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Bipolar disorders

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Pointless!

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Pious greed

We have read much about the confluence of religion and politics, militancy and politics, and why even military and militancy. But one topic flying under the radar and hovering almost beyond the edge of sight is the collusion between the business class and religion. This […]

Farrukh writes
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Why we can’t have nice things

Any noble intention can be twisted, perverted, and weaponised to produce the most troublesome results. Do you need examples? Consider the opposition to the invasion of Iraq. This opposition produced a mass movement across the western world and led to highly publicised million marches. Sadly, […]

Farrukh writes
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Is a world war coming?

As the post-election crisis simmered in the US, a nameless, faceless French programmer (identity withheld by the authorities) decided that the decline of the Western civilisation was inevitable and with his health deteriorating so before ending his life he would send his bitcoin savings to […]

Farrukh writes

The shorter telegram

0 8 min 1 yr

(First appeared on February 06, 2021) In the past 20 years, I have brought up The Long Telegram by George Kennan more than a dozen times. Kennan was the Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States to the USSR from 1944 to 1946. His […]

Farrukh writes
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Pity India

(First appeared on January 30, 2021) A tractor rally by protesting farmers on India’s Republic Day. Now that is a neat little idea. What a statement. What a reminder. That India’s republic (if you can call it a republic now) is nothing without the untiring […]

Farrukh writes
0 9 min 1 yr

America — a warning

(First appeared on January 23, 2021) Joseph Biden is now the 46th president of the United States. As he said in his inaugural address, democracy has prevailed. The assault on democracy failed and the Trump era has ended. But the next time you may not […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 1 yr

Two Indias

(First appeared on January 16, 2021) An argument had broken out. A few peers were debating whether India’s Hindutva mob would give the same love-jihad treatment to Kamala Harris and Nikki Haley that was meted out to common Indian citizens, if it could lay its […]

Farrukh writes
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Assault on Democracy with a capital D

(First appeared on January 09, 2021) In Lev Grossman’s The Magicians trilogy, which was subsequently made into a TV series, all magic flows from a wellspring in an imaginary world called Fillory, which is a rip-off of CS Lewis’ Narnia. Now the question is where […]

Farrukh writes
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Doval’s playground

(First appeared on January 02, 2021) For any intelligence operative, Modi’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval has a rather asymmetric presence on the internet. Just search his name on YouTube and you get a huge number of videos. The whole thing has a whiff of […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 1 yr

While you were sleeping

(First appeared on December 26, 2020) The recent exposé by the EU DisinfoLab pertaining to an Indian propaganda network functioning around the world is mindboggling. Since the publication of the report, many good commentaries have been written and I will not bore you with repetition. […]

Farrukh writes
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Technology, security and paranoia

(First appeared on December 19, 2020) In this age of conspiracy theories, endless conjecture, and massive disinformation campaigns it is rather surprising that the paranoia about emerging technology has taken a backseat. One reason could be that the companies and people who own, invent, and […]

Farrukh writes
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A theory of everything extreme

(First published on December 12, 2020) India is witnessing a fresh round of protests. Indian farmer unions are protesting to demand the repeal of three laws for the past two months. As expected, the BJP government has used the national mainstream media to malign protesters […]

Farrukh writes
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Principle-centered leadership

(First appeared on December 05, 2020) If you are reading this piece expecting a discussion on Stephen Covey’s book with the same title, please stop. It is not about that. Nor does it concern the topics that usually come under discussion whenever the word is […]

Farrukh writes
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Learning in the time of corona

(First appeared on November 28, 2020) While politics keeps distracting us we should never lose sight of the extraordinary times we live in. As the dreaded second wave of Covid-19 sweeps the country and other parts of the world it is plain that a fatigue […]

Farrukh writes
0 9 min 1 yr

Arc of the immoral universe

(First appeared on November 21, 2020) Reading president Obama’s new book took me back to that November night in 2008 when after eight years of Cheney’s endless wars we heard that an anti-war African-American man had won in the world’s most powerful democracy. It was […]

Farrukh writes
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America needs constant vigilance

(First appeared on November 14, 2020) Are you surprised by the drama that is slowly unfolding in the US election? Some parts can be easily explained. Yet there are others which may seem very similar to what goes on in our neck of the woods. […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 1 yr

A lethal mix of prejudices

(First published on November 07, 2020) As you read these lines, vote counting continues in the United States. Do we know who is going to win by the end of the prolonged political and legal battle? No. Do we have an idea who might? Yes. […]

Farrukh writes
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Have you been pilled yet?

