny, then let me warn you, either this blog is going to alter your patriarchal (slightly misogynistic) mind-set or it will deeply offend you. In both cases, I hope it will start a healthy discussion as to why several people deemed it acceptable ...

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Mooroo: Cool is mass marketed, quality has to be found

YouTube is the most prominent source of consuming entertainment. In this post-cable era, YouTube is the chief provider of quality content on a regular basis. I find myself lost in its inter-web for hours. Occasionally I find a channel that really hits the right spot and I find myself binging all its videos in a marathon that can last for days. Namely: The Nerdwriter, How It Should Have Ended, and Casey Neistat are a few channels that I could sit back and watch for hours. They’re talented people with great ideas and excellent execution. If I had to make a ...

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Is PTI trying to wreck the civil-military balance for their own selfish gains?

As someone who is in the process of doing a PhD in political science, I am naturally passionate about the political matters of Pakistan. Although my research interests are eclectic and include topics like gender, religious minorities and current affairs, my special concentration is on the civil-military relationship. I do think that Pakistan cannot build proper political institutions without rectifying the civil-military imbalance. The rectification of the civil-military imbalance, of course, requires political maturity and competence from the civilian leadership. To simply blame the armed forces is an oversimplified and clichéd explanation. In Pakistan’s case, the civil-military balance has historic origins dating back from the ...

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Why Qandeel Baloch’s biopic is important for today’s Pakistan

Qandeel Baloch’s biopic has once again brought her right back into our lives. The uneasiness and discomfort has started unsettling us once again. Even her story has the power to keep us on edge and make us start talking again. The debate is rife, whether the story should be told or not and you don’t need to guess where the most votes lie. The anticipation around this project is brimming with many questions. Yesterday, I happened to watch a chunk of the show Popcorn on Express TV. The discussion was the routine banter, and questioned whether the biopic is an attempt to capitalise on Qandeel’s death ...

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Dear Vogue India, we don’t need fashion magazines to remind us of colonisation

No woman across the world would hear the words, “women’s fashion bible” and not equate them with the most eminent fashion magazine globally, Vogue. Today, Vogue is not just a fashion magazine but a source of inspiration for women across the planet. One of the most significant aspects about the magazine (published in 23 countries) is that it has become a synonym of women empowerment, their individuality, their success, and also a testament of how important they are and how far they can go. Apparently, Vogue presents that exclusive world. It is a voice that talks to millions of women. The magazine was launched in India 10 years ago to ...

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So far so bad: 100 days of Donald Trump made America great again

Against all odds, US President Donald J Trump has completed 100 days of office. While the US president’s tenure so far has been tumultuous, with protest after protest erupting across the country, Trump has also baffled the United States and the rest of the world with his conflicting, sometimes bizarre views and methods.  To his credit, Trump has provided much comic relief — especially on the internet — with his, let’s just say, unconventional methods (there is madness in them, yes). From announcing foreign policy on Twitter to labelling every news outlet as “fake news”, the leader of the free world has gone about making America great ...

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Yasir Hussain is atrocious, but you’re not any better

Most Pakistanis have already moved on from outrage to the inevitable “forgive him and move on” phase, but the despicable nature of Yasir Hussain’s comment will never be lost on the victims of child molestation in Pakistan. For those who have not been on the internet for a week, at the Hum TV Awards, Hussain looked at Udaari star Ahsan Khan and said, “Itna khoobsurat child molester, kaash mein bacha hota.” (Such a beautiful child molestor, if only I were a child.) I haven't watched #Udaari but it was such a sensitive topic that i can't imagine someone making a joke on it.Sickening humor ...

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Using a civilian as a human shield and curbing freedom of expression, clearly India doesn’t care about Kashmir

The Indian army’s former General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Northern Command, Lieutenant General Harcharanjit Singh Panag was nastily trolled on social media recently. The reason for this was because he expressed his outrage over the Indian army’s act of using a Kashmiri civilian as a literal ‘human shield’. Farooq Ahmed Dar, 26-years-old, was tied to a vehicle to protect the army personnel from stone pelting in Indian-held Kashmir’s Budgam district on April 13, 2017. Kashmiri boy tied infront of vehicle by Indian army used as human shield. Where r the Indian media, failed cricketers & HR groups. #Kashmir pic.twitter.com/uqhjtkE0o5 — Ayaan Maqsood (@ayaanmaqsood) April ...

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13 Reasons Why: Hannah lives and dies in all of us

The bathwater, initially clear blue, gradually takes on a pinkish hue. Like rose water, or fresh henna that’s come off of tattooed hands and feet immersed in a bath tub. The water overflows onto the pristine white tiled floor, making it blush. The changing colours mesmerise me. My mind unsuccessfully tries not to focus on the source of that colour. Blood. Blood that oozes out of deep slits in both forearms of a beautiful young girl. Hannah (Katherine Langford) sobs quietly and sighs deeply but refrains from screaming despite the pain from incised sinew, nerves, arteries and veins. Hannah’s muffled groans eventually ...

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Was Sonu Nigam merely stating what many in India already feel?

In a country of over a billion people, personal space in public places is hard to come by. The streets are packed with hawkers, walkers, vehicles and animals of all stripes. A cacophony of sights, sounds and smells compete for your attention. Nobody gives a second thought to jostling or getting jostled, and the concept of the three-foot circle of inviolable personal space, so sacred in the West, is a virtual non-starter in ‘anything goes’ India. There are high levels of tolerance in this country and somehow everything gets accommodated. People adapt and adjust to the constantly shifting landscape and the new additions in their ...

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