Bomb blast in a hospital kills 63 in Pakistan

This terror attack was on a hospital. It happened at a time when mourners were gathering at the hospital  hearing the news of gunning down of a lawyer. Most of them killed were lawyers. Police say it might have been a suicide attack.

This happened in the biggest civil hospital in Quetta, the capital,of troubled Balochistan province. Balochistan has a history of lingering separatist problem and also Islamist violence. No one has claimed responsibility yet.

 At least 63 people were killed and over 40 others were injured when a bomb exploded inside Quetta’s Civil Hospital on Monday.

The blast, followed by firing, occurred as mourners gathered at the hospital after president of Balochistan Bar Association Advocate Bilal Anwar Kasi was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Quetta.

Image credit : AFP

Image credit : AFP

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A protest meeting against assault on a writer

My town Palakkad saw on this Sunday a protest meeting. It was against the cruel attack, presumably carried out by Islamist fundamentalist group on an upcoming writer Jimshar that took place near here on July 24th. His “crime” was giving a name to his book that did not please the Islamists.

The meeting was organised by the local chapter of Yukthivadi Sangham, the rationalist organisation. It was inaugurated by member of Indian Parliament (MP) and Communist Party of India leader M B Rajesh. The local member of Kerala legislative assembly (MLA) Shafi Parambil belonging to the Congress party also participated. Jimshar could not come due to his injuries.

M B Rajesh inaugurating the meet. Image credit : Malayala Manorama

M B Rajesh inaugurating the meet.
Image credit : Malayala Manorama

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Celebrating the Olympic spirit

The Olympics is here again. As usual there are many question marks raised about conducting a costly and lavish extravaganza in a country with lot of poverty around. Also questions are raised about the ability of such a country to organise such a mega event. But unsurprisingly it is the not so well off people of Brazil who are welcoming it more than the rich.


Here, the spectacle of the Olympics seems distant and surreal. While VIPs watched Friday night’s Opening Ceremonies inside Maracana Stadium, the two million people who live in Rio’s 1,000 favelas watched on TVs jury-rigged to electrical lines. The Copacabana beach volleyball venue is less than half a mile from Chapeu Mangueira, but that is as close as residents will get to Rio’s Games, which are costing $6 billion in a city that is in such financial straits it can’t afford to pay its police officers, stock its hospital pharmacies or provide toilet paper to schools.

Still, the people who live in Chapeu Mangueira — named after a hat factory that used to stand on this site — and the adjacent Babilonia favela seem more excited about hosting the Olympics than their richer neighbors down the hill in Leme.

“Ever since I was a child I dreamed about what it would be like to have the Olympics in Rio,” said David Bispo, who was a torch bearer during the relay when it passed through the city on Thursday. “Now is the time to value the Olympics and appreciate how sports can bring people together.”

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Even a Cow affairs minister could not save those cows

Rajasthan, a state in north west India is unique in the world. It’s government has a department and minister for Cow affairs. Establishment of such a ministry was the poll promise of Hindutva party, the BJP. After being elected to power again, the party duly set up a department for Cow affairs and appointed Otaram Devasi as the minister.

Now you may think the story of cows in the state will be that of glory and splendour. Unfortunately it was the opposite.

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Bezwada Wilson gets a very deserving award

When he was just out of school he was appalled and disgusted to see workers doing manual scavenging of human excreta from dry latrines. When he conveyed his disgust to his parents they revealed that they were also doing the same job. It was shocking for him to know that he belonged to a”thotti” (manual scavenger) family. He contemplated suicide, but somehow decided to live on.

That day in 1986 changed his life, and saw the beginning of a movement that will liberate lakhs of manual scavengers all over India. It will also result in him, Bezwada Wilson, getting the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay award for 2016.

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South Asian version of patriarchy in Norway

One of the several telephonic conversations between mother of a prospective bride and parents looking for brides for their sons among a South Asian community in Norway.


Free trial before wedding

I saw your daughter’s Twitter account.


She seems too engaged and active.

Yes, she is interested in social justice issues.

My older son is married to a doctor. And we only let her work a few days a week so she is able to take care of us and run the household. I am a doctor and my two sons are doctors. Women in our family don’t need to worry about money.

I see?

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Poor tribals languishing in jail for eating wild meat

Those living here are the most impoverished, under nourished and  illiterate among the population of my state of Kerala. Most of them inhabit areas in and around forests. They live by gathering food from the forests or by crude cultivation in small patches of land adjacent to forests.They used to hunt wild animals before. But with strict anti hunting laws adopted to preserve wild life they are not allowed to do that now.

Due to acute malnutrition in the region, premature births and infant deaths have become a routine in Attappady. Photo shows children at South Kadampara tribal hamlet in Sholayur gram panchayat, Attappady. Photo: Thulasi Kakkat

Due to acute malnutrition in the region, premature births and infant deaths have become a routine in Attappady. Photo shows children at South Kadampara tribal hamlet in Sholayur gram panchayat, Attappady. Photo: Thulasi Kakkat, The Hindu.

I am talking about tribal people living in Attappady region of my district. More than 90 % of them are below India’s officially recognised poverty line. Most of them never get two square meals a day. Deaths due to under nutrition are common here. This comparative graph on Human Development index tells you the abysmal state.

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