Stories about discrimination

Pakistani ‘sex gangs’ who don’t prey on British girls

Allegations that Pakistani men acquire sexual perversions as a result of their sexually oppressive cultures, by many commentators, including David Aaronovitch, former Labour MP Ann Cryer, and now Jack Straw—and coverage of these views by more-than-delighted right wing publications like the Telegraph, the Daily Mail and The Sun—is fast becoming an accepted universal truth. The increasingly frenzy follows a half-baked investigation by British newspaper The Times, which ostensibly concludes that Asian British men are specifically targeting white girls between the ages of 12 to 16 for “street grooming” and sexual exploitation. Following this, prominent Labour politician Jack Straw warned that British Pakistani men regard white ...

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Frisky business: Why Indian diplomats should be checked at airports

What differentiates a democratic system of governance from colonial rule or from a totalitarian system or a feudal order is the rule of law and equality before law. India has been a practising democracy for more than 60 years and several landmark social and political changes have taken place in the country to break the nation free from feudal and colonial ways. But somehow the desire of the ruling  and rich class to see themselves above others is so deep rooted that whenever there is an attack on this hierarchy, the privileged class makes it a national issue and links it with national ...

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Talat Hussain’s slap in the face

“My husband is an addict. He doesn’t work to support the family. He does menial work on days of his choosing, the money from which goes to feeding his addiction. I work to feed and support our children. But he has told me that he does not want me to work long hours at somebody’s house. I can only stay out until the afternoon. It is a matter of ‘honour’,” was how a maid described her husband to another. “Thank God, my husband does not do drugs. He doesn’t work, he screams at me and sometimes beats me up ...

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No room for ugly leaders in Pakistan

The other day I met someone (a prominent bureaucrat) who gave much credence to appearances. He insistently equated good looks with competence. Although he did not say his opinion was swayed by colour bias, his comparison of top Pakistani and Indian politicians makes me think there was a prejudice favouring our “tall and handsome” leaders against gnome-like ones across the border. This form of judgement, in my humble opinion, is a typical Pakistani trait. It shows that we still regard someone with clear skin and certain facial and physical traits as fit to lead a nation. Unattractive but effective Consider the founder of ...

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Boys want to have fun too

What comes to your mind when you think of Karachi? The magnificent sea , ever-glowing lights , loadshedding, paan gutka and for me – gender discrimination. Yup. life is so not fair for the unfair sex in the capital of Sindh. I would have never noticed such discrimination had I been living in Karachi with my family. It was only when I came back to the city to pursue higher studies that I perceived the stark discrimination. The practice here is that all the trendy hang outs, parks, recreational spots are restricted to families only. As harsh as it seems this would still ...

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Where eunuchs aren’t allowed to party

History – or Pakistan Studies – has taught us many things; most of which we know because it was stuffed down our throats. While retaining only the fourth of the founding father’s fourteen points is no profound achievement, it is a rejoinder that the mainstream education system still thrives on rote. And for that, it deservedly gets thrashed. Alas, not all the thrashing handed out in this land of the pure tends to be deserved. Corporal punishment is still a murky subject; not even considering gas stoves that continue to blow up – fatally – in the faces of unsuspecting ...

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The case of the third gender

The incidence of the third gender or transgender is not known in Pakistan. An estimate of transgender persons in India is around 1:400. Pakistan being in the same ethno-geographical class may have parallel results. The discriminatory attitude is even shown in statistical divisions as reported in population reports, 51% females and 49% males. As if the transgender persons do not exist. According to Madeline H Wyndzen, PhD, a transgendered professor of psychology, “there is similarity in expressed insensitivity to this issue both in psychopathology and the lay man’s attitude. It comes in the form of value judgments as the assumption ...

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