Why Hamid Mir was shot..

This video will give you an idea

It is about 2 years old. On this particular issue, he has been (surprisingly) vocal from day one. For that he should get credit. A lot of people are digging up old segments in which Hamid Mir professes the kind of Paknationalist idiocies and Islamist fantasies that are a staple of mainstream media in Pakistan. And yes, he is certainly capable of those. He is, after all, a mainstream Pakistani journalist. Others have pointed out that his behavior within the GEO organization was rather haughty and he did not treat his colleagues and staff in a nice manner (for example, a journalist complained that she was told by a flunkey to leave the elevator because “sahib is coming”…it was Hamid Mir coming to work). That may be true, I have no idea. But he has certainly tried to publicize the Balochistan issue when no one else in the electronic media was touching it. And for that, he may have been shot.
It is still possible he was shot by someone else. Possible, but hardly likely.

His own article about this shooting:

Hamid Mir
Monday, April 28, 2014

Karachi is the largest city of Pakistan but some consider it the most dangerous city as well. When Geo — the biggest Pakistani TV channel — was launched in 2002 from Karachi, I stayed there for three months for training.
During the training, one morning a powerful bombing took place near the US Consulate while I was busy in my training session at a 5-Star hotel not far from the consulate. The explosion was so powerful that many pieces of broken glass fell on me. The deafening sound of the blast gripped me and many of my colleagues. We completed our training in this very incomprehensible fear.
When I returned to the capital as Bureau Chief of Geo TV, high-ups in the government followed me and tried to instill in my mind that ‘Geo TV is an anti-state channel and that a patriotic journalist like me should stay away from it.’
My response was very simple: “This country is run by an army chief. If I am shown the proof that Geo TV is anti-state, I would quit the channel.”No proof was shown; however, the torch-bearers of patriotism got angry with me.
In Pakistan, the start of private electronic media was not so pleasant. The government in power wanted to keep the channels under its thumb in order to get results of October 2002 general elections of its liking. On the one hand, to please the West, the Musharraf government initiated the farce of giving freedom to the media, while on the other hand dangers for media persons started increasing.
The media persons were the most favourite target of extremists as well as the secret agencies. Some journalists became spokespersons for secret agencies in the name of patriotism. Some started supporting the extremists in the name of Islam. Some of them were caught in the cobweb of nationalists.
Space started narrowing for media persons in the country conceived by Quaid-i-Azam. Killing and kidnapping of journalists became the order of the day and the media industry started losing the sense of protection.
Gen Pervez Musharraf’s emergency of 2007 divided the media in two distinct groups. One group became a plaything in the hands of powerful secret agencies. The other group that stuck to the right was dubbed ‘traitor and anti-state’. This division was not restricted to the media alone, it made its appearance among the politicians too.
When on the orders of the Supreme Court, the case of high treason for violation of the Constitution was initiated against Pervez Musharraf, this division assumed the form of confrontation. Musharraf’s trial started sending many important national issues to the backburner. The biggest problem Pakistan faces today is terrorism. Some said if drone attacks stop, terrorism will come to an end. However, terrorism persisted even after no drone struck for 100 days. Some said if talks with the Taliban are held, everything will be hunky dory. Drones stopped and negotiations with the Taliban also started, but still terrorism continued unabated. The Geo TV arranged a special discussion on this vital issue.
I proceeded to Karachi by air on the noon of 19 April. I have conducted many programmes in Karachi but I must admit that my every journey to Karachi started with an unspecified fear. It is very easy in Karachi for the sleuths of secret agencies to eliminate unwanted media persons. However, if a journalist like me shies away from going to Karachi due to this lurking fear, how can I claim to represent the popular sentiments? These very thoughts encouraged me to overcome the old fear with respect to Karachi and I decided to go on with the visit.
I asked my wife to sacrifice a black goat, as weak media persons like me consider such a sacrifice sufficient for their safety. After this sacrifice, I proceeded to Karachi on Saturday morning. As soon as I landed at the Karachi Airport, I received a message from my co-producer that Asad Umar of PTI who had to represent his party in tomorrow’s special discussion had regretted that he would not be able to attend. I asked the co-producer to invite PTI leader Shah Farman from Peshawar.
Engrossed in these thoughts I came out of the airport and got into the car. I asked the driver about the security guard. The driver told me that he was standing outside the airport. After a short while the security guard also got into the car which came out of the airport. Once again, I started sending an SMS to my co-producer asking the time of the next day’s meeting.
Meanwhile, I was discomfited to hear firing shots. When I saw the right window of the car smashing, I realized I was the target. A bullet had already pierced my shoulder. I asked the driver to look sharp. But we were caught in a jungle of traffic.
Firing continued and bullets were penetrating my legs. When the motorcyclist and car drivers realised that a car was being fired upon, they started making way for us. Firing still continued and I felt another bullet piercing the left of my waist. I started reciting the Kalima Tayyaba. The attackers were still following our car and went on firing without a gap. I started telling my colleagues in the office that I am being shot at. I asked the driver to rush to a hospital as two more bullets had pierced my belly. Wading through a flood of traffic, hounded by the attackers and myself perspiring profusely, we somehow were able to reach the Emergency of the Aga Khan Hospital. Darkness began to appear before my eyes. I mustered the courage to come out of the car and fell on a stretcher. Then I lost consciousness and do not know what happened.
On the third day of the attack, I regained consciousness and doctors began to disclose gradually that I had received six bullets but was safe. At that time, I was thinking about the animosity the attackers could have had against me. Then I concluded that the culprit was not the attacker but the one who had planned the attack.
Faces of many ‘planners’ flashed before my eyes. I could ignite new pits of fire by narrating incidents taking place within the first two weeks of April alone, and this could ignite a horrible fire and bring more destruction. Then I thought that in that case there would be no difference between me and a terrorist. Those who dubbed Geo TV traitor in 2002 are once again dubbing it traitor today. They neither had any proof then, nor do they have now. I leave all this to my Allah Almighty and to the courts.
I only want to share my feelings with you. I wish to tell you about so many ups and downs of the acute pain during the seven days of stay at the Aga Khan Hospital. But one thing is certain: the excruciating pain I passed through has only served to consolidate my faith, my courage and my determination. I express my profound thanks to all those who stood by me in this hour of trial and prayed for my health. I am feeling great pain even now as I write these lines. I am bearing this pain only to promise you that I will use the cuts made by six bullets in my body to illuminate the nation to dissipate the darkness of illiteracy.

