Pakistan Observer


Modi’s halo is disappearing

On 26th May 2014, Narendra Modi had taken oath of office as India’s 15th prime minister, ten days after a landslide election victory and heavy mandate in 30 years. But within nine months BJP’s unprecedented win, Narendra Modi’s halo is disappearing and his party has been routed in New Delhi elections. BJP’s humiliating defeat in New Delhi is not only a political setback but also given rise to doubts if it could be a prelude to weakening of the BJP. Extremist Hindu Organizations that were emboldened by BJP’s unprecedented win in 2014 elections are unhappy over Narendra Modi’s statements of protecting the rights of minorities. Addressing the inaugural session of Re-Invest 2015, the first Renewable Energy Global Investors Meet & Expo in New Delhi on February 15, 2015 Narendra Modi vowed to protect all religious groups to appease the US and the West.

However, BJP and Aam Admi Party (AAP) slogans of addressing common man’s problems and anti-bribery drive in the State brought unprecedented victory for the AAP in New Delhi elections. Disapproval for BJP and its slogans is reflective of public sentiments against the party’s support for communal agenda of RSS, taking roots in Indian polity and society. Media had been vehemently supporting BJP during the campaign days on the whims of Corporate network to create a “Modi Wave”. However, this superfluous projection did not pay at l ...
Saturday, February 28, 2015 Read Article

Comprehending revolution

The advent of Middle East uprisings in 2011 served as a spark that triggered a wide-reaching chain of campaigns, protests, skirmishes etc. Under the series of struggle spreading from Tunisia to Egypt, from harsh battles of Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, and Libya to the cautious reforms of the regional monarchies; the region endured tremendous mayhem. Not only did the popular discontent alter the course of politics in Middle East, but its ripples were also felt in South Asia, South East Asia and other parts of the world. Therefore, the implications were wider to be left unnoticed.

The scope and diversity of factors that have encompassed the determination of protesters to stay upright for their cause increased the interests of the academicians to study the processes of changing nature of revolts and the way they are carried out in global world of digital technologies. As a result scholarly writings on concepts theorizing popular uprisings, protests, revolutions leading to civil wars, coup d’état etc. have multiplied manifold. The causes, processes, and outcomes of revolutions have widened to an extent that its consequences stretch across many arenas. Understanding the significance of the need to understand revolution as a concept, a brief review of related scholarly notions is presented hereafter.

The term “Revolution” has been derived from the Latin verb revolvere ...
Saturday, February 28, 2015 Read Article

Thwarting horse trading in Senate polls

Needless to emphasize that the way we elect our legislators is prone to malpractices like rigging and hose- trading. The sordid aspect of the perverted political culture created by the prevailing system is that the prospective candidates for the National Assemblies and the Senate as well as the political parties participating in those elections have been employing these detestable machinations to buy their way into the legislative bodies and increase their numbers to rule the roost respectively. The practice of buying votes and horse trading has regrettably been more pronounced and well established in the case of Senate elections. Without exception echoes of horse-trading and vote buying have invariably been heard whenever the Senate elections have been held.

That is the reason that now there is almost a national consensus on electoral reforms designed to eliminate this unenviable culture. It was probably in the backdrop of these unpalatable realities that as soon as elections for 52 seats of the Senate were announced some smaller political parties and even PTI voiced their concerns about the alleged horse-trading and vote buying that was going on behind the scene and stressed the need to check the trend to make the Senate elections transparent and rigging free. Even the intelligentsia and media joined the crescendo. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif responding to the situa ...
Saturday, February 28, 2015 Read Article

Media might

Second half of the 20th.century witnessed a further convergence of time and distance which had a remarkably high influence on the media industry. In our times with billions of TVs, radios, internets, mobile devices and printed stuff, the might and rapidity of media is really enormous. A journalist, correspondent, anchor person or an entertainer, having a certain degree of freedom at reporting and projection of an event, is required to carry out a quick or snap judgment of authenticity of a piece of information; be it a news, a view or situational analysis of a national or international event. At times he is running against time to sift away the unauthentic stuff.

Media in our country has been playing its roll in rectification of society ills. For instance the reported gang rape of a woman, some years back, is among first examples of very conscientious journalism that went a long way to raise stature of the national media. Then there was extremely vibrant and glorious role played by the media in recent judiciary restoration matter. During the last decade, our own media, mighty though it looks like, has not been in a commodious position as far as reporting environments are concerned. Primary reasons being the high stake of state and non-state actors who sometimes want to fleece the free media as a convenient way out.

Despite all freedom seemingly enjoyed by our n ...
Saturday, February 28, 2015 Read Article

Religion & commerce can coexist

On Wednesday, religion heads back to the Supreme Court, this time considering the treatment of Muslim headscarves in the workplace. At the centre of the current controversy is Abercrombie & Fitch’s rejection of Muslim job applicant Samantha Elauf. Abercrombie’s reason for rejecting Elauf is straightforward. Elauf wore a headscarf to her interview for a floor salesperson position; but Abercrombie, under its “Look Policy,” prohibits its floor salespeople, who it calls “models,” from wearing any sort of headgear. Therefore, Elauf wasn’t a good candidate for the position. Of course, Abercrombie & Fitch could have made an exception for Elauf’s headscarf. But the company is particularly sensitive about the carefully curated appearance of its employees; by “represent(ing) the brand” employees create the “fun and engaging environment” that Abercrombie is selling.

The problem is that federal law prohibits discrimination, and requires employers to provide religious accommodations to applicants and employees so long as doing so would not present an “undue hardship.” And there’s good reason to conclude that accommodating Elauf would not have presented an “undue hardship” — Abercrombie & Fitch has accommodated other religious headgear in the past — leaving religious discrimination as the engine driving the rejection of Elauf.

To justify its conduct, Abercrombie has made the ...
Saturday, February 28, 2015 Read Article