DC Comics Superheroes Fight Injustice in Indian Occupied Kashmir
DC Comics latest movie release "Injustice" is inspired by a video game titled "Injustice: God Among Us". It shows superheroes destroying military equipment in Indian Occupied Kashmir with the narrator's voice saying that Superman is stopping a government "waging a genocidal war against its own people.”
|DC Comics' Injustice|
In the DC Comics film, Superman is determined to avenge the villain Joker’s grave crimes, which include killing Superman’s partner Lois Lane and their unborn child. The Justice League, including Batman and Wonder Woman among other superheroes, try to get Superman to restrain himself.
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Inflammatory content on Facebook spiked 300% above previous levels at times during the months following December 2019, a period in which religious protests swept India, researchers wrote in a July 2020 report that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Rumors and calls to violence spread particularly on Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging service in late February 2020, when communal violence in Delhi left 53 dead, according to the report. India is Facebook’s biggest market with hundreds of millions of users.
Hindu and Muslim users in India say they are subjected to “a large amount of content that encourages conflict, hatred and violence on Facebook and WhatsApp,” such as material blaming Muslims for the spread of Covid-19 and assertions that Muslim men are targeting Hindu women for marriage as a “form of Muslim takeover” of the country, the researchers found.
Private Facebook groups made up of like-minded users generated more divisive content. Inflammatory content primarily targeted Muslims, the researchers wrote.
Facebook was so concerned about how its services were tied to communal conflict that it dispatched researchers to interview dozens of users. A Hindu man in Delhi told them he received frequent messages on Facebook and WhatsApp “that are all very dangerous,” such as “Hindus are in danger, Muslims are about to kill us,” the researchers reported.
There is “so much hatred going on” on Facebook, one Muslim man in Mumbai was quoted as telling the researchers, saying he feared for his life. “It’s scary, it’s really scary.”
Many of the users believed it was “Facebook’s responsibility to reduce this content” in their feeds and on WhatsApp, the report said.
Facebook researchers determined that two Hindu nationalist groups with ties to India’s ruling political party post inflammatory anti-Muslim content on the platform, according to two separate reports earlier this year by teams investigating abuse of the company’s services. The researchers recommended one of the organizations be kicked off for violating the company’s hate speech rules, according to one report, but the group remains active.
The other group, researchers said, promotes incitements to violence including “dehumanizing posts comparing Muslims to ‘pigs’ and ‘dogs’ and misinformation claiming the Quran calls for men to rape their female family members.” That group also remains active on Facebook, and wasn’t designated as dangerous due to “political sensitivities,” the report said.
The reports show that Facebook is privately aware that people in its largest market are targeted with inflammatory content, and that users say the company isn’t protecting them. The documents are part of an extensive array of internal Facebook communications reviewed by the Journal that offer an unparalleled look at how its rules favor elites, its algorithms breed discord, and its services are used to incite violence and target vulnerable people.
Shaheen Shah Afridi had his plans in place, skills sharpened and steamed in to let loose not so much cricket balls but precision-guided missiles that produced shock and awe.
The fourth ball of the innings, the first that Rohit Sharma faced, swung in at pace, moving late and the batsman was fatally in front of the stumps when the back pad was nailed.
There really was little Rohit could do about the ball. But the story was a little different to KL Rahul, who shaped to work a similarly conceived delivery to the on side off the first ball of the third over and feathered the ball on to pad and stumps.
At six for two, India were looking down the barrel and fortunately for them Virat Kohli was not in the mood to give up. Batting outside his crease and nullifying the swing, Kohli signalled his intent by muscling Afridi into the stands over long-on.
Having lost his most reliable partners, Kohli changed gears, committing himself to playing traditional cricket shots, pushing back just enough to keep India in the hunt.
Adding 53 with Rishabh Pant, Kohli ensured that hope floated for India, and when he was finally dismissed, the sixth wicket of the innings, he had done enough to get India to 151 for 7.
While that was certainly a few runs short, given the occasion, the stage and the quality of Pakistan’s bowling on the day, it was the best India could do, and at least gave their bowlers a fighting chance.
In boxing parlance, though, India’s bowlers simply could not land a single punch when it was their turn.