The six bullets and seven nights spent at the Aga Khan Hospital have convinced me that it is not the common populace of the country that in fact wields the real power and rights. It is someone else. The destination of pure independence is still far away. Disappointment is a sin. The last to laugh will be the common man. We still need lots of sacrifices to reach that destination.
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Selfie (833AM), self-less (834AM)

Often we see youngsters going for study/work while listening to music, texting etc. in the bus/train without paying any attention to what happens around them. We frequently read about fatalities caused by this behavior and each time anxiety mounts: are our loved ones next on the grim reaper’s list?

Now a new fad is up and running and (apart from the business of self-harm) now one has to worry about collateral damage (that famous word again). It is sad that a young lady had to die to make the point, but this being the “young invincibles” generation, we are not sure what else will get the message across. Our sympathies are (unfortunately but firmly) with the 73 year-old gentleman who is sure to have nightmares for the rest of his life.


Please do not take selfies while driving. Do not text. Do not update Facebook. Do keep your attention (every moment) on the road. 

……..
A woman has died in a head-on collision on a US
highway just seconds after she posted selfies and updated her status on
Facebook, police have said.




At 8.33am on Thursday a post appeared on 32-year-old Courtney
Sanford’s Facebook timeline which read: “The happy song makes me so
HAPPY.” At 8.34am police were called to reports of a crash.

Officers
said Ms Sanford was alone in her car when it crossed the central
reservation, crashed into a recycling truck and burst into flames,
forcing the other vehicle off the road.

She was on her way to work
along Interstate 85 in North Carolina at the time, and police said they
found no evidence that drink, drugs or speed were factors in the
collision.

The link to Facebook only emerged this weekend after
friends of Ms Sanford came forward to tell police that a number of her
posts online appeared to come from a similar time to the incident
itself.

High Point Police Department spokesperson Lt Chris Weisner
told the WGHP TV station that the crash was a real-life public service
advert “showing what happens when you text and drive”.

Lt Weisner said that as well as the status update seconds before the
crash, evidence from Ms Sanford’s social media profiles showed she had
also been taking pictures of herself while on the highway.

