Monday, December 22, 2008

Dr. Zeenat Sajida - RIP

Dr. Zeenar Sajida, who was a well know Urdu scholar from Hyderabad, India, died on December 4th, 2008.

May her soul rest in piece.

Click here for the obits:

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Yahaan Hamaaree Kya Zaroorath Hai?

There's a line in one of the greatest "Bollywood" classics, written by the scions of a couple of the greatest South Asian literary families--sons of Urdu poets, to be precise--and delivered by a minor but unforgettable character, "Surma Bhopali" that goes "Yahaan hamaaree kya zaroorath hai; yahaan tho waisay hee aap kay naam ka warrant nikla huwa hai." [Who needs me? There's already a warrant out for your arrest.]

And that's the thought that's being going through my head as South Asia spirals downwards, some folks caution against jumping to conclusions, and others rally for peace. And I include the arguments over "Islamists did it. No, wait! Let's not jump to conclusions; it could be home grown!..." in that

How is it realistic to look at everything as either-or? The mess South Asia is in--not to mention the rest of the world--there's enough blame to go around. Neo-purist fanatics (our Islamist/Jihadists; their Sanghis; our--speaking from North America--Christian and Jewish fanatics); civilizing imperialists; ethnic militants (Sena, MQM, racists of white and other hue); everybody's jingoistic nationalists; everybody's military-industrial-intelligence complexes...all feed off each other. In some cases, they work with each other. Just for example, Is it too much of a stretch to believe that what is happening in Karachi (in case either of you missed it) is being helped along by Indian Intelligence (and who knows who else) as a counterpoint to what they see as Pakistani Intelligence "doing Mumbai"? From where I sit, what's happening in the NW of Pakistan also has elements of a turf battle.

And as we all participate in this circular firing squad--including the agonizing over Muslims being targeted or profiled--the folks I list above make leaps and bounds in the struggle for the hearts and minds of their respective target constituencies...

And PS: how many noticed there were riots in the prettiest town in Africa's largest nation, too? Rally anyone?

Cross-posted on the iFaqeer, Wadiblog,, Pak Tea House, Urdu ke Naam, Doodpatti, by Tohfay, blogs.
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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ahmad Faraz, RIP; حق مغفِرت کرے، اجب ازاد مرد تہا

If there was every a time to to invoke the old line "Haq maghfirath karay, ajab azaad mard th-haa", it is today, as we mourn the passing of a titan.

From The News:
Legendary poet Ahmed Faraz passes away
Updated at: 1720 PST, Thursday, July 17, 2008

CHICAGO: Renowned poet and literary figure of Pakistan Ahmed Faraz died of kidneys failure here at a local hospital on Thursday.

He was under treatment at a hospital in Chicago.
Update: The news report was inaccurate. The rumours of his death, to quote another great writer, were greatly exaggerated. Please see here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Azad Karachi Radio Program 010, February 20, 2008 - آزاد کراچی ریڈیو پروگرام شمار ۱۰

Program 10 of Azad Karachi Radio is now online, the first of 2008 has guest Mehdi Hasnain join iFaqeer and Cemendtaur to discuss the American Elections, the Pakistani situation and events with Ayesha Siddiqa in California as well as a media item.

The program mentions, amongst other things:
Program 10 of Azad Karachi Radio is available here:

Formally speaking, Azad Karachi Radio is produced out of Silicon Valley and is a service of Azad South Asia, a collaborative media effort initiated by yours truly and Cemendtaur. You can reach the team at or leave comments on either this blog or at Azad Karachi Radio.

Again, please leave comments, feedback, suggestions, and other input by posting comments on our blog pages or via email at

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