The media is relentless in its pursuit of exclusives, and Kashmir is always a good harvest

(Disclaimer: Graphic images below) Me: “So why don’t you start studying again?” Baba: “No, I can’t…” Me: “But why?” Baba: “It’s of no use; I have eight FIRs against me madam. The first one was registered when I was on my way to school. They picked me up, slapped me, let me off after three days. The second FIR was for illegal possession of weapons and the third…” Baba went on explaining the list of police cases against him as the car criss-crossed Srinagar with blaring music. Me: “Even then, you should at least complete your studies? Things will change…” Baba: “Even if I am able to resume my second year in ...

Read Full Post

Game of zones: Why India must resolve its issues with both its nuclear neighbours, Pakistan and China

While framing this piece in my mind, I was stuck in a conundrum. Why am I writing a blog at a time when everyone is probably watching Game of Thrones (GoT)? Simply enough, an answer came to mind. Apart from the very few people who do not watch the series, everyone is interested in real life power struggles as well. Hence, the name game of zones, conflict zones to be exact. I read an article recently, which quoted a Chinese analyst saying that the Indian government should avoid opening two fronts. This was of course an apparent reference to its neighbours, Pakistan and China. Pakistan has ...

Read Full Post

A man rapes an 8-year-old in front of his daughter in broad daylight, and India claims it is progressing

In my previous blog, I had mentioned how an old colleague quoted sacred text to prove that women were sent to this world as a test to men and that women are evil creatures.  Only a few days had passed and I read this disturbing story of a man raping an eight-year-old girl in Delhi, and that too in front of his teenage daughter. It made me wonder what could be the reason behind a human being falling so deep in the pit of monstrosity that they hurt vulnerable people or innocent children. Could it be psychological? Is there any explanation at all? And then I came across these verses from The Mahabharata, ...

Read Full Post

A Kashmiri’s letter to all Indians: An attack on Amarnath Yatris is an attack on Kashmir

Dear Indian citizen, I am writing this with much pain and grief. I’m left with no words of condemnation for this dastardly brutal act that was carried out to kill innocent Yatris devoted to their faith. My purpose of writing to you is not to condemn the act alone, but to let you know that we, the people of Kashmir, are equally pained and our heads hang in shame due to the act of a few. This act is against our ethos and composite culture of religious harmony. Terrorism has no religion, and unfortunately, we have been the worst sufferers of it –witnessing brutality, mental pain and ...

Read Full Post

Justin Trudeau, Mohammad Bin Salman and Kim Jong Un: Three leaders with the potential to either make or break the world

In today’s global political scene, we can see three young world leaders from three very different countries, political systems and cultures for which the term ‘Greenhorn’ could be used. The three leaders I am referring to are Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, newly appointed crown prince of Saudi Arabia Prince Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS), and the supreme leader of North Korea Kim Jong Un. Trudeau, MBS and Kim have each been at the centre of the world stage in recent days, but each for very different reasons. Canadian PM Justin Trudeau. Photo: AFP Justin Pierre James Trudeau Born on December 25, 1971, Trudeau is the 23rd and current PM of Canada and ...

Read Full Post

The only country that can realistically help India out of the Sikkim jam is Pakistan

Earlier last month, the Indian military showed up in the Dokalam region to stop the Chinese from building a road. This area falls under the Bhutan tri-junction which is a sliver of land where China, India and Bhutan meet. The incident came into light when some Indian pilgrims, on their way to Tibet, were sent back to the border. Since then, both countries have been providing their own version of the same tale. The eastern border of India with China is governed by an 1890 agreement brokered by the British. It has been fairly uneventful since then, except for the 1962 border skirmish between the two nations. Since the incident with the pilgrims, India and China ...

Read Full Post

Wearing jeans or a sleeveless top is “ruining the culture”, but a sari showing the midriff is not, India?

There must be something very special about the evil garment called ‘women jeans’, otherwise why would even the most sagacious men rile up against it? They are certainly not just a pair of trousers in denim fabric, else why would it worry and distract men so much? Perhaps this is the reason why the village panchayat in Rajasthan barred women from wearing jeans along with attractive clothing such as leggings, short skirts and sleeveless tops. Nevertheless, women wearing fully covered jeans with a sleeveless top ruin the culture, but a sari that shows off midriff doesn’t. Besides, it is the tight jeans and leggings that ...

Read Full Post

That long summer night when Burhan Wani died

I can hear gun barrel thuds. Everyone around me is in shock. Ours is the house packed with mourners. My grandmother passed away two days ago. Twilight is nearing. We are supposed to serve evening meals to our relatives before they head home. But these fireworks and anti-India slogans in my neighbourhood are making their outward movement uncertain, very uncertain. A disturbing word doing rounds is about the fallen Titan. Commander Burhan Muzzafar Wani has met a tragic end in Kokernag. I can hear a growing street commotion. Its defiant intensity is growing. Perhaps, a signature stone-smoke confrontation is about to start. “How ...

Read Full Post

Why is public lynching becoming an acceptable form of vigilante justice in India and Pakistan?

It is unfortunate that unruly mobs are now hijacking civic spaces in India. With the confidence of being able to dissolve the unidentified in the crowd, the barbaric act of public lynching seems to have become the new norm. While Indian citizens geared up to kick off the nationwide #NotInMyName campaign against the on-going vigilante violence and mob lynching, a cold-blooded crowd stooped to demonic levels in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district by lynching a mentally challenged 42-year-old woman, Otera Bibi, on suspicions of child kidnapping and trafficking. (Viewer discretion advised: The following video contains graphic images) After beating her mercilessly for three hours by tying her to a tractor, the ...

Read Full Post

When the pot met the kettle: How Modi made India a lackey to the US

Finally, the pot and the kettle met, shook hands and hugged each other. Analysts world over are still debating possible gains and losses of a meeting between two unique characters of world politics today – Donald Trump and Narendra Modi. They represent two very vibrant democracies of the world but they are not recognised as the real faces of their multi-cultural nations. They are treated more as aberrations of history, a mistake of time rather than a true face of the era and people they got their mandate from. They both defy the norms of Greek and Shakespearean tragedy. Their past sins and acts are not holding them back from achieving ...

Read Full Post