Showing posts from July, 2006

A nuisance called ‘load shedding’

‘Kandlelight King Khitaab
This is to announce an editor’s reward of a lifetime subscription of The Post, and the title of 'Kandlelight King' to the scientist who invents a television set that operates solely on candlelight.
In the words of our editor, “Kasam se, load-shedding ho gayi hai Kahaani ghar ghar ki. Aik waqt tha jab bijli thi Kabhi sautan, Kabhi saheli. Ab to Kayamat aa gayi hai! Aise chalta raha tou kya hoga Kumkum ka?!”
It is also hereby announced that the employees of The Post have pooled in a sum of $ 100,000 to the award, to restore their editor to his much needed Wapda-deprived Ektaa Kapoor-induced stupor.

Humour aside, the gravity of the issue of electric failures cannot be reduced to merely missing one’s favourite TV programmes. Such petty issues are nothing as compared to the wide gamut of real world losses that various people are suffering on a daily basis due to the inadequacy of electricity supply. Load shedding is on the rise with each passing day, which ha…

What are the options?

Open a newspaper – any newspaper around the world – the news of Israeli aggression is splashed all over. Although the Western press is undoubtedly favouring Israel, but the facts on the ground speak for themselves. It all started when a 19-year old Israeli soldier Corporal Gilad Shalit was abducted by Palestinian militants during a raid on an Israeli post near Gaza on June 25, 2006. The kidnapping was in retaliation for Israel’s arrest raid in Gaza on June 24, where Israeli forces detained two Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, who the army said were Hamas militants. On June 27, Israel launched a massive attack on the Gaza Strip. What started from the Gaza Strip spilled into the West Bank and then entered into another country, Lebanon.

At the recent G-8 summit in Russia, the following statement was released by the members: “We, the leaders of the G-8, meeting in St Petersburg, categorically denounce terrorist attacks worldwide and condemn in the strongest terms those who perpetrate these …

Not in my name!

If a natural disaster like the October 8 earthquake occurs, one feels helpless and gradually comes to terms with it, thinking that it was the will of God and man could not have prevented it. But when a man-made disaster takes place, it is obvious that one would be outraged. Words cannot describe my initial feelings of sorrow and then utter outrage at the recent bomb explosions in the suburban commuter trains in Mumbai, India, at rush hour. More than 200 people have died, while hundreds lay injured, and who knows how many of these injured will succumb to their wounds. These people were the victims of terrorism – a menace that plagues the entire world today.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines terrorism as: “The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organised group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.” The terrorists’ targets are mostly civilians…

Death of a master

If your death leaves a hole in someone’s heart, a void that cannot be filled with the passage of time, only then have you truly lived. The literary genius Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi was one such man. He passed away on July 10, leaving behind a vacuum in Pakistani literary circles that can never be filled, because he represented so much to so many people. He made a monumental contribution to Urdu literature. One of the most senior literary figures in the subcontinent, Qasmi sahib devoted his entire life to fighting many metaphorical illnesses. He firmly believed in his own ethos and fought for the emancipation of the masses. A staunch warrior against oppression, his courage inspired many. Not only do literary circles mourn the icon’s death, people all over Pakistan grieve the end of an era.

In a career spanning almost 70 years, he published some 50 books and distinguished himself as a seasoned poet, writer, critic and journalist. Qasmi sahib was the recipient of Pakistan Academy of Letters’ lif…

Journalism: the power of suggestion

“The facts fairly and honestly presented; truth will take care of itself” — William Allen White.

There was a time in my life when I had given up on reading newspapers or watching the news channels. The reason was that every media report, whether it was in the newspapers or on the news channels, had nothing but dismal news. But what I did not realise then was that if the media does not highlight such news, how would we ever come to know about such events? This was reality, not fiction. Our society is in dire need of one profession that actually documents reality, and journalism is one such profession. “The job of the newspaper is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable,” said American journalist Finley Peter Dunne at the beginning of the 20th century. The basic role of a journalist is to bring to attention the events that inflict injustice on the public, create awareness and hope of a time when truth shall prevail.

Journalism is the power of suggestion. If an event takes pla…