“In a
matter of seconds, a life was over just so she could notify some friends
that she was happy. It’s really not worth it,” he said. “As sad as it is, it is also a grim reminder for everyone… you just have to pay attention while you are in the car.”

Police said that the truck was being driven by 73-year-old John Wallace Thompson, who walked away unharmed.
…….

Link: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/selfie-crash-death-woman-dies-in-headon-collision-seconds-after-uploading-pictures-of-herself-and-happy-status-to-facebook-9293694.html
………..
regards

0

How to safeguard against the coming extinctions

I was reading that one of the most heavily fortified facilities in the world is the Seed Centre in the Arctic, which preserves flora & fauna biodiversity so that if the day ever comes that we are threatened with mass crop extinctions (the cavendish banana, which is 90% of the world production & consumption, is threatened by a virus that wipes out the crop, each banana is an identical clone of another) we have a bio bank to start over.

During my travels it’s increasingly obvious to me that English is the new Latin. Maybe a millennia from now different planets will spawn their own Vulgar English dialects that will emerge as lingua Franca in their own right. But as of right now the ongoing linguistic consolidation (the Tesot mother speaks Luganda as a first language and will only speak to her children in English) means that Uganda’s tremendous linguistic & tribal diversity (in the dozens) is soon going to become Luglish (Luganda + English. Hinglish is not an isolated phenomenon..
Perhaps we need a linguistic bank where we record native speakers and record their language to store (after all our data capacity is rising on a geometric if not exponential level, apparently the internet weighs a millionth of an ounce) for the long years ahead.
Of course Baha’u’llah for saw this and cautioned us 150yrs ago to set an auxiliary language so that we both have global unity but maintain local diversity. But while we wait for the New World Order it may be prudent to save the bulk of the 6,000 or so languages that will soon diminish to a few hundred..
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An Atheist upgrades to Allah (via Jesus )

A fascinating interview with Prof. Reza Aslan in which he explains why it is perfectly OK to be traditional, why Al-Qaeda is not anti-modern, and that religious radicalism is on the rise only as a reaction to progressivism (which is also on the rise).

Is there really a religious gene? People (especially in the West) are turning more and more to atheism as they become disillusioned with organized religion. Then again there are others who find profound meaning in religion.

One thing that seems to be of immense significance (and a point not discussed in the article) is that Reza Aslan’s father was an atheist, so what was the trigger that led him to reject the ways of his dad and embrace religion? Also he explains why/how he adopted Christianity (but not why he left) and also his reasons for (presently) preferring Islam.
……….
You first converted to Christianity and then to Islam. Can you take us through your personal journey of faith?

My
father is a devout atheist, and I grew up without any religious
instruction although I was always very deeply interested in religion and
spirituality.
My family moved to the United States from Iran in 1979,
after Ayatollah Khomeini decided to return to the country. It wasn’t
particularly a very good time for Muslims to be in America either, so I
spent most of my early 30s pretending to be Mexican.

It was at an
evangelical youth camp where I first listened to the incredible story of
Jesus Christ’s life and teachings in the Gospel — It moved me so much
that I immediately gave my life to Jesus.
I spent the next couple of
years preaching the Gospel to everyone — whether they wanted to hear it
or not.

As a professor of religions,
do you feel that religions are misunderstood or misinterpreted in the
modern world? Is it fair to state that religions are undergoing an
identity crisis, which in turn, is turning religions towards more
extremist and intolerant ideas?

I don’t think that’s
true at all. Religion is more of a force today than it was more than 100
years ago. I think that religions are in a constant state of evolution.
I also believe that religious diversity and religious pluralism are on
the rise, but the problem is that people assume that religious
radicalism is on the rise.

In part, this is because radicalism
and fundamentalism are reactionary phenomena. They are a reaction to
liberalism and pluralism. If you see certain spikes in religious
radicalism, it’s not because religious radicalism is independent or
free, or because radicalism is on the rise; it’s because its
progressivism, liberalism and diversity is on the rise.

Whenever
people — for one reason or another — feel left behind in a progressive
society, they will rebel and react against it. I think that’s what’s
happening right now.

Do you think there is disconnect
between modernity and being traditionally religious? Do you think this
dichotomy fuels intolerance and rigidity?

First of all
there is nothing wrong with traditionalism and there is nothing wrong
with rejecting modernity. That is not a problem we are facing as a
society; the problem is with extremism not traditionalism. That’s what
we need to constantly remind ourselves of.

