Stories about hypocrisy

Playing god in the land of the pure

People everywhere look for answers in stark black and white, and love the comfort that gives them the ability to use it as a club against others. For some reason, people keep recreating the very issues in their religions that the founders of those religions sought to eradicate. True spirituality should bring complete humbleness and love. What is common to all of us is how we struggle for an authentic faith without taking refuge in the absolute; that, to my mind, is the classic source of apostasy. There is nothing I ever read about Islam that didn’t pertain equally to other religions’ ...

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Talking out loud – Islam needs a reboot

At the very outset, let me clarify that I am neither a religious scholar nor do I have disciplined knowledge about the Muslim faith. The views expressed in this article are purely based on the perspective that one has developed over the course of the past many years. This is by no means a critique of a faith that millions of folks all over the world follow. To begin with, as paradoxical and contradictory it may sound, amidst all this opulent irreverence, the Muslims claim that there is a ‘back-to-religion’ movement the world over, as a reaction to the incessant indulgence ...

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How Hollywood reacts to Gaza: Welcome to the dark side

Since the early 20th century, Hollywood has been persistently flourishing and progressing towards better and greater dimensions; shaping filmmaking trends for rest of the world’s leading film industries to follow. One of its achievements remains its ability to manage a global diversity of artists, producers, directors, technical teams, supporting staff and crew members, and how it enables all of them to render their services on the single platform of Hollywood. This film fraternity has produced a galaxy of legends and stars who have earned intriguing rewards in terms of name, fame, money, career, passion and self-attainment. The lustrous charm of this industry and the overall ...

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Welcome to Hypocristan

“Feudalism is the root of all evil in our country, baita,” Ms Naheed, who runs a renowned non-government organisation (NGO), explains to Saleem, a friend of her son. “The worsening moral, social, economic and political crisis Pakistan is going through is due to the elitist mentality of the powerful feudal lords. They deny children the right to education and treat them like slaves.” Saleem jots down the key points of the discussion. He has to submit an article on ‘Feudalism in Pakistan’ for the campus magazine next week. As soon as she finishes her sentence, they hear the sound of breaking glass. Ms Naheed gets ...

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Is it too risky to become a Pakistani rock star instead of a banker?

My accounting teacher back in O-level (Grade 11) gave us an example of how conservative and hypocritical our Pakistani society can be. She said there are certain tribal areas in Pakistan that are against the education of women and would oppose it on every front. But when one of the girls from their area would end up becoming a successful doctor they would proudly exclaim, “Ye dekho, humara larki doctor ban gaya hai!” (Look at that, our daughter has become a doctor!) I have realised this attitude is not just restricted to the tribal areas. Pakistanis do not recognise or appreciate good things while they are ...

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We are all party to the naked parade

This country has a strange relationship with sexuality. Our TV dramas are rife with innuendos, Meera is shaking her stuff for a Ramazan special, Veena Malik will now officially be facing all her haters with the relaunch of the grand joke, “Astaghfar” and a man and woman were paraded naked on the streets of Khairpur for their ‘illicit intentions’. The news report of these so-called intentions is vague at best. While the man was caught in the confines of his ‘own house’ with two ladies, only one of the women was forced to strip naked by the police, and the ...

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Azan, shisha and convenient hypocrisy

There is a cafe near my university which is frequently visited by students. It has groovy music and plenty of shisha. From the very visible public display of affection to the “immodest” dressing of students – it is a conservative’s nightmare.  I am sure you can picture the place in your head by now. So one particular day while I was there with my friends, a waiter suddenly rushed towards the sound system and switched it off.  One of my friends joked that maybe the Taliban had finally heard of this place and attacked. However, that concern was rapidly waived as girls sitting ...

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Kashmir- where Indian democracy comes to weep

The title of one of the sessions in the recently held Jaipur Literature Festival was “Prison Diaries”. Moderated by Sidharat Vardarajan, editor of The Hindu, the three authors of on stage were all from Jammu and Kashmir; Iftikhar Gilani, Anjum Zamarud Habib and Sahil Maqbool. Whether it was by choice or coincidence, all the prison diaries that have been produced in India in recent times have been written by Kashmiris. Iftikhar Gilani, a journalist by profession who is also well-connected with political circles in Delhi, was picked up in 2002 by security agencies from his Delhi residence on charges of ...

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Hypocrisy and defenders of democracy

Hypocrisy may be the tribute vice pays to virtue but Pakistanis take it too far. Those who have appointed themselves as the defenders of democracy, the protectors of our military or the guardians of an independent judiciary have entered a Bermuda Triangle of political argument, where a black hole sucks in whatever logic once existed in their brains. Let’s start with Mansoor Ijaz, or rather his critics. Here is the man who sparked off the crisis that threatens to engulf the PPP and so he is obviously an enemy of all that is decent and democratic. As a colourful businessman ...

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Don’t be yourself, be pretty instead

One cannot change what society considers beautiful. Neither can one berate it for being attracted to certain physical features, say a fair complexion. We can, however, change ourselves. If there is something about one’s body that nettles him or her consistently, why not change it? It is inarguable that in an ideal world, inner beauty is more important than physical beauty. However, it should be realised that these two are not inversely related. A good-looking person is not ipso facto a black-hearted, Sauron-esque villain. There’s nothing wrong with being beautiful both inside and out, which is why I bluntly say: Don’t be yourself, ...

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