Saturday, May 28, 2011

Burqa and Bikini

The two represent the farthest possible political/ cultural inclinations of societies of this planet called Earth. The opponents and proponents of both these clothing wear are suspicious like hell of each other. Both suspect that the other is against their 'identity' and of what they stand for. Religious beliefs, culture superiority, political ideologies are thrashed out in discussions - each trying to score over the another. Beneath all the facade of arguments and ideologues - is an entity called woman.

One thing is for sure - burqa now represents 'oppression' of womenfolk. Muslims and Islam as a religion in particular are criticized for it. Arguments for 'enslavement' are common. Muslim women are trained to 'not think', they just are not aware that burqa/ pardah is a form of oppression. If pardah is abhorrent.. burqa (all enveloping one) is evil. French know that. They even banned it. Some 2000 women in France that don burqa have no clue what torment of a life theirs is. They are being forced to wear burqa. They should have the choice to wear what they want to wear and should not be bound by any religious injunction.

Sound arguments I must say.

But then I get to see this.

This file photo shows a group of women golf caddies at the Tangcheng golf course in Shanghai's Pudong district. China's golf officials are urging players to show their "beautiful side" -- by wearing brightly coloured shirts and skirts -- to boost the sport's profile and marketing potential, the China Daily said.
(Source: Yahoo! News of 28th May 2011)

And a news like this.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has introduced a new dress code, which comes into effect from May 1 and requires all female players to wear skirts or dresses in Grand Prix tournaments and above "to ensure attractive presentation of badminton" (Link)

Which makes me wonder... what the hell is going on? The dress code in Badminton was introduced to raise the 'profile of the game', I discussed it in my post Badminton's Conundrum. The Chines women caddies are being told to wear bright skirts and to show their 'beautiful side' (whatever that is) to boost the sports profile and marketing potential.

If you talk about burqa and religion, the argument is that women are being told to do so because it is good. Here, they are being told to wear skirts for a some other reason. The thing is that women are being told in either case. (yes I know Islam 'enforces' it because women are slaves. thank you). Still. 

Does anybody care to let women know what they want? Yes I know its a stupid question because no one knows what women want but lets just ask it anyways. How is the extreme right different from the extreme left? Both 'advise' women to do something which would be beneficial for them. The guys of badminton believe women can even earn more in this world whereas muslims (who go for burqa) believe women can earn more in afterlife.

What should be banned? The Burqa, Skirt or the mentality of telling others what to do? Seems like everyone knows what is better for women except women themselves.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

PostMan's Conclusion on Female Drivers

They just cant reverse.

PostMan's Musings on 'PostMan's Conclusion on Female Drivers'

The number of men who can't reverse is the same as the number of women that can reverse.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Osama and Pakistan

Osama Bin Laden has left the building. Well, taken away to be precise, from the building known as 'Waziristan Mansion', smack-dab adjacent to the premier training institute of Pakistan Army, Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) Kakul. Well, if you are a Pakistani and appear red faced, there is reason for it. Pakistan has been humiliated.

Humiliated by the US - who produced Osama after a 10 year man hunt, in the most secure and scenic of Pakistani cities - Abbottabad (my parental hometown by the way. I have been taking dips in Ilyasi Mosque waters adjacent to PMA when I was a kid). Flabbergasted is an understatement. What the Americans did with Mister Osama Bin Laden afterwards (water boarded err thrown in sea) was a plain hogwash. Buried in sea according to Islamic traditions?! Ridiculous. They should have produced his body for the whole world to see and then should have done the needful. They could have captured him alive, since he was unarmed, but the Navy Seals did not choose to and hence the conclusion.

Was the guy who got killed really Osama? Did the Americans kill him before and now just enacted a drama? Did they place his dead body in Abbottabad? Why are they not showing his pictures? Why they buried him in sea? Good questions. Not enough material for answers. Unfortunately, all these questions are being asked by Pakistanis alone. The rest of the world thinks we are plain thugs. Notwithstanding the fact that around 30,000 Pakistanis have lost their lives due to terrorism, 2000 soldiers have died, economy has been ruined and that world still asks us to do more. Their blood is valued more of course. And that sucks.

The reason it sucks further is because of another entity in this scene - our military establishment. Well you can be forgiven if you think that our intelligence guys switch off the lights of their rooms and sleep at 9 p.m. Well it appears, indeed they do so because nobody knew that Americans came in from Afghanistan, got their man and then left just as easily. The only person who knew something was wrong in Abbottabad was a techy from Lahore who was twittering the event around 1 a.m. Certainly could not have been a local from Abbottabad... they retire to bed around 9 too.