The problem we are
facing is of radicalism and violence. I think it’s a mistake to say
radicalism and violence is a direct result of traditionalism or
conservatism. As I have mentioned in my second book, the mistake we
often make is in thinking that groups like Al-Qaeda are anti-modern; in
fact, they are actually products of modernity. They don’t reject
modernity, but in a quite sophisticated way, they present an alternative
version of modernity.

But why does religion remain an overly convenient tool for extremism and violence?
Well,
religion by no means has a monopoly on extremism. If you look at the
last century, which by far has been the bloodiest epoch in human
existence, millions of people have been slaughtered in the name of
secularism, in the name of atheism, Maoism, Fascism, even nationalism.
It is a very narrow view of faith and belief if it is said that religion
is a cause of violence. If anything, it is nationalism that has a
greater propensity to create violence, not religion.

But perhaps,
it is to say that violence is in human nature. We will kill each other
because of our identity. And we will use any form of identity in order
to differentiate from each other or to enact violence against each other
— sometimes in the name of religion, at other times in the name of
socialism, race, tribe or something else.

……….
Link: http://www.dawn.com/news/1101928/reza-aslan-the-misunderstood-scholar
……..
regards

0

Sindh celebrates the girl child (and humanity)

It was very much of a Papa dont preach, keep your rosaries off my ovaries moment- an excellent day to be a denizen of Sindh – especially if you are a girl child.  The consequences of child marriage are terrible for mind and body alike.

Sharmila Farooqi and Rubina Qaimkhani are our heroes for having placed their lives on the line by leading on this bill. Interestingly enough, we have friends named Sharmila and Rubina- both Hindu Bengalis.

However as we see elsewhere in SAsia and on other humanitarian projects (for e.g. administering polio drops), passing laws is a necessary first step but only tight enforcement and co-opting of community leaders will make this a properly functional barrier against the sea of misogyny.
……
The Sindh Assembly on Monday passed the Sindh Child Marriages
Restraint Bill, 2014 prohibiting marriage of children below 18 years.

The assembly is the first provincial legislature in the country to approve a bill to curb child marriages.
Under
the bill, the minimum for marriage is 18 years. Those found violating
the law would be punished in line with the penalty suggested in the
legislation. According to the law, in cases of underage
marriages, those involved can be sentenced to three years in prison and
they can also be fined.

The bill was first presented in the assembly in 2013 by Sharmila Farooqi and Rubina Qaimkhani.
……
Link: http://www.dawn.com/news/1102840/sindh-assembly-passes-bill-prohibiting-child-marriages
…..
regards

0

Intermarriage

Reposted from Latif’s Cavern
In Midnight’s Children there was a quotation where the Brits had forbidden the Indian Royalty from passing on their titles to children of mixed marriages. The reasoning went that if this was allowed within a few generations Indian Royalty would have become entirely European.
This is certainly borne out by the Aga Khan who at last count is a quarter Indo-Persian the rest Europe and all of his descendant have married Europeans (his grandson, potentially the future Aga Khan would be a sixteenth Indo-Persian).
At any rate I’m beginning to see this borne out in the Desi Elite among Kampala. The Ismaili intermarriage rate (the Aga Khan of course is their leader) is substantially higher than either that of the Muslim or Hindu communities. Of course the Ismailis tend to prefer conversion of the foreign spouses but even so it’s interesting to see that even the “halves” among the Ismaili community are so much more (they’ve been inter-marrying for more than a generation and even with Africans so it’s rather non-discriminatory even though heavily tiled towards Europeans). 
I know that the Aga Khan kept his titles despite intermarrying and even though he is both Royal & Spiritual leader I wonder how much of the British injunction against Royal intermarriage has actually kept desi marrying rates much lower than they should be. I don’t have the stars but observationally British Asians have the lowest out-marriage rates among the ethnic minorities.
The Parsis have strong admixtures (the Tatas have Europeans married in) and so do some elite Muslim families (Cipla’s founder has a Lithuianian Jewish mother) and of course so do the Nehrus but perhaps if the Brits had allowed intermarriage and not been so paternalistic India (the Indian world from Afghanistan to Burma at it’s greatest stretch) would have been far more anchored in Western ways?
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“We love Pakistan army and ISI”

With India in the middle of high-voltage drama season, can Pakistan be left behind?

