Dance Is How I Get Close to God: An Interview with Dancer and Upcoming Actress Isha Farha

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Born into a family where art is a compulsion, Isha Farha started learning dance at the age of three from her mother, Kalamandalam Haseena. She is now adept in various Indian dance forms, including Bharathnatayam , Mohiniyattam, and Kuchipudi. She won the title of Kalathilakam in 2008 for excellence in the field of Bharathnatyam, Mohiniyattam, Kuchipudy, folkdance, one-act play and storytelling. She is the founder of the dance teaching institute Bharatha Bharathi.An engineer by profession, … [Read more...]

Use a “Muslim Woman”: Reasserting Dutch Values 101

Source: Hivos.

A few weeks ago, I went to a small, local cinema in my city to catch a film. I’ve always liked going to this particular cinema because they screen international and independent films – a fresh change from the standard Hollywood fare at the bigger cinema.The film was about to start, so I quickly ducked into the ladies’. After I washed my hands, imagine my shock at seeing the following poster pasted behind the door:The text on the poster says (in Dutch): “This woman is a symbol for all … [Read more...]

Between Sainu and Shahina: A character sketch of two Muslim women characters in Indian Cinema

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With the recent controversy surrounding  Arabi Kalayanam (the term used to describe the practice of marrying  young girls from Kerala, India to Arab men for a lesser dowry), and legalizing marriage for Muslim girls younger than 18 years of age, I was reminded of T.V Chandran’s 2003 movie, Padam Onnu Oru Vilapam (Chapter One: A Wail). It is probably the only Malayalam movie which dives deeply into the multiple social evils that are still prevalent among Muslims in the Malabar community of Ker … [Read more...]

Age Is Not Just a Number: A Look into the Recent Controversy about Legalizing Child Marriages among Kerala Muslims

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The last few months have witnessed an uproar in my home state, Kerala, surrounding the government’s release of a circular legalizing the registration of marriages of Muslim women younger than 18 years old and Muslim men younger than 21 years old. India, though a secular country, allows Muslims to follow the Muslim Personal Law in all civil matters. This is one of the reasons why a Muslim man can legally marry up to four wives, and can divorce his wife with the triple talaq, while a person of any … [Read more...]

Of Indian Marriage Laws and Conversions: The Case of Saifeena

Kareena Kapoor & Saif Ali Khan (left) and Sharmila Tagore & Mansur Ali Khan (right)

Celebrity marriages always come with a lot of public anticipation, and this was the case with the wedding of Saif Ali Khan and  Kareena Kapoor, who after five years of  a very public courtship, married on Oct 2012. However, the speculation surrounding the relationship didn’t end post-marriage. Apart from being India’s heartthrob, Saif Ali Khan was crowned the Nawab of Pataudi in 2011, after his father’s death. The Nawab of Pataudi is considered to be the Islamic religious head in the state of Pat … [Read more...]

Pakistan: A Country of One Color?

Fair & Lovely ad. Source: theshadeofbeauty.wordpress.com/

 This post was written by guest contributor Emaan Majed. On my grandmother’s dresser, there is a pink tube of cleverly marketed whitening cream. She applies it daily, despite being quite pale, despite claiming to hate the colonizers from whom it stems, despite being a health-freak and knowing that it contains hints of mercury. My grandmother is not unlike many Pakistani women in this aspect. My progressive, liberal, ‘I have never done a racist thing in my life’ aunts each own a bottle. Th … [Read more...]

Sania Mirza: A Pride or Disgrace to Indian Muslims

Sania Mirza. [Source].

Sania Mirza is a source of pride in India. She is the first Indian woman to:Win a WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) tour title of any kind Win a Grandslam Title Surpass US $1m in career earningsShe has also won the Arjuna Award, which is the highest sports honour in India, and the Padma Shri, which is the fourth highest civilian award in India; she was  named one of the “50 heroes of Asia” by Time Magazine, and named by The Economic Times in the list of "33 women who made India proud" … [Read more...]


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