Martyrs, one two many
- India's future cannot exist without the future of Kashmir: Rajnath Singh
- Will appoint nodal officer to help Kashmiri youth across the country: Rajnath Singh in Srinagar
- Dec 16 Delhi gangrape case: Convict attempts suicide inside Tihar Jail, rushed to hospital
- Earthquake in Italy kills 247, toll may rise as rescuers continue hunt for survivors
- Rahul Gandhi twisting statement, must show generosity, apologise: RSS
Barely two months after Punjab Governor Salman Taseer's cold-blooded murder, Bhatti was the next one to fall. Their "crime" was the support they had publicly offered to Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman convicted of blasphemy against the prophet of Islam.
As soon as I got this news, and much before I could feel sad, I found myself dialling 0092 (being a journalist means less emotion, more action) to find someone in Pakistan who could write an article for The Indian Express' s opinion section. A colleague asked if I knew any "isaayi"(Christian) from Pakistan who could write. My first reaction was: "Um, I'll have to think." Second reaction: "Most of Pakistan's Christians haven't had the opportunity to grow into articulate, expressive individuals." Third reaction: "Whoever writes against Pakistan's blasphemy law, will be risking it for himself/herself."
The third reaction applied to just about everyone, irrespective of religion.
I finally commissioned the piece to my dear friend, Ayesha Siddiqa, one of the most well-known hands on defence and strategy in Pakistan. I thought long and hard about her safety after the piece gets printed but explained myself that she is anyway, living on borrowed time.
A lot of my friends in Pakistan are living on borrowed time.
Death threats are handed to the secular, liberal, progressive, and add to that, outspoken, lot of Pakistan like exhibition catalogues.
This calls for some analysis.
This secular, liberal, progressive and outspoken lot has always been present in Pakistan, despite all its social shortcomings and shortfalls, the muzzling and the gagging, et al. Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Habib Jalib, Ahmed Faraz, Munir Niazi are some well-known rebels who defied not only the political clampdown of their times but also documented their rebellion in their poetry. They, obviously and expectedly invited censorship of their work and of the larger media industry of their times.
- Sedition law cannot be used against honest views, expressed peacefully
- India’s dependence on China for medicine ingredients is a matter of concern
- Before Balochistan, India has supported some human rights causes and ignored others
- Olympics brought many smiles — and a little bit of rancour
- Harish Gupta case involves questions about the very nature of governmental decision-making
- Tension between the executive and judiciary could play out in creative, or destructive, ways