The Guardian journalists are thrilled by the images of a David casting stones on the Goliath. However at the end of the day nothing much will happen but the demise of Geo TV. Pak military boasts of a solid middle class base and it is one institution that Pakistanis of all stripes (except perhaps Balochis and MQM followers) admire. Still, taboos are meant to be broken and this unprecedented defiance of the “agencies” may help future journalists in going where no one has gone before. 
…..


For decades Pakistan’s
Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence was the spy agency that
could not be named, let alone publicly criticised. The media would refer
only to the “agencies”, the “establishment” or, even more coyly, “the
angels”.


But in the past week that taboo has been broken by the
Independent Media Corporation, Pakistan’s largest media group, which has
used the two biggest newspapers in the country and by far its most popular television network to daily hammer the ISI.

Geo editors cleared the bulletins for
non-stop coverage of the attempt to kill Mir and the claims by his
brother that the attack on his car had been directly ordered by the
ISI’s normally low profile chief, Zaheer-ul-Islam, whose picture the TV
channel displayed for hours.

The agency, Mir claimed, had been
infuriated by his Capital Talk programmes that criticised ISI tactics
against separatists in Balochistan province, where the military is accused of kidnapping and illegally detaining suspects.

The
Urdu-language Jang newspaper and its English stablemate, the News,
which like Geo followed up with a daily barrage of attacks against an
enormously powerful agency that has been accused of everything from
rigging elections to backing Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan.

“It’s
unprecedented – the first time you have the ISI facing off with a media
channel in such a manner,” said Jugnu Mohsin,
a veteran newspaper
publisher who has watched the emergence of the boisterous private
television business since the sector was deregulated under the former
president Pervez Musharraf.

Public
opinion is also divided, with many horrified by the unheard of attacks
on an institution that has cultivated an image for itself as a guardian
of Pakistan’s honour. There have been calls on social media for the
government to ban Geo and posters have gone up in some cities declaring
“We love Pakistan army and ISI”.

Although international human
rights groups have reported on the ISI harassing, kidnapping and even
torturing journalists in the past, they say there was simply no evidence
to support Mir’s claims that the ISI was responsible for the attack on
him. Mir has also been threatened by the Taliban, although no militant group claimed responsibility for the Karachi shooting.

Others
see the hand of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, in the broadsides against the
ISI.
The media mogul is the part-owner of the Independent Media
Corporation who helped turn Geo into a powerhouse with its signature
mix of sensationalist storytelling and commentators drawn from all sides
of Pakistan’s political debate…..Rahman is said to be convinced the much-trailed launch
of a new television channel is part of an ISI-backed effort to erode
Geo’s dominant market position.

Others believe he would never have
picked a fight with the ISI if he did not think he had high-powered
support from the government. Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif,
has pointedly failed to comment on Geo’s explosive charges so far, but
did rush to Mir’s hospital bedside in a move interpreted as a strong
show of support.

The army demonstrated its power when it asked the defence minister to send an official petition to the country’s broadcast regulator to shut down the station
for running what it claimed was a “vicious campaign” aimed at
“undermining the integrity and tarnishing the image of state
institution”. Boycotts of the group’s newspapers have been reported at
military bases across the country, while Geo has been dropped by many
local cable providers, which the company claims have been pressured by
the army.

Rival media groups have also gone on the offensive. The
Express group has attacked Geo for “running a malicious slander campaign
against Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency”.


…..
Link: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/27/geo-tv-isi-spy-agency-pakistan-military
….
regards

0

(brown) Silicon Superman crushed by racism

You receive a minor wrist-slap for brutalizing another human being. As a brown super-man who conquered the commanding heights of Silicon Valley, you are still entitled to cry “racism.” 

Justice (poetic) was finally
done when Gurbaksh Chahal was ejected from the board of RadiumOne as a
result of “twitter backlash”. But lot of questions remain unanswered.
Why did the police behave so stupidly? Why did the girl turn hostile?
Did it matter that this guy is a big-time Obama donor? Our fear is that if he escapes now, the next victim may not wake up to tell the story.

The nightmare that women in India face on a daily basis is well known. Even three year old babies are not spared. Women (victims) are frequently blamed for the actions of the perps, often community pressure is exerted in such a brutal fashion that the woman feels compelled to commit suicide.

