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Aggression, abuse and addiction: we need a social media detox - Dotemirates
3 month 2 week

Aggression, abuse and addiction: we need a social media detox

It’s August, when the talk is of holidays looming or just gone — and yet the question I find myself asking is not where, but whether.I’m less interested in where friends or colleagues are going than whether they will fully unplug. Will they stay off their phones and, specifically, off Twitter and Facebook?I’m filled with admiration for the pal who stayed off the tweets a full month, only now gradually re-entering that realm, blinking into the darkness. That took some serious willpower. How funny to think that we once regarded the humble email device as addictive — the CrackBerry, we...


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Opinion News

1 week 5 day

Statue of Unity and the art of appropriation

The Statue of Unity to valorise Sardar Patel — India’s first deputy prime minister, the ‘Iron Man’ who unified India — brings to mind two contrasting poems. Percy Bysshe Shelley’s ‘My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!’ and Emma Lazarus’s ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free’.The Statue of Unity, is four times as tall as the Statue of Liberty, but the Lady in the harbour is symbolically the taller structure for it speaks to our better nature. Tribal leader Chotu Vasava asks: “I am not...

Pakistan’s blasphemy laws open to misuse

As the world’s second-largest religion with more than 1.8 billion followers, Islam has spread to all corners of the globe. However, it has come under recurring attacks, more so since the events surrounding the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, in the United States. The religion of peace was wilfully maligned by those non-Muslims who had very little understanding of the true meaning of this Abrahamic faith, and soon the word ‘Islamophobia’ crept into our dictionaries — a term conveying a negative perception and suspicion of anything Islamic.But while non-Muslims can be excused for their ignorance, what excuse do we...

Saudi Arabia is resilient and strong

It has been a rough few weeks for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Millions spent on western public relations firms failed to stave the outpouring of sharp and biting accusations against the kingdom, following the death of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist living in the United States and writing for the Washington Post. He was in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, formalising some paperwork for his upcoming marriage to a Turkish national when he disappeared.Indeed, Saudi Arabia was not spared seconds or even given an opportunity to state its case before knives were being sharpened and vitriol spent by western...

Israel continues to flout rules with impunity

One has to be indebted to B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, for revealing the sinister Israeli policy of occupying Palestinian land, particularly in the West Bank. At the UN Security Council last week, B’Tselem Executive Director Hagai El Ad presented an expose that showed how successive Israeli governments, especially Benjamin Netanyahu’s, have been redrawing the historic map of the Palestinian occupied territories. The most significant and dangerous point of this policy is dealing with occupation as a local rather than a world matter. In a nutshell, B’Tselem accused the Israeli government of turning...

Innocent until proven otherwise

On October 2 this year, a Saudi journalist walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and never came out. His Turkish fiancee who was waiting outside for him alerted authorities a little while later.Almost immediately Saudi Arabia was the subject of fiery condemnation by pundits of the western press. They were immediately joined by political figures in the United States and Europe. Charges of assassination were flowing by the minute in the wee hours of the disappearance. These allegations were picked up by much of the world’s press who reported them in their local media.Before any facts emerged, the frenzied...

Everyone is innocent until proven otherwise

On October 2 of this year, a Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and never came out. His Turkish fiance who was waiting outside for him alerted authorities a little while later.Almost immediately Saudi Arabia was the subject of fiery condemnation by pundits of the western press. They were immediately joined by political figures in the United States and Europe. Charges of assassination were flowing by the minute in the wee hours of the disappearance. These allegations were picked up by much of the world’s press who reported them in their local media.Before any facts...