Stories about violence

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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Sorry Karan Johar, but Dhadak lacks the rawness and simplicity of Sairat

The much-awaited trailer of Dhadak, starring Janhvi Kapoor and Ishaan Khatter dropped on the Internet a few days ago, and gathered responses and reactions from people that reached a feverish and vehement pitch instantly. Dhadak, much to the disbelief and disappointment of people, could not strike a positive note and received cruel social media grilling and flak. Dhadak is an adaptation of the critically and universally acclaimed, hard-hitting Marathi blockbuster Sairat. The movie revolved around the deep and unconditional yet forbidden and doomed love story of two youngsters from different classes of society – Archana (Archie), the indulged daughter of an ...

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If US foreign policy were consistent, America would be bombing Israel right now

The Syrian civil war, we have been told, began as part of the Arab Spring and really took hold when Syrian government forces allegedly opened fire on protesters across the country in early 2011. This pattern of indiscriminate violent behaviour against civilians has been a talking point in the western media’s regime-change narrative. The media often goes so far as to claim that the government led by Bashar al Assad has lost all legitimacy. What, then, should we make of Israel’s decision to open fire on protesters in the Gaza Strip this past week, killing over 60 protesters and wounding 2,700 more in the process? According ...

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Why is the Wagah border ceremony a competition of nationalism?

It has been 70 years since India and Pakistan emerged from a single, coherent geographical unit as two sovereign nations, and both states do their best to remember and reaffirm this. Every day at around 4:30pm, the Wagah border prepares for a unique ceremony, wherein the soldiers stationed at and near the border gates on both sides re-state the identity of India and Pakistan as sovereign nations, while their people cheer for them. As the dusk sets in, it is time to lower their respective flags, but both countries do so by giving a warning to each other. The gates ...

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The tale of May 12, 2007: He was ordered to “go for the kill” and “take no prisoners”

What started as a casual chat over tea amid the winter season, turned out to be quite a tumultuous tale of violence and mayhem that erupted on May 12, 2007 in Karachi, narrated by one of the perpetrators himself. While sitting at roadside cafe in a dingy locality of Hyderabad and sipping tea with my friends, I somehow ended up chatting with this ordinary-looking chap (who would later identify himself as one of the perpetrators), a man who claimed to be distantly acquainted with one of my friends. The story he proceeded to narrate in a disdainful manner, as if sharing just ...

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I do not deserve to be a mother

Mathieu knew a country without a capital is no country. He knew my capital was my son, that the happiness in his eyes was why I was alive. He knew what being stabbed in the chest felt like. He had felt it after all. If he still sought to do this to me and his own blood, then fine. But I’m disappointed in him, and most of all I’m disappointed in myself; I don’t look forth to God’s mercy anymore. I don’t ask myself to wait for the right time or to look for the light at the end of the ...

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Arming teachers will only create a greater mess, one the US cannot afford

It’s a strange time in our history. America is making the news for the worst of reasons. I look back and wonder at times as to what happened to my adopted country. I look back at the time when the news headlines were dominated by the likes of Sammy Sosa, Alex Rodriguez, Mark McGwire and Michael Jordan, to name a few. Granted that the social and political buzz and the emotions were still high at that time, but this kind of pressure wasn’t felt all over the body politic. Today, just turn the television on and there’s always something crazy ...

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Public execution only kills the rapist, not the problem

The Senate Standing Committee on Interior has proposed an amendment in the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) to publicly hang convicts found guilty of kidnapping, murdering or raping children less than 14 years of age. The Criminal Law Amendment Act 2018, if passed, would amend the PPC’s Section 364-A (kidnapping or abducting a person under the age of 14), which currently states, “Whoever kidnaps or abducts any person under the [age of 14] in order that such person may be murdered or subjected to grievous hurt… or to the lust of any person [sic] shall be punished with death.” If amended, the words “by hanging publicly” ...

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Why nobody wants to admit to the real reasons behind American mass shootings

There was a “mass casualty event” at an American high school a couple of days ago that took the lives of 17 people, including students, teachers and staff, and I’m unfortunately not surprised at this point. Mass shootings have become commonplace in America as of late, and after every incident, the political blame game spins round and round, even before we send out our redundant “thoughts and prayers”. “We have to ban guns. No, we need more guns. We need to put more police in public places – and even in schools to deter shooters. We need to ban gun-free zones. We ...

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