Casteism is alive and well in Pakistan

What do you expect of a country where the aboriginals are known as janglis, asks Raza Rumi It is a cliche now to say…

Lost Imaginations

Sixty one years have gone by but the creation of Pakistan is still a heated debate: contested, fractured and bitter. That history has been…

Rediscovering Zahoor ul Akhlaq (1941-1999)

Raza Rumi asks if Pakistani state and society are ready to reclaim the great artist on his tenth death anniversary Ten years ago, on…

Imagined homeland

It irks me when I hear simplistic platitudes on Pakistani society, state or people. The heterogeneity of Pakistan is by itself an anthropologist’s dream,…

Remembering Benazir Bhutto

I am reposting my piece that was written a year ago. It seems that not much has changed in these twelve months It was…

Unfullfiled Civic Longing

Written for The Friday Times, Pakistan After Mumbai, I have stopped watching television. I will not participate in the senseless jingoism of the Indo-Pak…

Data Ganj Baksh: Lahore’s oldest guide

Perhaps the greatest of the experiences at Data Darbar is to find oneself connected to a stream of humanity, shoulder to shoulder, with a…

Islamabad: This too shall pass

Bemoaning Islamabad’s fall from grace Not long ago, Delhi and Lahore were vulnerable to hordes of foreign invaders. The Mongol fear was overwhelming and…

The words of others

My piece published in the Friday Times last week For decades, Pakistan’s poets and writers have defied conventions and the almighty establishment. Rooted in…

Ajoka Theatre and the Caucasian Chalk Circle

  Who is entitled to keep the child – one who is a better, nurturing mother, or the one who may be the natural…

Ode to Benaras – Ghalib’s grand vision

The cancer of communalism and bigotry in South Asia continues to haunt us. These days, the Muslims are once again a subject of intense,…

Through a screen, darkly

Pakistani cable operators, following the cyclical escalation of imagined hatreds, discontinued the transmission of Indian satellite channels in 2002. The absence of Indian TV…

Beyond Borders – with Shubha Mudgal and Tina Sani

My article published in the Friday Times (Aug11-18) Days after the recent skirmishes at the Line of Control, when the composite dialogue between India…

Kabir, Bulleh and Lalon – Petals of a mystic lotus

The subcontinent during the 15th century witnessed the coming of age of a process that started brewing with the arrival of Central Asian Sufis,…

A brush with the new – Asim Butt’s Art

What distinguishes Asim Butt from his generation and perhaps the preceding generations of artists is the sheer originality of his vision and an iconoclasm…

Shoaib Akhtar – a fallen hero

There have been some avoidable outbursts by both Akhtar and his disciplinarians. Akhtar has a chequered past in the conventional sense; and perhaps his…

Why Jodhaa Akbar is a disappointment?

The challenge of translating a historical era into a cinematic endeavour is daunting, especially when it concerns historically contested subjects such as the fabled…

Living Histories

Essences of the past and present come alive at the Lawrence Gardens Lahores Lawrence Gardens, baptised the Bagh-i-Jinnah in the post-independence era, represent the…

Afghan Madhouse (Book Review – No Space for Further Burials)

Decades of imperialism have left Afghanistan and its people devastated. But the fall of the Taliban, and the much touted ‘liberation’ of Afghanistan, has…

Nahaj ul Balagha – Looking back to Get Ahead

Fahmida Riaz is Pakistan’s premier female poet. She became a sensation in the early 1970s when her bold, feminist poetry created a stir in…
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