If Afridi was the pointed end of the spear, Babar Azam was the shield. Oozing class from the first ball he placed, Azam set the tone with a back-foot punch through cover that should be immortalised in bronze.
Azam’s footwork was textbook, his timing immaculate and his placement cruelly efficient. There was nothing India’s bowlers could produce that troubled him as he cruised to an unbeaten 68.
While Azam was the man controlling the tempo of the chase, his partner, Mohammad Rizwan, was the perfect foil. Rizwan took just enough chances to put the bowlers off their game, and crucially had perfect understanding with his captain. The pair barely had to call – not that they would have been able to hear each other in a heaving stadium – when they were turning ones into twos.
A look from Azam would be enough for Rizwan to commit to the run, and when he decided to be cheeky, the ball screamed off the middle of the bat. Rizwan ended on a 55-ball 78, sealing Pakistan’s pitch perfect 10-wicket win.
This was Pakistan's first-ever win against India in a World Cup match of any format. It was also their maiden T20I win by 10 wickets over any opposition and the highest opening stand against India in the format. It was also India's first 10-wicket defeat in the format.
Rare honesty seen today on India's ZeeNews after Pakistan's "One-sided win" against India in T20 World Cup. Analysis by India's ex cricketers Mohammad Kaif & Harpal Bedi
As soon as the match at the Dubai International Stadium ended, some Kashmiri students celebrating Pakistan’s victory were attacked in India.
Even Mohammed Shami, a Muslim member of India’s playing-XI, was abused on social media following the loss, despite captain Virat Kohli acknowledging his side had been “outplayed” by Pakistan.
Cricket matches often worsen the tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours, who have fought three wars since their independence from the British in 1947.
‘I feel unsafe’
Muzamil, a Kashmiri studying in a college in Mohali district in western India’s Punjab state, told Al Jazeera that minutes after the cricket match ended, “a group of nearly 20 goons gathered outside our hostel”.
“We had never seen those faces and had no idea who they were. They had sticks and they beat up three of my friends. I was afraid and didn’t leave the room,” said the 22-year-old who did not want to disclose his full name for fear of reprisals.
After the assault, Muzamil said his friends were forced to move into the house of another friend, as they feared for their safety.
“This was a game and supporting any team is an individual’s choice. What happened to us is really, really wrong,” he told Al Jazeera.
“It happens with us in [New] Delhi and everywhere else. As a Kashmiri student, I feel unsafe in India.”
“But it was suicidal to do so in Punjab,” said Nasir Khuehami, the national spokesperson of Jammu and Kashmir Students’ Association, referring to Kashmiris celebrating Pakistan’s win.
“They are a minority in mainland India and the celebrations were stupid. Knowing that your life is in danger, it wasn’t a wise step.”
Pakistan walked away with the match, and as happens so often with big-ticket playoffs, Indians were heartbroken. Some people online started making coarse and lewd comments about the defeat. The person who got the worst of it was 31-year-old player Mohammed Shami. Toxic, brazenly Islamophobic comments were left on his Instagram page, suggesting that he was a traitor, one who could take the next flight out to Pakistan. Shami was singled out in a different way than other players, and the language used for him was directly related to his being Muslim. In fact, he is the only Muslim on the team’s playing lineup for this tournament — a fact that would have been irrelevant had the hate directed at him online not underscored his religion.
Taking the knee — which first gained the spotlight in 2016, when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick controversially knelt through the U.S. national anthem — has become a global symbol of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. It is a simple, universally understood, powerful sign of mobilization against racism. It upholds the classic idea that sport, with all its visceral competitiveness, is about something noble in the end. In the 1968 Olympics, nearly five decades before Kaepernick’s act, two African American athletes, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, raised their fists in the air during the American anthem to drive home a message on human rights.
So why did the sight of India’s cricket team — possibly the 11 most loved men anywhere in the world — dropping to the grass in a shiny Dubai stadium, in support of racial equality, trigger incredulity to start with and utter cynicism by the end?
Because in taking the knee — and it now transpires that it was on the orders of the board that manages the national game — they were not being vocal defenders of civil liberties. In fact, given that they have rarely, if ever, spoken on any contemporary issue of social justice in India, they were being precisely the opposite. In following instructions to endorse a campaign that has virtually no manifestation in the Indian context (caste discrimination would be more relevant), the cricketers were picking a topic that was distant and thus “safe.”
