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Showing posts from December, 2006

Despicable traits

Reality TV, or reality shows, are the ‘in’ thing in today’s entertainment world. ‘American Idol’, ‘America’s next top model’, ‘The Apprentice’, ‘Hell’s Kitchen’, etc., are all very famous shows, mainly due to being reality talent hunt shows. But then there is another genre of reality shows that offer big prizes, but the contestants have to allow the cameras to invade their privacy. ‘Joe Millionaire’, ‘The Bachelor’, ‘Supernanny’ are just a few examples of this genre. One of the most famous shows in our part of the world in recent times is ‘Bigg Boss’ on Sony TV. These shows give the public a chance of spying into the lives of the contestants, as cameras are there to catch their every move!

Most people in this world are extremely curious about what is happening in the house next door or their relatives’ lives. Prying and meddling in other’s lives has become quite common. In an article published in USA Today, the writer says, “Robert Gortarez is no private eye. But with an $ 80 piece of …

Predatory lenders

It is generally believed that “love of money” is the root of all evil in recent times, but in our country the “existence of dishonest money” is more of an evil. We have our very own Shylocks in our midst in the shape of private money lenders who lend at an exorbitant interest rate, usually as high as 90 percent to 140 percent! Surely these unbelievably high interest rates amount to a “pound of flesh”. But the government has more or less turned a blind eye to this black economy. After a delay of more than three years, the Punjab Assembly Standing Committee on Revenue has finally approved The Punjab Prohibition of Private Money Lending Bill 2003, which if implemented would put an end to the private money lending business in the whole province. Among other things, the bill asks for the repeal of the Punjab Money Lenders Ordinance of 1960 that protects private money lenders, even though the irony of the matter is that this ordinance has never been implemented. The ordinance allows license…

Repeated mistakes

It seems that the government is yet not prepared to face the reality staring it in the face. An indication of this ostrich-like posturing came from President General Musharraf’s remarks that militancy in Afghanistan is entirely an Afghan problem and its solution lies there. He was speaking at the 17th annual dinner of the Pakistani-American Public Affairs Committee (PAK-PAC). Militancy may be an Afghan problem, but its epicentre also lies in Pakistan, and this fact cannot be shrugged away through a dextrous sleight of hand. The general must realise that such a dismissive attitude towards an extremely important issue would only spell doom for Pakistan and Afghanistan as well as the whole world. Pakistan should now wake up to the ground reality, which is suggestive of a comeback of the Taliban. Reports in the Western media claim that Quetta is the hub of the Taliban and all their activities are being planned and carried out from there. The Afghan government too has time and again accuse…

Transcending the moral plague

If you could get rid of yourself just once,
The secret of secrets would open to you.
The face of the unknown, hidden beyond the universe,
Would appear on the mirror of your perception
” — Rumi.

Selfishness, lies, deceit, the ‘me, me, me’ syndrome are a norm in today’s materialistic world. It is a world full of greed, full of intolerance and full of disrespect. Gone are the days when people genuinely cared about each other, when people thought less about themselves and more about others, when neighbours were treated as family members. Today, if a neighbour starts taking too much interest in your life, you begin to wonder if he/she wants something from you. The youth do not respect their elders, the elders do not show love towards their young ones, the rulers (particularly our rulers) are least bothered about the public and the public is too busy trying to outdo each other to care how the rulers are harming their country. It is madness, yet we are all partly responsible for this madness. Wh…