Stories about India

How a newly hired employee is no different than a newly married bride

This isn’t one of those blogs about the social nuisance that weddings are, nor will it mention dowry, brides, grooms or even their families. Whether we like it or not, all of us have come across Star Plus soap operas. Never-ending dramas based around new brides, their unbearable miseries and the constant struggle to settle into their new family are constant themes in such soap operas. Instead, this blog is about how the Star Plus’ daughter-in-law resembles a newly hired employee at any organisation. Nearly a month ago, a friend of mine was extremely frustrated because she was transferred to a different department in her organisation. Her new team ...

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Toilet: Ek Prem Katha is the perfect sugar-coated medicine to treat the illnesses in India’s society

When Neeraj Pandey and Akshay Kumar collaborate, they never fail to impress. Brilliant performances, power-packed scripts, remarkable messages – this is what they are known for. Now, the duo is back with Toilet: Ek Prem Katha. First things first, who would want to watch a movie named Toilet in the first place? But trust me, it goes from zero to 100 real quick. From dealing with major issues of sanitation to the problems of defecation in open areas, Toilet brings a lot of India’s present day concerns to the big screen. Not only does the movie deal with social issues, it also critiques Narendra Modi’s government and takes ...

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Why the creation of Pakistan does not negate my Indian identity

There is something about India as an idea which transcends modern-day political configurations. It is the idea of India as a huge mass of land which stretches from Balochistan to present day Bangladesh. This idea of India is independent of any political configuration. In fact, during the past thousands of years, this mass of land has very seldom been a unified political entity. And yet, there is something which loosely unites the inhabitants despite their substantial religious and at times even ethno-linguistic differences. After all, let us not forget that more than 200 languages are spoken in India. There is something, perhaps ...

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Akbar the Great who? – Did BJP just eliminate the Mughals from their textbooks to promote its Hindutva ideology?

The Express Tribune and Indian media reported earlier this week on the extensive changes made to history textbooks for grade seven and 11 by the state government in Maharashtra. As has been the case since it first came to power in 1998, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) remains committed to a saffron revisioning of history. One of the first things the BJP did on assuming power 19 years ago was to form a National Curriculum Framework which started to revise school syllabi in 2000. The primary changes made in school curricula were those emphasising the Hindutva ideology. A concerted attempt was made to exclude freedom fighters and ...

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What makes Fakhar Zaman a legend in the making?

We all know the story of how Fakhar Zaman left the Pakistan Navy to pursue a career in cricket. He was born to serve his country in one way or another. The left-handed batsman’s career shot to limelight during Pakistan’s successful ICC Champions Trophy 2017 campaign, most notably when he hit his century in the final against India. But how did he get there? What makes him the cricketer he is today? Fakhar Zaman exults after reaching his century, India v Pakistan, Final, Champions Trophy 2017, The Oval, London, June 18, 2017. Photo: AFP They say cricket is played 80% in ...

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Can Pakistan’s economic stability and businesses survive Nawaz Sharif and Ishaq Dar’s disqualification?

In one of his first public appearances, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was reported to have said the following: “During my tenure, the stock market increased from 19,000 to 52,000.”  So, is a rising stock market really a barometer of a strong democracy or just a number game for a selected few? We surely cannot say at the moment. To all the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) sloganeers, Nawaz is gone, but is prosperity, not tabdeeli (change), around the corner? Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was primarily the only major political party that was known for their pro-growth temperament. Despite never being able to complete their full term, businesses cheered on the so-called economic focus ...

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Not all Indians are rapists just like not all Pakistanis are terrorists

As a Pakistani, I always thought of the Indian media as anti-Pakistani and excessively nationalistic. So when I recently got the opportunity to work with Indian journalists, I was not sure what to expect. I was on my way to London for the Chevening/South Asia Journalism Fellowship. The program brought 17 leading journalists from Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and the Maldives to live and work together in London for two months. Getting off the plane at Heathrow Airport, I wondered what it would be like to have a frank conversation with an Indian journalist. India is almost four times the size of Pakistan, yet their news media seem to be obsessed ...

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Comparing a Muslim name to Hitler is not only factually wrong but also boorish

Gone are the days when naming a baby was a simple task. However, the millennial city-bred parents are different. Their babies names are no longer about sounding meaningful, cute or easy to pronounce. In fact, the more difficult the name is to remember, the better. This is the reason why we have names ranging from Viviaan, Aarav, Riyan to Niarra, instead of Amit, Sumit, Rohit and/or Neha. Talking about the celebrity class, well, they are a step ahead of thinking outside the box. This is inherently why they all have babies with such unique names – no cattle class would even dare ...

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Is PCB to be blamed for our abysmal performance in the Women’s World Cup?

I will admit I am not a big fan of women’s cricket. But the horror show by our girls on the same turf where their male counterparts recently made history, was a fascinatingly wretched chapter in the epic saga that is Pakistani cricket. While ending the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 without a single victory (with seven losses on the trot) might be shameful in anyone’s book, but being dismissed for 64 against our rivals India was a sin too huge to allow the tournament to fade away from our collective minds in a hurry. The rest of the report card is as bad, if not worse. The women in green started off ...

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Game of zones: Why India must resolve its issues with both its nuclear neighbours, Pakistan and China

While framing this piece in my mind, I was stuck in a conundrum. Why am I writing a blog at a time when everyone is probably watching Game of Thrones (GoT)? Simply enough, an answer came to mind. Apart from the very few people who do not watch the series, everyone is interested in real life power struggles as well. Hence, the name game of zones, conflict zones to be exact. I read an article recently, which quoted a Chinese analyst saying that the Indian government should avoid opening two fronts. This was of course an apparent reference to its neighbours, Pakistan and China. Pakistan has ...

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