In contrast America is the place where one can expect justice regardless of family connections, wealth, gender, race….most of the time. It seems to be the case however if you are rich and powerful enough (and a big-time donor to the President of the USA) then you can get awarded community service for the privilege of having knocked your girl-friend unconscious (and brutalizing her 117 times). This is because men are entitled to be angry if they think that the woman has not been faithful enough.
……..
An
India-born Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur has been fired as CEO of
company he founded by the company’s board following charges of battering
his girlfriend, even as he alleged that racial bias has colored the
case.

According to reports in the tech media, the board of
RadiumOne, an internet advertising platform founded by Gurbaksh Chahal,
has fired him over a case relating to his conviction for battery and
domestic violence. Chahal, a Tarn Taran-born school dropout who founded
and sold two advertising companies for $340 million before he was 25,
reportedly kicked and battered his American girlfriend over a domestic
argument concerning her alleged infidelity.

Chahal, 31, pleaded
guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence and battery charges last week,
dodging 45 felony counts for the beating that was captured on
videotaped.
The video was ruled to be inadmissible in court because of
the nature of the way in which the police obtained it, and the victim
later declined to testify and cooperate with prosecutors.

However, in a controversial ruling, Chahal was sentenced to three years’
probation, 52 weeks in a domestic violence training program, and 25
hours of community service, but was spared jail time.

Since
then Chahal has taken to social media to protest his innocence even as
pressure mounted on the board of RadiumOne to sack him. In a lengthy
rant on his blog on Sunday — under the headline “Can you handle the
truth?” — Chahal said he has been the “recipient of death threats and
hateful language aimed not just at what I was accused of, but attacking
me for my ethnicity, my social class, and even my gender.
Many would
gladly lynch me based because of my origin-and not the facts of my
case.”

“I fully understand the outrage of those who believe I
got off ‘lightly’ as asserted by numerous postings on social media
sites. But the $500 fine I agreed to pay, the equivalent of a speeding
ticket, is simply what those misdemeanors require, and in no way
reflects the toll that this ordeal has exacted on me,” he explained.

Virtually calling his girlfriend a prostitute, Chahal alleged that the
situation that resulted in his legal case began when he “discovered that
my girlfriend was having unprotected sex for money with other people”
which he claimed she testified to in her interviews with the cops.

“When I discovered this fact and confronted my girlfriend, we had a
normal argument. She called 9-11 after I told her I was going to contact
her father regarding her activities. And yes, I lost my temper. I
understand, accept full responsibility and sincerely apologize from the
bottom of my heart for that,” he said, adding that it was all “overblown
drama because it generates huge volumes of page views for the media
given what I have accomplished in the valley.”

……
Link (1):  http://recode.net/2014/04/27/here-is-the-radiumone-ceo-firing-statement/
Link (2): http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2014/04/25/its-time-for-radiumone-to-fire-its-abusive-ceo/
……
regards

0

“When she awoke, her brother was gone”

The (true) story of Mhd. Husein (15 years) and Senwara Begum (9 years) facing the horrors of the actual sea (and also a sea of inhumanity), separated from their parents…..perhaps forever.

So…we are experiencing in real-time the impact of yet another 2 nation policy…this time by devotees of a Great Soul who instructed that even plants and animals are to be treated with kindness. 

It is perhaps churlish to ask at such a sad moment, but when will the history of children displaced by the partitions in South Asia be written, many of whom are still rotting away in so many slums? If we the browns will not take responsibility, will the white man (Associated Press) launch an investigation and write the report? The theories of competitive grievances tend to drown out the reality of all the grief and misery.

The powerful epigraph in Jyoti Grewal’s book on the Sikh riot victims (1984) comes to mind: ‘I write so I am not written out; I write so I am not written about.’
….
Their
small boat was packed with 63 people, including 14 children and 10
women. They baked in the sun and vomited from the waves.
Nearly two
weeks passed, and then a boat with at least a dozen Myanmar soldiers
approached. They kicked and bludgeoned the Rohingya men with wooden
planks and iron rods, several passengers said.

They
tied Mohamad’s hands and lit a match, laughing as the smell of burnt
flesh wafted from his blistering arm. Senwara watched helplessly.
The
beatings finally stopped after Mohamad suspected money changed hands,
and the soldiers ordered the boat to leave. The government said the Navy
denied seizing any ships during that period.

“Tell us, do you have your Allah?” one Rohingya survivor quoted the soldiers as saying. “There is no Allah!”

