Stories about India

India has never looked as divided, as communally vulnerable, as broken as it does now

Narendra Modi, a serial communalist, assumed the mask of an inclusive figure just before the 2014 Elections to make him more acceptable to the masses. The myth he came to weave around himself five years ago made him seem like a man of development – the only mission in his life being to usher in a new era of economic reform in India. It is now 2018, and the mask and the myth are both in tatters. The one and only colour Modi has is called saffron – the colour of the majoritarian Hindu. It’s now known to one and ...

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Power to the people: The Kartarpur corridor has done what 71 years of dialogue could not

The symbolism is too significant to be missed. When India was observing the 10th anniversary of the Mumbai attacks on Monday, Indian leaders were cutting across party lines and laying the foundation for the Kartarpur road corridor in Gurdaspur, Punjab. This is perhaps the first time after Partition that both India and Pakistan are working together to complete one project: a corridor that connects both sides of the border and leads to the shrine of Guru Nanak Saheb. The corridor does not only have religious symbolism, it carries a lot of political weight that has the potential to rewrite the geo-political ...

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Hockey World Cup: Have we as a country collectively failed our national sport?

Like the case for most sports in the country barring cricket, the last 10 years have been a lost decade for Pakistan hockey as well. During this period, the team’s performance witnessed a severe decline not seen since Pakistan first started playing hockey in 1948. In 2014, Pakistan failed to qualify for the hockey World Cup for the first time, followed by a failure to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games held in Rio de Janeiro. The team is currently ranked 13 in the world, which is marginally better than when it slipped to 14th last year. Once a powerhouse ...

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Why is India worked up about the Pakistan-China bus service?

On October 31st, India formally protested the proposed launch of a bus service between China and Pakistan because the service would “operate between Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir” under the so-called ‘China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’ (CPEC). The official spokesman noted that India held the China-Pakistan Boundary agreement of 1963 as “illegal and invalid” and views the service as a violation of India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. If all this sounds tough and uncompromising, it is. But it is hardly consistent and not especially helpful. The Karakoram Highway, over which the service will be run, has been around since the late 60s and ...

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All Shahid Afridi did was ask us to look in our own backyard and do more – what’s wrong with that?

Shahid Afridi, though not new to controversy, turned into a bête noire recently when a video went viral of him suggesting that Pakistan doesn’t want Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) since it can’t even manage its own four provinces. He said that IoK should also not go to India and should rather be an independent entity. He further added that its occupation should end since it’s resulting in the loss of countless innocent lives. This statement, however, landed him in hot waters since many Pakistanis took offence. Pakistan ko Kashmir nahin chahiye – uss say apnay soobay nahin sambhal saktay: Shahid Afridi in ...

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Talking dirty: It’s 2018 and Pakistan still does not have proper sanitation

Access to clean and safe public toilets is one of the major factors that affects women’s mobility but it is sadly not given enough attention. There aren’t enough public toilets available in the country and those that are available are in horrible conditions. Majority of public spaces do not have toilets at all and even when they do, there isn’t a separate one for women. For example, Faizabad, Swan and PirWadhai are three major bus stops and cater to around 1,000 passengers on a daily bases. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a separate toilet for women in any of ...

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Not even Aamir-Amitabh could save Thugs of Hindostan from sinking in deep waters of hollowness

Thugs of Hindostan, a period drama film, is directed and produced by Vijay Krishna Acharya and Aditya Chopra respectively. The film stars an ensemble cast including Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Katrina Kaif and Fatima Sana Shaikh playing key roles. Thugs of Hindostan is highly inspired by Pirates of the Caribbean. The film is set against the backdrop when the British East India Company started colonising the country. The British Company manages to annex Ranakpur by assassinating its ruler Mirza (Ronit Roy) and his son Aslam. The trusted Lieutenant of Mirza, Khudabaksh Azaad (Bachchan), flees from the British’s impending hegemony and takes along Mirza’s young ...

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Saif Ali Khan’s Baazaar may not be extraordinary but it surely is different

Baazaar is heavily inspired by the 1987 Michael Douglas-Charlie Sheen film, Wall Street. The movie revolves around Rizwan Ahmed who recounts his experience of the Mumbai stock market. The film chronicles the world of influential and calculative power brokers, business tycoons and industrialists. Rizwan (Rohan Mehra) is an educated and ambitious boy from Allahabad who comes to Mumbai to fulfil his dream of making it big and cracking the stock market. He idolises Shakun Kothari (Saif Ali Khan), who is a conniving and virile tycoon known famously for his business acumen in the world of the stock market. Rizwan sets off ...

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Black Day: Without international mediation, there can be no lasting peaceful resolution in Kashmir

The impasse that is the land of Kashmir – which Allama Iqbal described as “heaven on earth” – has shown little signs of abating, with only escalations in sight. On October 21st, thousands of demonstrators marched on a village in Kulgam, where Indian forces were battling an unaccounted number of suspected Kashmiri fighters. This led to a shootout in which Indian troops killed at least 14 youths and injured at least 30 others in the Laroo area of the Kulgam district, in an attack that included pillaging and destruction of the neighbourhood, according to local police and military officials in the ...

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Can winking and staring be considered criminal offences under Section 509 of the PPC?

Although the #MeToo movement has not taken off across class barriers or transgressed the rural-urban divide in Pakistan – the way it has in India – it’s already the cause of much alarm. Many are perturbed about the consequences of anarchic media trials. Men worry that one can put up an allegation on Facebook or Twitter and open a trial without any of the procedural protections a court trial would offer both parties – the accuser and the accused. These include lawyers, time to prepare, rebuttals and neutral adjudicators. However, the #MeToo movement contests this position. Legal remedy is not the ...

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