Stories about India

India may not consider its smog a health hazard, but that does not give them the right to mock the Sri Lankan team for refusing to play

On April 22, 1998, India were playing against the mighty Australia at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The little master, Sachin Tendulkar, had by then become synonymous with Indian cricket. The Aussies set a target of 285 in a must-win game for India to reach the final of the triangular series. The men in blue were surging ahead, with Tendulkar at the crease. The score was 143/4, when a sandstorm struck the city. Ravi Shastri, former Indian all-rounder and a commentator at that match, exclaimed in surprise, “We have seen rain stop play. We have seen bad light stop play,” adding ...

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Varanasi: The city of the living dead and nirvana

“Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.” – Mark Twain I’d say that Twain was quite accurate in his description of this eerie city, founded 5,000 years ago by the Hindu deity, Lord Shiva. That is, if you believe in legends. Modern historians more accurately date Varanasi, also known as Benares, to around 3,000 years old, which still makes it one of the oldest cities in the world. I’d love to write a blog post about my entire experience in India, but as I’d like ...

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BCCI snubbing Pakistan from its opponents list only confirms their insecurities and fears

Cricket ties between arch-rivals, Pakistan and India, are currently the most discussed issue since news of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) planning to snub Pakistan from its opponents’ list for the ICC Test Championship has been making rounds. Cricket insiders also revealed that BCCI has designed its own Future Tours Programme (FTP) for the upcoming World Test Championship which will only include six opponents for India to play against – Australia, England, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. This means that Pakistan will not be part of any Test series against India for over two ...

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Chabahar: Without Pakistan, there is no stability or growth in landlocked Afghanistan and Af-Indo relations

We can bypass neither our history nor our geography – we have to live and deal with the consequences of both. Europe has a bitter history of war and dissensions among its member countries, with France and Germany, for instance, having had a long history of animosity and distrust. They fought many battles against each other, but by learning from their history and accepting their geography, they decided to come together for the common good of their people. Today, South Asia resembles this pre-World War II era, with historical animosities defining the political wisdom of South Asian states. The distrust is so deep that countries ...

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If Xi Jinping wants China to be accepted as a global leader, he needs to revise his aggressive diplomacy

The anointment of President Xi Jinping as the ‘core leader’ in the recently concluded 19th Chinese Communist Party congress, and by enshrining his thoughts on “Socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new era” in the party’s constitution, Jinping has elevated himself to the exalted status of Chairman Mao Zedong. Like the Little Red Book, Jinping’s thoughts have now been made compulsory reading for Chinese students, government officials and party functionaries. Jinping, before the convention of the congress, where his elevation was a foregone conclusion, had systematically purged all his potential rivals. His Machiavellian statecraft had ensured that he had a vice-like grip over the party. Added ...

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Fudging the population: The missing 90 million Indian Muslims

There is one thing about Indian Muslims that just can’t be denied – most of them are poor. They don’t earn enough to be able to go on vacations to other countries. Most of them wish to go for Hajj to Saudi Arabia, and this they are able to do only when they are very old; having struggled to save over many years for the journey. Of course, there are rich and literate Indian Muslims whom one occasionally meets (mostly in the UAE and Saudi Arabia), and when you talk to them, they are adamant that the population of Indian Muslims is ...

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It’s easy to pass a law that lets young girls report marital rape, but how exactly will this be implemented?

Child marriage is technically a punishable offence in India. If a male over the age of 18 is found guilty of marrying a child then the accused shall be punished under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act of 2006. The punishment, which is also applicable to parents and guardians of the child, is either rigorous imprisonment of two years, or fines which may extend to Rs1 lakh, or even both in certain cases. Despite the law, cases where girls as young as 15 or 16, of both Hindu and Muslim faith, are forced to marry continue to peak. The most inhumane ...

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If Pakistan does not want to be pushed to ‘do more’, then its economy should not be so vulnerable

Nothing remains constant in Pakistan, not even perceptions. Such is the sad state of affairs of Pakistan’s geo-politics and economy. It was only a few months ago, in May, that Pakistan had been upgraded to the MSCI Emerging Markets status, opening door to global investors and economic analysts. Since then, however, the situation has changed drastically, and we continue to surprise investors at home and abroad, this time with our ability to turn things around for the worse. Despite a 10-year high economic growth and billion-dollar investments under the ambitious One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, Pakistan’s economy has yet again revealed how vulnerable it is. The gravity ...

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Before pointing the terrorism finger at Pakistan, it’ll be wise for India to take a look in their violent backyard first

While in Singapore, I met an Indian Hindu from Indian Gujarat, the state where I was born, in the hotel lobby. After exchanging pleasantries, he asked me, “And in which city do you live now?” When I said Karachi, he was shocked. “But that’s in Pakistan!” And then, when the truth dawned on him, he said, “You’re a Pakistani as well as a Muslim?!” He started edging away from me and I had to assure him that I wasn’t about to blow him up. Like most Indian Hindus, he had always believed that most Pakistanis cannot speak English, that they are too poor to afford vacations ...

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How will Pakistan fare in the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka without Misbah and Younis?

The Pakistan cricket team is set to resume international duty, as Sri Lanka’s tour of the UAE begins on September 28th (which will potentially feature a T20 in Lahore). This will be their first bilateral series since May. The summer of 2017 has been nothing short of unforgettable for Pakistan’s cricket fraternity, as the national team defied popular perception (not to mention the ranking system) by lifting the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy in England. Pakistan won their first Champions Trophy title, India v Pakistan, Final, Champions Trophy 2017, The Oval, London, June 18, 2017. Photo: PA In addition to this ...

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