The ship plodded on,
but it was falling apart. A sarong stuffed in a hole could not stop
water from bubbling through, and Senwara’s sticky rice and bits of bread
were gone. 

When they finally floated ashore in Thailand, she had no
idea where she was.

On shore, Mohamad and
Senwara were given rice and dry fish and then put on another small boat
without an engine. Thai troops pulled them far out to sea, cut the rope
and left them to drift without food or water, survivors said. Senwara
got sick after drinking sea water and eating ground-up wood.

The next day, they spotted a fishing boat. It was from Indonesia.
Once in Indonesia, after nearly a month
at sea, Mohamad and Senwara were transferred to a filthy detention
center with about 300 people, double its capacity.  

A riot soon broke out
there between the Rohingya and illegal Buddhist fishermen from Myanmar,
and eight Buddhists were beaten to death.
 

Senwara slept through the brawl in another area. When she awoke, her brother was gone.

After
a few months in jail with other Rohingya arrested from the fight,
Mohamad was released due to his age and left for neighboring Malaysia. Mohamad
found illegal work as a street sweeper, earning about $70 a month, and
now lives in a tiny hovel with about 17 other Rohingya men. He remains
tortured with guilt for leaving his little sister behind.

Soon
after the detention center riot, Senwara was registered as an asylum
seeker. She was moved to temporary U.N. housing in Medan, Indonesia, and
taken in by a Rohingya woman. She remains hurt and angry for being left
alone, and her heart aches for home.

Senwara’s parents didn’t learn the children were safe until more than eight months after their village was burned. On
that awful night, their mother, Anowar Begum, and father, Mohamad
Idris, fled with two babies into a lake.
Later, they searched
frantically and found five more of their nine children. The family ended
up in a squalid camp with tens of thousands of other homeless Rohingya
near Rakhine state’s capital, Sittwe. They had given up hope on Senwara
and Mohamad by the time an unknown Rohingya called from Indonesia to say
the children were safe.

Today, 22 months after their separation,
it’s only through technology that the family, now scattered across three
countries, can remain in touch.
Mohamad, in Malaysia, watches a
video clip of his sister playing soccer in Indonesia. Even as he breaks
down, he cannot look away from the little girl on the screen. Back
in Myanmar, Anowar stares at her daughter on a Skype video and sobs
into her headscarf. Senwara wipes away her own tears in Indonesia as her
father’s weathered face trembles.

“I don’t think I will ever be able to see my parents,” she says, softly. “For the rest of my life.”
___
The Associated Press reported the children’s story based on interviews and data from Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
…..
Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/desperate-rohingya-kids-flee-alone-by-boat/2014/04/26/5a368008-cd5c-11e3-b81a-6fff56bc591e_print.html
…..
regards

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Beautiful people have it the worst

We really should exercise much more care when talking about beautiful people like Nargis Fakhri. The poor girl recently came in for some harsh treatment on the Koffee With Karan (KWK) show (Karan as in Karan Johar, the super-boss of Bollywood).

As she says, people consider her (unfairly) to be just a dumb, pretty face, and she wants to set the record straight…she is a talented, pretty face who hustled hard to find a royal patron who is duly appreciative of her talents (and her beauty).


It is not poor Nargis’s fault that she was born beautiful.
The attention that she has been showered with since childhood must have
been a heavy cross to bear. Also she is really tall (5’9″ !!!) and as
we know tall girls have limited match-up choices. Not for Nargis,
thankfully. She has Bollywood royalty as a boyfriend (Uday Chopra, son of the late legendary producer Yash Chopra).* 

All
in all, life is so harsh, so un-yielding for these tall, beautiful, super (wo)men who strive day after day to raise the spirits of the common
(wo)man. Superficial beauty aside, Nargis is one tough lady and she has the
will to win, fighting, scrambling, and hustling till the game is won. No shame in that, only glory. BTW,
she also has a new movie just coming out (Main Tera Hero). Best of luck,
Nargis!!!

……
Link: https://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/photos/getting-to-know-nargis-fakhri-1398425427-slideshow/lost-kissing-varun-dhawan-unheard-photo-140000225.html
…….
regards
*( If a filmi boss proposes to an upcoming
starlet this is rightfully condemned as a casting couch case. However if
the girl herself manages to hook-up with the boss and jump to the head
of the queue it is admired as a sign of personal initiative) 

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