Given how tumultuous a time it is in India — with ferocious public debates erupting over everything from the pandemic to the spiraling violence in Kashmir — there is much to say and do related to the country’s own domestic realities. The cricketers could have thrown their unparalleled influence behind any cause dear to them. One example is how the former Bangladesh cricket captain made a blistering statement on the spate of attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh.
Had they continued to remain silent, as they usually are, no one would have noticed. Everyone was too engrossed in the faceoff with Pakistan, an adrenaline-thumping sporting encounter like no other in South Asia. It’s when they suddenly decided to borrow from the playbook of American football players to make a superficial show of support for an issue far removed from them that their opacity on more relevant matters suddenly became striking.
Intriguingly, India’s left, right and center seem united in believing that the gesture smacked of the worst sort of tokenism. Even this might have ended with mild opprobrium if it were not for what happened next.
Pakistan has denied use of its airspace to Go First's Srinagar-Sharjah flight, the government officials said on Wednesday.
According to officials, Pakistan's refusal on Tuesday forced the flight to take a longer route and fly over Gujarat to reach its destination in the UAE.
Go First, previously known as GoAir, had started direct flights between Srinagar and Sharjah from October 23 and the service was inaugurated by Union Home Minister Amit Shah during his visit to the Valley last month.
According to officials, till October 31, the flight was going through Pakistan airspace.
However, Pakistan on Tuesday did not allow the flight to pass through its airspace, and therefore, the service had to take a longer route, going over Gujarat, adding around 40 minutes to the flight time, they said.
There was no immediate statement or comment from Go First on the matter.
This is the first service between Jammu and Kashmir and the UAE after 11 years. Air India Express had started a Srinagar-Dubai flight in February 2009 but it was discontinued after some time due to low demand.
Reacting to Pakistan's action, former J&K chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah tweeted "very unfortunate. Pakistan did the same thing with the Air India Express flight from Srinagar to Dubai in 2009-2010. I had hoped that @GoFirstairways being permitted to overfly Pak airspace was indicative of a thaw in relations but alas that wasn't to be." Blaming the Centre, PDP chief and former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted "puzzling that GoI didn't even bother securing permission from Pakistan to use its airspace for international flights from Srinagar. Only PR extravaganza without any groundwork." Inaugurating the flight, Shah had said the commencement of Srinagar-Sharjah services would boost tourism.
"There are many people from Srinagar and Jammu who are settled in the Gulf countries. There are many tourists who want to come from the Gulf countries to Jammu and Kashmir. The tourism of J-K is going to get a big boost with the commencement of Srinagar-Sharjah flights," he added.
The Srinagar-Sharjah flight duration is around 3 hours if the Pakistan airspace is used, however, with Islamabad refusing to allow the flight through its airspace, it will be nearly an hour longer, raising fuel and ticket costs.
The Pakistan government, however, allowed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's special flight to Italy to use its airspace on Friday to attend the G20 summit. His return flight from Italy was also allowed to use the Pakistan airspace on Wednesday, officials said. — PTI
Which story can I tell
Which pain here can I sell
Everyday of mine is the same
For my share is only shame
Kashmir is my name
Massacres again and again
Kashmir, death is my fame
Torture, endless torture
Kashmir is my name
Massacre again and again
Kashmir, death is my fame
Torture, endless torture
Which poem can I write
Which tears can I describe
Suffering here is my sight
For dignity is my fight
Kashmir is my name
Massacres again and again
Kashmir, death is my fame
Torture, endless torture
A range of conventional weapons were on display, from sniper rifles to vehicle-mounted remote control weapon systems, mortars, grenade launchers and anti-tank missiles. Military experts said the training indicated the PLA infantries had been equipped with specially designed weapons for high-altitude combat-readiness operations.
“The PLA has introduced precision strike training in Indian border [areas] that aims at controlling more area in future contingencies,” said Macau-based military observer Antony Wong Tong, who added the operation would save manpower and secure the PLA’s defensive capability along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) during the winter.
“The use of the Type 06 semi-automatic grenade launchers and mortars in the recent drill indicated China would deploy the powerful but handy weapons with precision strike capabilities to other disputed border areas,” he said.
