Stories about South Asia from August, 2012
India: Dowry And The Boys
Nitisha Pandey at Youth Ki Awaaz discusses the current market rates for grooms in India and asks:
Does a boy’s parents’ give him good education only to get a handsome dowry?
Pakistan: Conflicting Reports in #SaveRimsha Blasphemy Case
The blasphemy law in Pakistan has been the focus of a heated debate yet again, after a minor christian girl named Rimsha was accused of blasphemy and was sent to jail. There have been a few conflicting reports about the case, and the most significant one being a picture of a girl being used, that has now become the face of the #SaveRimsha campaign.
Sri Lanka: The 3rd Annual #TweetupSL is Tomorrow
Indu Nanayakkara informs that the third edition of the annual meet of the Twitter users in Sri Lanka will take place on Saturday, September 1, 2012. Details are here.
Pakistan: Long Road to Peace and Security
As Pakistan enters its 66th year of Independence, it is a good time to take stock of the security situation within the country - in order to understand what role the nation will continue to play in the overall security and stability of the region.
Pakistan: 11-Year-Old Christian Girl Detained for Blasphemy
'We can't repeal blasphemy law. A) mobs would go on vigilante sprees with no qualms & b) cops couldn't stop open shia killing, how this?' - Tweet from a Pakistani Christian blogger.
India: Social Media Censorship to Contain ‘Cyber-Terrorism'?
'Are we going to follow the footsteps of Pakistan and China and turn into a Blockistan?' The Indian government has cracked down on various social media sites; some Facebook pages and Twitter handles have also been blocked.
India: Govt. Guidelines For #SocialMedia Use
"I am quite confident that these guidelines won’t have much of an impact when the Government itself is defying most of them while communicating with people".
India: Social Media Blamed for Fueling Assam Unrest
'A temporary ban was put on bulk SMS and MMS. Local police swung into action and began arresting people forwarding ‘hate' SMS examples. Social media sites were warned to monitor and remove inflammatory content. About 310 webpages were blocked.'
Vibrant Maldives Eid Celebrations – Despite the Political Wrangling
When the Ministry of Islamic Affairs of the Maldives announced that the 2012 morning Eid prayers in the capital Malé were to be celebrated in an open space, it created much controversy and debate. The news was met with skepticism from people who saw it as a political publicity stunt to show numbers, as support for the ruling government.
Pakistan: Government Suspends Mobile Services in Major Cities on Eid
"So whats the guarantee terrorists won't strike tomorrow or the day after? Why not close cell phone services, like forever?" A Pakistani netizen reacts to the temporary cell phone ban, which the government says has been put in place to prevent terrorist attacks.
India: Uraniam Contamination in Jaduguda Kept Classified
Since 1967, the Jaduguda region in the Indian state of Jharkhand has been exploited for its uranium and its people and ecosystem were subjected to uranium poisoning. Anuj Wankhede informs that the locals had not sufficiently warned and rather the uranium contamination in Jaduguda has remained as India's one of...
India: Assam Riots – Truth Vs Hype
In July, clashes between indigenous Bodo tribes and Muslim settlers in the Indian State of Assam broke out which lead to riots, killings and mass displacement. After almost a month the situation is yet to calm down as politicians and organisations on both sides resorted to spread fear and exaggerated claims on the issue of illegal migration.
India: Bullying in Educational Institutions
Mahitha Kasireddi at Youth Ki Awaaz writes about a perennial social problem in Indian higher secondary education and beyond. Ragging or abuse/bullying of the freshers has become a culture in many educational institutions which has even led to death of a newcomer.
India: Government Bans Bulk SMS To Stop Rumors
Medianama reports that the Ministry of Home affairs of India has banned bulk SMS and MMS for a period of 15 days. This directive came after reports revealed that rumors are being spread following violence in Assam, leading to mass exodus of people from the North-East region, from several Indian...
India: Pictures of Varalakshmi Vratham Festival
Anuradha Shankar posts a photo essay on the Varalakshmi Vratham (a festival to propitiate the goddess Lakshmi), which is popular in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamilnadu.
Nepal: KFC and Pizza Hut closed in Nepal
Chandan Sapkota informs that the closure of KFC and Pizza Hut in Nepal due to militancy shown by ad-hoc committee of All Nepal Hotel and Restaurant Workers Union-Revolutionary (ANHRWU-R) will have impact in the foreign investment in the country.
Pakistan: Shia Target Killings Continue
On August 16, 2012, gunmen stopped a passenger bus in Mansehra, pulled 20 Shia Muslims off and killed them in cold blood. This is the third incident of targeted killing against the Shia community in Pakistan in the last 6 months. A netizen comments: "Imagine if the first target killing incident in #Pakistan was dealt with judiciously, we would not have been mourning #gilgit today!"
Pakistan: Attack on Military Base in Kamra
In the early hours of August 16, 2012, gunmen launched an attack on Minhas, a high value air force base located in Kamra, near the capital Islamabad in Pakistan. After a fierce battle that lasted five hours, Pakistan's military was able to regain control of the base.
Sri Lanka: Time To Rethink The School Examination System
Serendipity questions the lack of credibility of the School Examination System in Sri Lanka and relates how that is contributing to the growing unemployment in the country.
Pakistan: Economics And Secularism
Ayusyha Khanna at Pak Tea House argues that if Pakistan truly wants to realize its potential as far as economic performance is concerned, then it should adopt secularism to create an atmosphere of peace.
Bhutan: Women Talents Galore
Tenziniesta at Writers Association Of Bhutan Blog celebrates the recent feats of women in Bhutan. For the the first time a female Dzongda was elected and the Supreme Court of Bhutan has a newly appointed female Justice. The Anti Corruption Commission of Bhutan is headed by an woman and guess...