The Day I turned 24….

My birthday – 3rd July – has always been a very happening way! For one thing, there is always the FIFA World Cup every 4 years to look forward to, and always always the Quarter Finals happen to be on that day! Then there have been the time that I was in Kashmir with my friends, and we went for my birthday to Chikar – an artificial lake developed after the 2005 Earthquake in Kashmir.

The Birthday in Kashmir

There was the one when me and my family went to Pizza hut, and the waiter fell over singing “Happy Birthday” – that was one hilarious sight!

I had been overly excited about this birthday.. I mean I am always excited about my birthdays but this time it was special. I had just completed my first freelance project and it looked superb. Plans were discussed for weeks about where we should go out for dinner, wish list for my gifts were prepared by me and then handed out to people.. But never during imagining all of this had i thought that my plans would have to be cancelled because of my neighbor’s 20-year-old daughter. Continue reading

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DAWN.COM | Front Page | Is there life after democracy?

While we’re still arguing about whether there’s life after death, can we add another question to the cart? Is there life after democracy? What sort of life will it be? By democracy I don’t mean democracy as an ideal or an aspiration. I mean the working model: Western liberal democracy, and its variants, such as they are. So, is there life after democracy?

Attempts to answer this question often turn into a comparison of different systems of governance, and end with a somewhat prickly, combative defence of democracy. It’s flawed, we say. It isn’t perfect, but it’s better than everything else that’s on offer. Inevitably, someone in the room will say: ‘Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia . . . is that what you would prefer?’

The question here, really, is what have we done to democracy? What have we turned it into? What happens once democracy has been used up? When it has been hollowed out and emptied of meaning? What happens when each of its institutions has metastasised into something dangerous? What happens now that democracy and the Free Market have fused into a single predatory organism with a thin, constricted imagination that revolves almost entirely around the idea of maximising profit? Continue reading