The precision shooting drill is just the latest high-altitude battle capability training carried out by the PLA near the border areas with India in the Himalayas after both sides failed to reach agreement to resume talks on disengagement last month.
New Delhi has also ramped up its defences along the disputed border, stepping up the construction of roads and other infrastructure along the LAC, as well as deploying MiG-29UPG and Su-30MKI fighter jets to the region. There are also plans to buy high altitude armed swarm drones for the Indian military.
Zhou Chenming, a researcher from the Beijing-based Yuan Wang military science and technology institute, said the PLA’s new weapons systems would be able to eliminate Indian outposts, military assets, and other targets.
“According to ballistic computation, there are differences for all guns and artillery systems and even aircraft to operate in plains regions and at high altitudes, due to anoxia and extreme weathers,” he said.
Before China’s military modernisation – accelerated under President Xi Jinping – there was no firing operations data for many of its weapons systems at elevations over 5,000 metres, according to an insider. Today, live-fire tests supported with electronic combat data are carried out at high altitudes for most new weapons.
Modernisation of the PLA’s weaponry began in the late 1990s under former president Jiang Zemin, who studied electronic engineering, and aimed to speed up weapons replacement as part of the goal to transform the military into a modern fighting force on a par with its US counterpart by 2035.
The deadline was brought forward to 2027 – the 100th anniversary of the PLA’s foundation – with China’s leadership announcing in the latest five-year plan that the country should accelerate its military modernisation programme and ensure the PLA becomes a modern army to meet one of the three centennial goals.
Nadav Lapid, chair of the International film festival India, spoke out against work that critics say is anti-Muslim propaganda
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the film festival, Lapid said he and other jury members had been “shocked and disturbed” that the film had been given a platform. The Kashmir Files, said Lapid, was “a propaganda, vulgar movie, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival”.
Lapid, who has taken an anti-establishment stance against rightwing elements in his home of Israel, is not alone in expressing concern over The Kashmir Files. Cinemagoers have started anti-Muslim chants at screenings and it has been accused of stirring up communal violence. In May, Singapore banned the film over its “potential to cause enmity between different communities”.
Vivek Agnihotri, the film’s director, said on Monday that “terror supporters and genocide deniers can never silence me”.
He added: “I challenge all the intellectuals in this world and this great film-maker from Israel to find one frame, one dialogue or an event in The Kashmir Files that is not true.”
A row has erupted in India after an Israeli director described a controversial film about Kashmir as propaganda and a “vulgar movie”, prompting the Israeli ambassador to issue an apology.
Nadav Lapid, who was chair of this year’s panel of the international film festival of India (IFFI), spoke out against the inclusion of The Kashmir Files at the event.
The film, released in March to popular box office success, is largely set in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when attacks and threats by militants led to most Kashmiri Hindus fleeing from the region, where the majority of the population are Muslim.
Many film critics, Kashmiri Muslims and others, have described it as propaganda that inflames hatred against Muslims and distorts events to suit an anti-Muslim agenda.
However, the film has received a ringing endorsement from the highest levels of the Indian government, ruled by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), who have also been accused of pursuing an anti-Muslim agenda. The prime minister, Narendra Modi, has praised the film, congratulating its makers for having “the guts to portray the truth” and it was the second highest-grossing film in India this year.
Lapid said his comments were made in the spirit of “critical discussion, which is essential for art and life”, adding he was sure they could be accepted graciously by the festival and audience as such. But his critique caused outrage.
Amit Malviya, a senior BJP leader, compared his remarks to denial of the Holocaust. “For the longest time, people even denied the Holocaust and called Schindler’s List propaganda, just like some are doing to Kashmir Files,” he said.
In Goa, where the festival took place, a complaint was filed to police against Lapid, accusing him of “instigating enmity between groups”.
Fellow jurors at the film festival, which is sponsored by the Indian government, quickly distanced themselves from his comments, stating that they reflected his opinion and not that of the panel. Film-maker Sudipto Sen, who was on the panel, said: “We don’t indulge in any kind of political comments on any film.”
Some of the harshest criticism came from Israel’s ambassador to India, Naor Gilon, who told Lapid he should be “ashamed” of his comments and that it was “insensitive and presumptuous” to speak on a subject that has political and religious ramifications in India. Gilon said he “unequivocally condemned” the statements.