Engendering change

An attempt to analyze the myriad issues confronting us today leads to a dizzy realization that the distinction between cause and effect has become totally blurred. For example, is terrorism a cause of our growing despondency, or it is an effect caused by a deeper malaise? Certainly you will have people supporting both viewpoints. This confusion, or perception variation, is perhaps spawned by

the very multitude and enormity of ills overpowering society. Think of a wrong, any wrong, and we have it. To name a few, just to drive home the point – extremism, terrorism, intolerance, bigotry, polarization, parochialism, hatred, corruption, nepotism, fraud, dishonesty, exploitation, harassment, misogyny, poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition, crime …. The list is endless.

After Sabeen, who’s next?

The Killing Fields of Karachi
So after expressing our anguish and our anger, our protests and our protestations, on Facebook and Twitter and in drawing rooms, at the brutal killing of Sabeen Mahmud, how long will it be before we go back to our French Beach and our fashion shows, our restaurants and our raves, our overseas vacations and overboard lifestyles? How long before Sabeen too becomes a fading memory and spoken of as a ‘bechari’?

PTI’s folly in NA-246

Leading up to the by-election on National Assembly seat NA-246 in Karachi, perhaps nobody except Imran Khan and his PTI cohorts

believed that anyone but MQM will win NA-246 again. If political acumen instead of ego had been driving PTI, the smart thing to do would have been to withdraw the PTI candidate in favour of the JI candidate. This way JI would have been deeply obliged, and owed PTI one. Further, the win of MQM would not have come across as a win against PTI.

Beyond the Crossroads

Ardeshir Cowasjee once wrote that Mr. Jinnah once remarked to his friend, and Ardeshir’s father, Rustom Fakirjee Cowasjee, that “each successive government of Pakistan will be worse than its predecessor.” If Mr. Jinnah indeed said this, then we have surely lived to see this sad prophecy come true.

Yemen – sifting the fact from the fiction

The Houthis are not an ethnic race or a tribe. They are people belonging to a theological movement that was started in Saada Governorate of Yemen in 1992, with the name Believing Youth (BY), by the Houthi family. ‘Believing Youth’ preached tolerance and peace and held a broadminded educational and cultural vision. Houthi’s preferable political system is a republic with elections where women can also hold political positions. When the leader Hussein al-Houthi was assassinated by the Yemeni government in 2004, the group took up the name Houthis.

Indian impressions – Part 2

Visit to India: December 27, 2014 to January 09, 2015
Purpose: To attend a family wedding
Route taken: Karachi-Colombo-Mumbai-Hyderabad and return
Destination: Hyderabad. Stopover in transit in Mumbai for about 15 hours on way out, and about 6 hours on return leg
Weather: Perfect throughout, high in mid-20s C, low 13 C, generally dry, brisk breeze at times

Willow and leather – Cricket World Cup 2015 on the horizon!

I write

this piece at the risk of being ostracized by friends and condemned to purgatory by the ultra nationalists. But write I must.

Indian impressions

Visit to India: December 27, 2014 to January 09, 2015
Purpose: To attend a family wedding
Route taken: Karachi-Colombo-Mumbai-Hyderabad and return
Destination: Hyderabad. Stopover in transit in Mumbai for about 15 hours on way out, and about 6 hours on return leg
Weather: Perfect throughout, high in mid-20s C, low 13 C, generally dry, brisk breeze at times

The Kunri Report

Note: This is a follow up to my previous blog, Ladies and Gentlemen, Meet Aansoo Kohli

Starting from home

Starting from home

Ladies & gentlemen, meet Aansoo Kohli

Aansoo Kohli is a teenaged, physically impaired girl from the minority Hindu community, living in a poor, marginalized village near the dusty town of Umerkot, in the Sindh province of Pakistan. There you are – a single sentence that totally sums up Aansoo’s apparently desperately unfortunate existence. She is a girl in a male-dominated, often misogynistic social order. That makes her a second-class citizen.