Pakistanis can not just believe that Americans came, did what they did and our guys did not even know. The usual 'W' questions of What, When, Where and How are followed by 'What the Hell?' Sure the Americans pulled a nice one on Pakistanis - 'ingress of US helicopters into Pakistani airspace was not detected, because they (the US) know the location of our radars and have terrain maps. They can make permutations to avoid our radars by flying low and using the mountains'. Its just like in school when your buddies pull the chair from under you when you are about to sit on it an thus fall down and then every body has a laugh. Only in this case its not funny.  Pakistanis just did not assume that the chair would be pulled away from their underside by the Americans. Well they did. And it hurts.

Then there is the question of whether ISI was protecting Osama Bin Laden or was just not aware of him. I would go for the latter and I have some evidence too. Just look at Pakistanis. The humiliated looks - army and civilian.  This is what happens if 'Osama is found in your backyard'! Who would want that?! Pakistan will not harbour Al-Qaeda. It can give protection to Taliban - note the fact that only certain factions of Taliban and not the whole lot because they kick army's posterior even within Pakistan. In fact Pakistan has been instrumental in capturing Al-Qaeda cadres. All the chicken in that Guantanamo farm were provided by Pakistan - and the generals pocketed US$s as bounty money as conceded by Pervez Musharraf in his book 'In The Line of Fire'. Can somebody now check how much amount was provided and where did it go?

Pervez Hoodbhoy wants us to believe that Pakistanis had hid Osama Bin Laden because 'Bin Laden was the ‘Golden Goose’ that the army had kept under its watch but which, to its chagrin, has now been stolen from under its nose.' Really? We kept him just to get bounty money? US$ 25 million? What will this amount of money get us? Its peanuts for heavens sakes. The military gets a billion $s annually from US. $25 million? Ne. Did the civillian leadership get the money? Well, the Americans are bit stingy in this regard. They not only pay the Coalition Support Fund (CSF), the cost of war being run on their behalf by Pakistan Army in the tribal areas, late but also the civilian aid package, under the Kerry Lugar Bill, is not properly fulfilled. They have released only US$ 350 million since 2009 and always trumpet '1.5 BILLION DOLLARS ANNUALLY AID' . In CAPS too. What good was Osama for Pakistan anyways? If Pakistanis wanted a favour, was not President Obama's election year the best opportunity? Or Pakistan Army wanted to keep Osama so that Americans don't leave this place and they keep receiving aid? Trust me, even army wants the US out of this place because then they can focus their attention on India again and take troops out of tribal belt. So Osama was of no use to Pakistan.

Then you have to consider the incompetence of our intelligence network. Apart from not detecting US Choppers, which were there for couple of hours in Pakistan, we could not detect OBL who was living there for 5 years! and that too in Abbottabad! Good Lord! Agreed that ISI may have shared the data with CIA regarding that compound, the CIA guys built up on that data and got hold of Osama. They got successful on this one - they were a failure when US was attacked on their own soil and Twin Towers were taken down. Kinda like same for ISI. Not that the humiliation would go away any time soon. The common joke in Pakistan is that Pakistani radars are for sale, though they cant detect enemy aircraft, at least they will show satellite channels.

Then there is this discussion in some areas of the world that a similar kind of attack can be launched by another country on Pakistan to take out a particular target. Pakistan seems to be the obvious victim, what nobody is thinking about and everyone should take a leaf out of Pakistani humiliation is that any country with advanced technology can get in your territory and take her Osama Bin Laden out. Remember, every country has a certain Osama that the other country wants. So protect your rear before thinking of going in someone else's territory. Further, when you are sleeping with a Super Power, remember to use protection. 'CIA did not share the data with us' just does not cut it. You should have your eyes and ears open.

Anyways... farewell Mr. Osama. Thanks to you we were screwed when you were alive and now we are screwed as you are dead. May Lord provide our military rulers some sight to forget about 'strategic depth' as it appears more like'extended posterior' which seeks unnecessary attention and spanking. May Lord also give some sense to our political leaders who keep placing the begging bowl in front of USA for more aid - and humiliation. And may The Lord grant us Pakistanis the courage to pick good politicians in elections. Nothing seems to be in the offing.

Good night and good luck.