Narratives is a remarkable magazine that offers a highly in-depth analysis of all important events happening in Pakistan and around the world. Even though we are constantly linked with the world through television and social media, we should still read magazines to acquaint ourselves with expert opinion.
I am glad to know that Narratives also highlights problems faced by the media industry, so I would recommend it to my media fraternity as well, besides the general public.
My best wishes to Narratives and its entire team.
Regardless of Joseph Biden’s impressive victory over President Donald Trump in the 2020 US Presidential elections, Trump’s poisonous legacy will remain because its origins date back to the birth of the United States itself. White supremacy constitutes the American skeleton’s bones, giving structure to our institutions, our culture, and our global power. We are a nation born from the genocide of indigenous people and the enslavement of Black people — sins which we gladly profited from, but never atoned for.
The Biden presidency is simply a return to the status quo in which the wealthy elite continues to profit off the labour of the middle and working-class people. In a country that is often touted as one of the richest and the most powerful globally, our stagnant wages, high rates of homelessness and hunger, and lack of access to healthcare are unacceptable. If Biden wants to eliminate Trump’s legacy of white supremacy, xenophobia, climate change denial, lies and scandals, he needs to start by implementing tangible policy changes that improve the quality of life for the average American. For a corporate, moderate Democrat, however, this sadly seems like quite a radical stretch.
Rewinding the Past
In 2020, people across the nation were reminded of their origins through two amazing Turkish period dramas: Dirilis: Ertugrul (Resurrection: Ertugrul) and Yunus Emre: Askin Yolculugu (Yunus Emre: The Journey of Love).
When Pakistanis were feeling really low due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, these dramas emerged as a relieving and sane distraction. Both series revive the Muslim roots in terms of tradition, culture, morals and values that have been undermined by the invasion of western norms. While trying to acquaint oneself with the ambience of the 13th century, Muslims in Pakistan and beyond not only become invigorated but feel the urge to redefine and restore the pristine beauty of Islam. While Ertugrul depicts the weaponry, tactics and fighting skills used by our Muslim forefathers, Yunus Emre portrays the various aspects of human intellect and instinct, alongside spreading the message of centring our lives around the Creator. As the lives of the characters unfold and intertwine in both the series, one finds one’s self-reflecting on one’s own way of life.
Share the Workload
COVID-19 has impacted all strata of society. Labourers and the working-classes are stricken by poverty due to prolonged lockdowns, many businesses have had to close shop. Incidentally, there is one distressed segment of society that has never found an honourable mention in the list of Covid’s victims. These are the working women and homemakers.
Homemakers in our country have full-time, unpaid jobs and there is no recognition of this work by their spouses. Surprisingly, it is only the men who are deemed to be the breadwinners of the family but the reality is that more and more women have taken up the challenge to support their husbands financially. However, COVID-19 has taken the maximum toll on such women, who have to manage their time effectively and efficiently by keeping their children’s school schedules and fulfilling their own work commitments. They are constantly juggling everything, all at once.
And now that both the husbands and the kids are parked in the house, these women are facing a real burnout, as their workload has quadrupled. It’s time the men in our society realised this, shed their conservative views on gender-specific roles, and helped in the household chores.
Congratulations to the Narratives team for launching a quality magazine. From content to presentation and printing, everything is top-notch. Hopefully, the publication will present the readers with an alternative narrative that is missing from the mainstream media, especially the English print media. With the decline in the print media and the absence of any noteworthy monthly, Narratives will certainly make a mark very soon and establish itself as a trustworthy publication — one without any vested interest. I wish the team all the best and pray that it becomes a must-read for Pakistan’s policymakers, as well as its ordinary citizens.
Unfortunately, the politico-religious parties of Pakistan do not have the intellect to define governance. Their mindset is such that they lack the basic understanding to gauge Pakistani society’s sociological construct. Their actions reflect a herd mentality, contradicting all logical approaches to an issue. This mindset has inflicted significant damage on our country.
The radical stance of the Tehrik-e-Labbaik Ya Rasullah party’s deceased leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi, on the Asia Bibi blasphemy case, was proof of his fanatical mindset. Additionally, his party’s infamous Faizabad dharna (sit-in) resulted in a nationwide emergency. Then, we have before us the example of Maulana Fazlur Rehman of JUI-F who misused massive funds allocated to the Kashmir Committee of the National Assembly, when he was the committee’s head honcho. He now has the gall to accuse Imran Khan of selling-out on Kashmir.
If politico-religious parties like the TLP and the JUI-F come to power, they will replace the current democratic system with totalitarianism — an antithesis to pluralist Islam. They will turn mosques and madrassahs into breeding grounds for religious extremism. In my view, they must not be given a chance to rule Pakistan.
The Battle Rages On
Lately, a coronavirus variant, known as SARS-CoV-2 VOC 202012/01 or B.1.1.7, is the talk of the town. The mutated strain was first detected in September 2020; it is now prevalent in London and Southeast England and is responsible for 60 percent of their recent infections. Another strain, independent of the aforementioned variant, is emerging in South Africa and Nigeria as well. With every passing day, the scenario is becoming more and more alarming not only for the people but also the authorities. What’s more, the medical staff and the scientists are not absolutely sure whether the current vaccine would work against the new strain or not.
While the world is not yet completely rid of COVID-19, another battle awaits them, in the form of B.1.1.7.
One less problem
While Karachi continues to face numerous problems, there is something still encouraging and noteworthy. Lately, the electric vehicle industry in the country has started to flourish. In order to ensure the expansion of this industry, which will lead to a cleaner and greener Karachi, three electric vehicle charging stations have been established in the metropolis. The initiative is the result of a combined effort by Shell and K-Electric. It has been announced that the aforementioned companies will strategically expand the electric vehicle charging network in the next three to five years. Amidst other issues surrounding Karachi, thereby hindering its progress, this emerges as a breath of relief for Karachiites.
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