Stories about India

Partition 1947: Their worlds suddenly changed, never to be the same again

Partition. A simple word used to refer to the extremely traumatic events of August 1947. A word that seems devoid of any emotion whatsoever; concealing the atrocities committed and the thousands slaughtered in the name of religion. As boundaries were rashly drawn by the British and their colonial country was left ravaged by war, how aware were these higher orders that communities, families and friendships would be so ruthlessly ripped apart? Everyone from both sides of the border have their own tales of Partition. My own daadi and naani (paternal and maternal grandmother respectively) often narrate their accounts of pre-Partition India, Partition, and ...

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Indians can’t wait to ‘marry Kashmiri girls’, ‘buy land in Kashmir’ – and therein lies the problem

A few years ago, I wrote a blog in which I cherished an overarching identity which connected me, a Pakistani, to the inhabitants of neighbouring India. The said article was not a negation of the Two-Nation Theory but rather what I thought was the right way forward. I had written, “Yes, modern Pakistan and India are a reality, but then so is our great common heritage. Yes, it is important for us to be loyal to our political states, but at the same time not overlook the joint heritage. There is an overarching identity which unites us despite our political ...

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India and Pakistan need to win peace, not arguments

Following the scrapping of Article 370 of the Indian constitution by the Indian government on Monday, there is a sense of déjà vu among the ruling party, a strong section of the majoritarian community and a section of the media. They are rejoicing that the ‘Kashmir problem,’ a legacy of history, has been ‘resolved’ once and for all by discarding the legislature since it was a hindrance in the final integration of Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK). The problem with this argument is that it disregards history, ignores the larger reality of geo-politics and completely discards the political aspirations of the people of Kashmir. Can ...

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#StandWithKashmir: Why India repealing Articles 370 and 35A is a cause for concern

Even for a region so accustomed to state aggression and the constant violation of civil liberties, the recent Indian actions in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) are unprecedented. In the span of a few days, India sent thousands of new troops to the region, put many parts of IoK under curfew, closed down essential institutions like schools, universities and hospitals, suspended all communication services, put prominent Kashmiri leaders like Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti under house arrest and asked all tourists to leave the state. All this, and much more, was done under the pretext of a terror threat to the annual Hindu pilgrimage of Amarnath ...

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Can Pakistan be polio-free?

People who know me well know that I often compulsively compare and contrast India and Pakistan by virtue of not just their close proximity, but because I consider both countries as my home. When the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared India polio free on March 27, 2014, after it had not had a single case since 2009, I was filled with great pride. Knowing that India is densely populated, afflicted with poverty and has poor access to healthcare for millions, polio eradication was indeed something to celebrate. But as in every such situation, I naturally wanted to know how long it ...

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It’s not Jadhav who is in prison; the subcontinent is the prisoner of paranoia

If anyone thought that India and Pakistan’s reaction would have been different had the verdict in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case been different than what it is, then they are being delusional about the postmodern history of the Indian subcontinent. We are now conditioned to react without thinking. Both of us derive pleasure in humiliating each other – be it on the sports field or in the arena of politics. Newspapers on both sides of the border painted their pages with the titles that suited their national interests. Indian media celebrated the verdict in the same way they did when Prime Minister Narendra Modi ...

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Thrilling and gripping, Leila reveals the bitter truth of today’s India

Leila, based on its namesake novel by Prayaag Akbar, is the first Indian dystopian series that made its debut on Netflix recently. Set in the year 2047, it depicts a society where different communities live in segregation based on their religious beliefs and caste differences. It follows the story of a mother (played by Huma Qureshi) who, after the murder of her husband, sets out on a daunting journey of finding her lost daughter. The series portrays India as a nation ruled by the ultra-nationalist regime of Aryavarrta, under the leadership of Joshi Ji. Although this Netflix show envisions a ...

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Why Afghanistan is Pakistan’s principal enemy

It may seem counter-intuitive to claim that a perennially failed state with illogical borders, an ethno-demographic ticking time bomb for a population, and a traditionally ungovernable periphery is the primary enemy of a nuclear-armed and exponentially militarily superior neighbouring state. But in the case of the failed state of Afghanistan’s relationship with nuclear Pakistan, this is the reality. Although traditionally India and Pakistan are considered supreme rivals, ultimately, modern Pakistan can handle India’s random acts of aggression, as was seen in the aftermath of February’s Pulwama incident. Moreover, if India truly seeks to take its place as a leading global ...

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#PAKvsAFG: Imad Wasim pulled off what Dhoni couldn’t – a late onslaught

Pakistan’s fate now hangs in the balance. At the start of the weekend, the equation for the Men in Green was simple: Pakistan must beat Afghanistan and India must defeat England. Unfortunately, one of these matches didn’t go according to plan. Nonetheless, Pakistan’s World Cup hopes are still alive because they managed to clinch a crucial victory against Afghanistan, but only just. Going into the match, Pakistan were tipped as being the favourites, even though Afghanistan had previously given India a run for their money. Any fan of Pakistan cricket knows that chasing down a target in an ODI ...

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Calling my rapist my ‘brother’: why the ‘sister card’ reinforces the rape culture

Whenever a scandalous rape case makes the rounds in the news, it is accompanied by a familiar pattern of responses from the public. The horrifying news immediately invokes a wave of shock and pity amongst the masses. It inevitably elicits a sense of chill among parents, especially those who have daughters. And then there is this flood of remarks questioning the character of the victim for being in the place of the rape, especially if it happened at night. And then come the comments wondering how a man, in spite of having a mother and sisters in his family, ...

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