(First published on October 24th, 2020) In 2018, when little Zainab’s tragic case surfaced, a rather astonishing debate took hold of the media discourse. A doctor turned televangelist turned media executive and political commentator was adamant that the perpetrator of this heinous crime was the […]

Farrukh writes
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On banning women

(First published on October 17, 2020) A well-known investigative journalist recently took a screengrab of a female workout instructor from a TV morning show and tagged Prime Minister Imran Khan in a tweet urging him to ban on-air vulgarity. The woman in the tweeted picture […]

Farrukh writes
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The worst is yet to come

(First published on October 10, 2020) Donald Trump has Covid. The United States president is considered the most powerful man on the planet. And yet a microbe infinitely smaller than him plunged the world’s pre-eminent power into a crisis. The seriousness of this crisis will […]

Farrukh writes
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The hinge of prejudice

(First published on October 3rd, 2020) On September 30, a special court in Lucknow robbed India of its democratic credentials. Democracies usually have fully functioning institutions where some semblance of impartiality is always maintained. The verdict of the Babri Masjid demolition case, which came after […]

Farrukh writes
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Binding the wounds of division

(First published on September 26th, 2020) “When she was two years old, she would lift her hands over her head and say very sweetly, “Dada, up.” His friends expressed surprise. The baby was polite. “It’s not politeness,” her father told them. “She used to scream […]

Farrukh writes
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Writing a clash

(First published on September 19th, 2020) There is something in Orson Welles’ acting, directorial and writing debut film, Citizen Kane , which defies logic. For one, after 79 years of its release, many critics still consider it the greatest film ever made. For two, in an industry […]

Farrukh writes
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What keeps Modi in power?

(First published on September 12th, 2020) When coronavirus panic struck the world, populist leaders in many countries were averse to shutting down the economy. On the one side there was the myth of strongman mystique, on the other a genuine concern for the financial wellbeing […]

Farrukh writes
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That’s what’s wrong with the opposition!

(First published on September 5th, 2020) When last week I wrote that two men, Asif Ali Zardari and Shahbaz Sharif, had brought their respective parties to their knees I had little idea that the opposition leader in the National Assembly, who has often taken leave […]

Farrukh writes
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What is wrong with the opposition?

(First published on August 29th, 2020) Do you get the feeling that something weird is going on with the two major opposition parties? That whenever they plan to challenge the government, a switch flips and they are found rubber-stamping every treasury bill that comes their […]

Farrukh writes
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Fool’s perdition

(First published on August 22nd, 2020) One of my favourite pastimes these days is to see Pakistanis underestimate their country. In a nation given to strong mood swings, this is to be expected. But when the negative perceptions transform into automatic negative thoughts (ANTs) and […]

Farrukh writes
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Kashmir policy today

(First published on August 15th, 2020) This piece reaches you on August 15 — India’s Independence Day, and a day after Pakistan celebrates its freedom. This piece addresses neither. Not directly at least. It is about Kashmir and how far it is from freedom. It […]

Farrukh writes
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Modi unleashed

(First published on August 8th, 2020) Prescience and foresight are the most fetching attributes of wisdom. Two mundane examples come to one’s mind. The first is of the American television series House of Cards. Before it came to an unseemly end, it highlighted two important trends […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 1 yr

Pakistan’s actual fault lines

(First published on August 1st, 2020) If you are a Pakistani fascinated by the country’s history there is a good chance you have been brought up on a controlled diet. There is one narrative that is set by the state. The one that starts with […]

Farrukh writes
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Blinded by colours

(First published on July 25th, 2020) NYC Comedian Ryan Long came up with a brilliant video in which two men, one woke one racist are discussing matters pertaining to colour and race. The racist among them announces very proudly that they agree on everything. And […]

Farrukh writes
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Best laid international plans

(First published on July 18, 2020) You must have encountered a host of theories in international relations (IR). Realism, idealism, Marxism, constructivism, critical theory, postmodernism, feminism, and on. Realism like many others has given birth to a number of sub-categories. President Trump calls his version […]

Farrukh writes
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Nazi time travel cipher

(First published on July 11th, 2020) For someone who spends a remarkable amount of time reading and researching fascist literature, I feel very fortunate this propaganda never appeals to me. To defeat their seduction all you have to do is know where the ciphers are […]

Farrukh writes