Newsbytheway's Blog

January 30, 2010

Talibanisation of Goa

Filed under: Musings — Rabea Khan @ 3:59 pm
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Goa is marred by yet another rape. After Scarlett Keeling, it is a 9-year-old Russian girl.  But this rape has instigated a different  debate altogether. Are women to be blamed for being the victim?

Copyright Rabea Khan 2009

“You can’t blame the locals; they have never seen such women. Foreign tourists must maintain a certain degree of modesty in their clothing. Walking on the beaches half-naked is bound to titillate the senses.”

This statement is not by a Taliban but the Goa’s deputy director of tourism, Pamela Mascarhenas, (Mail Today newspaper, New Delhi).

Appalling, more so, since it comes from a woman. How can I woman think the way one dresses leads to rape? Should women be asked to wear burqas?

It is a classic case of passing the buck. And what she probably forgot to consider that the girl was merely nine years old. It is insane even to think that she could have ‘titillated’ the wrong doer in any way.

And saying that ‘locals have not seen such women’ is implausible.  Goa is the ultimate beach destination not just for Indians but the foreigners; more so for the latter. Goans are used to foreign women roaming on the beach and on the streets in bikini. It has become part of Goa’s backdrop now.

Ban on govt ads with bikini

Copyright Rabea Khan 2009

The goa government was quick to spring in action and announced scrapping of all ads displaying bikini babes. Times of India quoted the state tourism minister saying ‘Goa is a family holiday destination and not a sex tourism destination. We will make sure that bikini babes do not symbolize Goa tourism”.

Accepted, but how on earth will this superficial move do to dissuade rapists? Shouldn’t security the top agenda. Whether goa government accept it or not, Goa is a beach destination not a family holiday spot. There are families who go for holidays in Goa, but the numbers of youngsters, college, 20s and early 30s crowd outnumbers them.

Goa government should look to make the beaches safer without letting it lose its identity. And something should be done without more ado lest the paradise is lost.


January 14, 2010

Boxing the beard ban

Filed under: Religion,Sports — Rabea Khan @ 5:52 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Muslim and Sikhs amateur boxers are all set for a fight. But, this fight will be outside the ring and against the body that represents them.

Copyright: Elmarto; Source: Flickr

The Amateur Boxing Association of England (ABAE) has recently ruled that all boxers need to be clean shaved. Their reason: it’s for the health and safety of the boxers. The ban is the outcome of appeal filed by a Muslim boxer last  year. He was stopped from playing even though Sikhs were allowed to have facial hair.

There is little logic in the association’s newfound allergy to facial hair as beards are allowed in the professional ring.

And most important question is why now? If the beard was harmful they should have been banned from the beginning. Why it took a Muslim to make them realize that beards are unsafe? It casts a shadow over intentions of the association. Is it their way of keeping ‘radical muslim’ away from the game?

Majority of the sports in the world have no issues with facial hairs. But there have been few exceptions.

Talking baseball, till 1999  Cincinnati Reds had a ban on any kind of facial hair. Rules changed with change of ownership.  Greg Vaughn loved his goatee and persuaded the new owner Marge Schott to remove the ban.

New York Yankees baseball team also prohibits long hair and facial hair.

In Irish football, there is ban on growing more than two inches of facial hair. This was the outcome of an ugly fight between the two players when one pulled the other down by his beard.

These rules and decisions are fair and acceptable since they do not have any religions undertones. They are been enforced for the sake of practicality and discipline. It wasn’t a Muslim on the field that instigated the a ban.

Players love of beards

It is sort of a tradition in certain sports where players allow their beards to grow from the beginning of the playoff season and they don’t touch the shavers until the playoffs are over. One such example is National Hockey League where teams that follows the supersition of playoff beards religiously.

Source: picapp

Many other sportsmen also shun their shavers for the sake of style. Beard was a rage in 2007 rugby world cup. English playerGeorge Chute made headlines and the French player, Sebastien Chabal, was even nicknamed ‘caveman’ when they sported beards.

When Beckham grew a beard last year it became talk of the town. Many made fun of his latest style statement. But words like ‘ban’ and ‘safety’ were not mentioned at all.

And Cricket has Monty Panesar, Saeed Anwar, Hashim Amla and many others who have a beard for religious reasons.

So why when a Muslim boxer sports a beard, it suddenly becomes a contentious issue. It is time to look beyond religious identities and let the deserving player play the game. We can keep religion out of sports at least.

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