Pride, Prejudice and Parenting

(Note from author: This article was published in the Daily Times on 29 February 2012, following the death, on 5 October 2011, of Steve Jobs, founder of Apples Inc., who gave the world iMac, iPad and iPhone.) Continue reading

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Knowing how much is enough or when to stop

Alas, too many of us discover this truth too late and at great cost. If only we knew how much is enough and when to stop, we wouldn’t need any gurus to keep us happy. Continue reading

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Fake news and deception on social media

It has been known for years that people lose money to hackers and cheats on the Internet. We now know that even elections have been won or lost, careers made or destroyed, in fact lives have been ruined or cut short through organised and targeted manipulation of and on social media.  …  The masses are duped into believing anything that they are served, especially if these sound sensational or reinforce their own beliefs, prejudices and politico-religious inclinations.

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Narendra Modi’s own goal

None of  Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “bold moves” has actually achieved anything, other than cause both short-term and long-term damage to India’s social cohesion, economic progress and political stability. But such is the Hindutva-inspired euphoria that people are applauding nonetheless.

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India & Pakistan: plague on both your houses

Nowhere in the world are the imperatives of cross-border travel and trade more pressing than between India and Pakistan. And nowhere in the world is this more restricted than here. This is not what the founding fathers had envisaged, not by far, not on this side, not on that side, neither those who craved partition nor those who condemned partition.

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Kashmir: realpolitik strikes again

The truth is that if Pakistan presently had the economic and financial resources and military superiority, its armed forces would now march into Srinagar, as the Indian army did in Dhaka in 1971. A militarily and economically weaker India, under the circumstances, would cry and scream about Pakistani invasion of the Kashmir valley, some countries would criticize Pakistan and sympathise with India, but that would be it. Kashmir would be “hamara (ours)”. For now, though, that remains a very distant dream. Continue reading

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Speaking of the Khans, so to speak

If the above-mentioned two could be called double-barrelled Khans, then our current Khan, the one who allegedly fathered the “illegitimate child”, has to be an artillery Khan, for sheer ballistic power and bluster, not to mention machismo.

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Living long: but how long is long enough?

Do I really want to live very long? And how long is long enough? Of course, no one wants to die early but, equally, no one wants to live long in a decrepit state or on a hospital bed. But even in reasonably good health, should one want to live very long? Is it any achievement or an honour to live very long? At a lunch in celebration of her official 80th birthday some years ago, Queen Elizabeth II amused her audience with this quote from Groucho Marx: “Anyone can get old, all you have to do is live long enough.” Continue reading

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A traveller’s dream – South Asia and Central Asia

Nearly everywhere in the world, citizens of regional and contiguous countries mostly travel visa-free, merely by showing their passports or national identity cards. The countries of South Asia and Central Asia remain the only exceptions to the rule. The former more so than the latter. To understand the potential that these two regions hold for tourists, imagine the following trip, in any number of directions or combinations.

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Kashmir – the millstone around our neck

I believe that this plan, by and large, has been on the table for some time but has not been taken up seriously. For neither country wants to be seen to be backing down from its long-held position for fear of a public backlash, ready to be exploited by opportunistic forces in both countries. Continue reading

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