Stories about minorities

Why should minorities suffer in Ramazan?

The holy month of  Ramazan is here once again in all its glory and our hypocrisy. Yes, you read me right. Come Ramazan and all of us put our pious cloaks on just like all the female anchors adorn dupattas on their heads in Ramazan, sidelining all the Bollywood numbers they shook their rears to, in their morning shows with na-mehram (men who do not have an Islamic legal relationship with the woman) guests. Haw. The hypocrisy isn’t just evident on the television shows during the holy month; it is also further propagated by laws like Ehtram-e-Ramazan that makes eating, smoking, and drinking ...

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Kill me, for I have sinned

A few men came forth grabbed me by my collar, dragged me across the floor and took me outside. I tried resisting and digging my fingers in to the concrete ground, but I was helpless. They started beating me, crushing my hands underneath their shoes. I had no idea why they were so angry with me. While I was hauled through corridors, an angry mob was gathering in front of the station, they were furious and were destroying everything in their way. I could see some policemen trying to scatter the mob but they couldn’t protect me. The crowd terrified me but nothing ...

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Kill me, for I have spoken

Colour me red, paint me black, brush me dead, back on track, picture perfect, vivid deploy, peace stagnant, you destroy. Shoot everyone having a mind, no eyes? Everyone’s very blind, your arrogance and guns show, the laws of the land will not go. Cross the road and you will die, stand and wait, and you will die, speak your mind, and you will die, be human, yes, you still will die. Misunderstanding much? Oh please, ideologies cliched, yes very much, the land of the pure, bruised and cut, apologists, please shut the hell up. Conditional peace is always good? Your side of the deal, oh it was fate, heaven sent men, please go away, for ...

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Vukla diaries: The answer is no

Does the little litigant have a chance to be heard in High Court? Can you ever be safe from the treachery of peers? Do young women lawyers even stand a chance? With a heaviness in my heart, the answer to all of the above questions is no, and it took me all of May to figure it out. Last week, students and I sat in Justice MB’s courtroom. MB was not a PCO judge; he is principled, sweet, and likable. But likability does not change systems. The courtroom was crowded with men, and a handful of hassled women with covered ...

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How much killing is too much?

The Pakistani flag  is an emblem of freedom and independence for all Pakistanis. The star and the crescent symbolise light and progress respectively. The dark green represents Pakistan’s Muslim population, and since this is a majority, the green covers the greater amount of the flag. The white strip on the side represents the country’s minority groups. For a moment, dear reader, just imagine the green side overlapping and taking over the white until the entire flag is green. Bold and unimaginable isn’t it? However, this image isn’t far from the truth. It depicts what is happening right now in Pakistan, where every minority ...

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Jinnah had a dream, and we failed him

Hopes were high when Jinnah presided over the Constituent Assembly in 1947 and declared without doubt that freedom of religion was to be respected. It was his wish to lift up the economic and politically deprived Muslims from their backwardness that led to the support of many non-Muslim minority activists as well, notably Christians. In a time where major Muslim political groupings allied themselves with the Indian National Congress, the Christians in their legislation secured Jinnah the desired support the All India Muslim League needed. His close friends and those amongst the founding fathers of Pakistan also belonged to minority ...

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Rinkle Kumari was Hindu last month

For many years, I was convinced that Sindh is the most liberal and secular province. I thought that minorities were more secure here because of the history deeply rooted mysticism. But that was until I became familar with teenager Rinkle Kumari’s tragic tale. One, amongt many, whose story needed to be told. While most of us know Maya Khan and Veena Malik how many of us know Rinkle Kumari of District Ghotki, Sindh? She was picked up from her home and then reportedly forced to convert to Islam just a few days ago. How many of us are even aware of these incidents taking place? Nand ...

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Will I ever be a Pakistani?

During the cricket World Cup in 2011, many who knew that I am a Hindu, including some of my colleagues, asked me who I would support; India or Pakistan. The question was very irritating and annoyed me to the point that I would lose my temper. I didn’t understand why on earth they would ask me such a stupid question – just because I’m Hindu? Why isn’t the same question asked of a Christian when Pakistan plays against Australia, England or New Zealand? Despite the fact that this state was created with a pledge by the father of the nation for ...

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Does the American Muslim vote count in 2012?

During President Obama’s State of the Union Address, he was hopeful and positive; his speech, like most of his speeches, ignited a fire amongst those watching. One felt a sense of pride and hope as he spoke about the state of the country and his future plans. And while he addressed all areas he could, he may have missed out on a group. President Obama mentioned the Hispanic/Latino population in the country and the African American population; he also extended strengthened support to the United State’s biggest ally in the Middle East, Israel. And while I understand that the president cannot ...

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Demystifying Jinnah’s Pakistan

Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, rightly known as the ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity, spent most of his life advocating for a united India in which rights of all factions would be respected and Muslims given an equal representation in all state affairs. It was not until he realised this was not possible in the prevailing political atmosphere that he took up a different path to protect the rights of the Muslim minority – fighting for a separate homeland. For as long as Pakistan has existed, liberals and conservatives have debated the true nature of the state that Jinnah envisioned and helped ...

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