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blasphemy ;aws in Pakistan #HangAyazNizami Featured Politics Society 

The Most Persecuted Community – #HangAyazNizami

Ayaz Nizami’s website, for the Atheist and Agnostic Alliance Pakistan, is now defunct. In Twitter, however, a hashtag is much in vogue – #HangAyazNizami. Some want him hanged, others cite these expounders as proof of the backward nation the mysterious Nizami hails from, and their inherently barbaric religion. There never was any person called Ayaz Nizami – it was an alias adopted to critique religion and preach rationality on online forums. The initiators ended up arrested for blasphemy. A crackdown on blasphemy is not novel in Pakistan. As the state takes on…

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Culture Featured Politics Society 

Central? Censor Board of Film Certification

“Lady-oriented” is a term that had the capacity to be India’s “nasty woman”. As a queer feminist, I delighted in the various implications the phrase has to offer, and it is a phrase with the catchy appeal that legendary taglines are made of. The irony, however, is that it was a term used to suppress, not endorse something – being one of the many objections the Central…err, rather the ” Censor Board of Film Certification ” had to lay on Prakash Jha’s “Lipstick Under My Burkha.” Other objections include “contanious…

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Culture Featured Literature Society 

Stuck in the Lobby by Stage Struck – Reviewed

Stage Struck’s Stuck In The Lobby is, in the simplest terms, a project of high ambition, sought to be achieved by a recipe of humble enough ingredients. The concoction comprises a stripped down setting signifying a hotel lobby, a time span of three days, a set of characters of amusing idiosyncrasies and a simple storyline. The ultimate ambition, however, is to sneak into the simplicity of narration, commentary on modern human existence, and on the harmonies and conflicts that constitute the fabric of contemporary society.     A sudden storm…

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female performers who exist only as their sexual image Culture Featured Society 


Popular culture influences the masses, and is also shaped by the way the masses think. There is art for social change, and there is art that goes along with the prevailing modes of thought held by society at large, trading social responsibility for commercial success. To list female performers whose images exist largely as sexualised ones, it is necessary to clarify that there is nothing wrong with a woman embracing her sexuality. It is, however, important to set down the boundaries between sexual liberation and sexual objectification.What deserves criticism is…

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Cultural Consciousness in Christmas Culture Featured Society Uncategorized 

Cultural consciousness in Christmas

When Kolkata geared up to celebrate Christmas, it harkens to a culture that is not its own. Reindeers, stars, fir trees are tropes generally associated with the season’s festivities. There is no logical link tying these elements to the event of Christ’s birth that the festival commemorates. However, these tropes are central to the world’s perception of the Christmas-time spirit. That Christmas is so acceptable to the masses, especially in the Indian context, because of its increasing secularization is a view popularly held. However, the consciousness surrounding Christmas portrays it…

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Featured Politics Society 

The Privilege of Hate, and on Political Correctness

“If you voted for Donald Trump,you are a loser.” “BJP supporters are Islamophobic scum” The popular ideas floating around the internet, or in common discourse are definitely not always the ones in alliance with the power structures in place. Yet, some would say, political correctness, some would say, instruments of victimization of people who would not cater to the same. Intolerance of intolerance is, after all, by this dialogue, an intolerance in itself. What this discourse is largely based on is the problematic notion of “ political correctness ”. Diplomacy could…

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Triple Talaq Culture Featured 

The Triple Talaq Trouble

Three is a loaded number. Sometimes bad things happen in threes,sometimes the third time is the lucky one, sometimes three words can make your life (“I love you”,”smash the patriarchy”,”agitate educate organize”,”marry me please”,”death to capitalism” being prominent examples) and sometimes one little word three times over can make all the difference. India’s secularism does not hinder its allowing Muslim men to divorce their wives through a simple,thrice-over repetition of “talaq”. Allowing religion to direct personal law is crucial to protecting the rights of the only section of religious minorities…

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Culture Featured Society 


Five minutes into a dating app (READ : TINDER), I realize that passing off this project as a social experiment will be the only possible explanation for my presence here. Victoria Morgan listed consistent left swiping on Tinder – with a model as a profile picture – as an effective method of succeeding in heartbreaks. And while I may have been inspired by her, I was less diligent in attending to the particulars of her suggestion – implying a few, mostly questionable right swipes. While these are not the sort…

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Indian Women Featured Society 


It was Rakhshabandhan when Sakshi Malik secured a bronze in wrestling at the Rio Olympics 2016. Since her win, a popular quip doing the rounds was that about a woman having taken the country’s honour into her hands, on an occasion based on a brother protecting his sister’s. A challenge to gender roles is indeed inspiring but that a concept as inherently flawed and societally constructed as honour should still prevail might raise an eyebrow or two. Similarly, while Indian women have been brilliant at this year’s Games and deserve…

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what does not make a woman Open Forum Society 

What does not make a woman

The socially constructed nature of gender was summed up succinctly by Simone de Beauvoir when she famously stated that one is not born, but rather becomes, a woman. The socially constructed nature of gender has been elaborated upon at length by feminist theorists. On the other hand, the society largely continues to impose gendered roles and identities upon individuals since birth, based merely on something as trivial as their genitalia, and even holds up adherence to these identities as accomplishment, as validation of masculinity or femininity. Consequently, the slightest failure…

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