Stories about violence

The indivisible relationship of Urdu and Karbala

Karbala is an event that carries no parallels and transcends beyond time and space. There have been several incidents where people have lost lives and families have been destroyed. However, Karbala is different; the events of Karbala are categorised as a climax of collective spatial and temporal oppression. At one time, in one location, all the violence that can possibly take place came together. The tale of this tragedy is never ending. Translated in different languages, it has inspired many people all over the world. However, the relationship of Karbala with Urdu is unique. As soon as Muharram starts, we ...

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Cyber bullying: Misogyny under the garb of animal welfare

Ayesha Chundrigar Foundation (ACF) is an animal rescue service in Karachi that provides free treatment and shelter to stray animals along with managing other projects. A few weeks back, on their Facebook page, ACF posted a video of a ‘pet owner’ who was attempting to leave eight severely infected Persian kittens at the shelter without informing the staff or following their protocol. The man continued to resist and injured one of the girls working at ACF. Although the video clearly showed the man being disruptive, struggling to get inside his car, and drive off leaving the sick kittens behind but inevitably ...

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If Gillette’s ad proved anything, it’s that #NotAllMen want to be their best

When a celebrity or corporation deviates from societal norms, it ends up creating controversy and a lot of debate. Right now, a Gillette advertisement, released just a few days ago, is doing the same. The advertisement has so far garnered well over 17 million views but more than the views, it is people’s responses to it which tell the real story: Presently, over 450,000 people have ‘liked’ the video on YouTube while the number of dislikes is almost double this number. The comments section is also interesting because of the fierce debate that is developing slowly. On the whole though, ...

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In terms of script and execution, Mirzapur is far better than Sacred Games

Web series are a game changer for filmmakers and storytellers alike. After the popularity of Sacred Games on Netflix and Inside Edge by Amazon Prime, the latter is back with yet another web series called Mirzapur. The plot revolves around Akhanda Tripathi, also known as Kaleen Bhaiyya, because he deals with the buying and selling of rugs and carpets. Akhanda is a don who rules Mirzapur, quite literally. Interestingly though, his only son Munna Tripathi is entirely out of his control and constantly misuses his power and position, constantly landing himself in some sort of trouble or the other. One ...

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From Delhi, with regret: How a postcard from India revived painful, unhealed memories of the Partition

From history textbooks and family accounts, we often hear about the intense emotions and trauma felt by those who were forced to leave their homes behind for a new country during the Partition of British India in 1947. These days, it is hard to truly understand those feelings when we are so far removed from the experience itself. But tangible, everyday artefacts from that era – like a simple letter exchanged between separated friends – can suddenly resurrect those devastating and unhealed memories. That’s precisely what happened when my mother was recently looking through old papers in my grandparents’ home in ...

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Narcos: Mexico is high on everything we expected and then some

As soon as I was done with the third season of Narcos, I knew the fourth season was already on the cards. I also knew that the new season would offer something new as the Colombian chapter of the show had come to an end with the third season. It was in December 2017 that the new cast members were announced. When I got to know Michael Pena (End of Watch, Fury) and Diego Luna (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) were going to lead the cast, I was very excited to say the least. Soon it was also announced by ...

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Clearly Imran Shah isn’t the sort of representative Imran Khan promised in his Naya Pakistan

I’m sure every Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) member, in the leadership of Imran Khan, watched the full Rocky Balboa saga before initiating their election campaign. However, instead of only being inspired by the motivational rhetoric to push forward, a PTI MPA of the Sindh Assembly recently took his Balboa skills for a test… literally. As popularised by a viral video, in an altercation-turned-thrashing, Imran Ali Shah can be seen slapping the Senior Deputy Director for Coordination of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Dawood Chauhan. The reason being an alleged touch-and-go between both their cars. As a citizen of Naya Pakistan, I’m a ...

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Jibran Nasir 1 – 0 Religious intolerance

Over the course of last two weeks, Mohammad Jibran Nasir, an independent politician, has faced a thorough degree of inquiry regarding his beliefs about Ahmadis in Pakistan, and the legitimacy of them calling themselves “Muslim”. For his refusal to curse them – a condition set by a corner meeting attendee at the promise of a vote – he has been accused, publicly, of being a blasphemer. Being an army brat, I am largely reluctant to voice my opinion on matters that are rather political. Our conditioning, generally, is such that we maintain consistency in following disciplined lines of action – ...

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Sicario: Day of the Soldado might be trash, but it’s an incredibly stylish trash

Being a sequel is such a sad state of existence. You are doomed being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Where critical analysis of a follow-up’s cinematic merit is the proverbial stone and the intense comparison with the original work is the unyieldingly rigid wall that they are constantly pushed against. But some sequels have it worse than the rest. Case in point: when you are up against one of the best director-cinematographer duo in current times. And Sicario: Day of the Soldado just happens to be one from the unfortunate bunch. The original movie was a product ...

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Why India will continue to be the world’s most dangerous country for women

India’s record on women’s safety is never too far from global attention. Over the years, India has developed a reputation of being an unsafe country for women. The latest spotlight on this has been cast by the recent Thomson Reuters Foundation survey that ranked India “the world’s most dangerous country for women due to the high risk of sexual violence and being forced into slave labour”. In a misogynist world that includes the likes of Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Mexico, Pakistan and Afghanistan, getting the dubious distinction of being top ranked has understandably caused a great deal of indignation and ...

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