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The war in Syria has been one of the longest civil wars in living memory. It’s so easy to get lost in the jargon with it because one of the most difficult episodes to come out of the war has been the refugee crisis shared with so many countries in the world. In Europe, the refugee crisis washed upon its shores unexpectedly and since then there has been a lot of engagement to end the problems that the crisis is fully poised to brew in European society. Approximately 4.7 million Syrians fled their country during the war, and a few million of them wish to be asylum seekers in Europe. Some Syrian refugees have sanctuary in Jordan, some are causing disruption to the lives of the people of Lebanon, few are snatching away the rights of the local population of Iraq and some are either earning hostility in Turkey from the local population or getting ignored in Greece. Lebanon is a poor country, it is a developing economy with fragile infrastructures and hard-to-find national resources, so it’s hard to imagine that they can properly support refugees. Similarly, Iraq is also a poor, developing country, which witnessed a war recently that has dislodged more than a million Iraqis and the refugees are placing that particular diaspora in grave turmoil. There is no humanitarian support or services-assistance, for refugees in Greece, and cultural pressures in Turkey are simmering for the refugees, which is so hard to fathom.
I have to admit it’s tough to look beyond these regional tensions in numerous countries but the civil war in Syria has invited the attention of both the West and Arab powers. The war began as a protest-movement against Bashar al-Assad’s government, and the civil war is a faction of the Arab Spring. Soon, Assad’s government chose to proceed with a violent crackdown on the protesters, which spurred rebel fighters to battle the government and also form a Free Syrian Army, somewhat. Since then, 220,000 Syrians have been brutally killed, out of which, half of them were only Syrians, not rebel fighters. There is widespread evidence of human rights violations in Syria, at the moment, and to point out: human rights seems to be of no concern to Syria, at all. Half of the Syrian population have been killed or displaced, and there are continuous reports of the use of chemical weapons in the war. Evidence points towards Assad’s government engaging in the use of chemical weapons to kill people, and that’s not all: certain countries believe it is acceptable to prop up the Assad government despite his very troubling humanitarian record during the Syrian civil war. Constant bombings have ripped apart over-populated towns in Syria, and many foreign fighters have been recruited into the IS to battle government forces, rebel fighters and the Kurdish army.
The first Western airstrikes came from a coalition led by the United States, to break apart the IS, and the idea was to not permit them to prove beneficial for Assad. The West backs the rebel fighters and it’s not surprising to see why because the war has stripped Syrians of food and medical aid, and captured towns see a lot of suffering from a lack of access to basic amenities. The point of the Russian airstrikes was to move the war in a different direction: it promised to strategically target and kill terrorists in Syria, but moved beyond that promise, and I must add, very wrongfully, killed Syrian civilians and Western-backed rebel fighters, instead. Eventually, the Russian airstrikes totally collapsed, paving the pathway to engagement in political talks that hopefully will not result in a stalemate. Politically, opposition groups, such as the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, are segregated and cannot manage to win over support at all even when they oppose Assad. Evidence of war crimes, meanwhile, has come from all parties in Syria and the civil war can also be looked upon as a means of the Sunni-dominating Syrian population, battling to win against the Shia-dominated government of Assad. Although, locally the sentiments are very negative, it is hoped that negotiations will result in a ceasefire, and also direct a roadmap to national peace in Syria.
When I first heard of Donald Trump contesting for a Republican nomination, I could not believe what I was hearing! Is this the same television figure and businessman who had previously moved crowds with the Trump Tower, the Trump Taj Mahal and golf courses that is now publicly yearning for a stint in politics? Over time, that is just what the thought ironed itself out to be….Donald Trump, is indeed, a Republican candidate who comes with his own sets of political priorities. Trump is against the notion of bureaucracy controlling education, all for legal immigration but is all against abortion, and he is also anti-ISIS. The leading Republican candidate has virtually wiped out all but one important GOP nomination contender, Ted Cruz, and politically Cruz is not in for a safe win at all because he is barely half in the popularity stakes against Trump. Trump is riding high enough on his pro-tax ideas, anti-Obamacare attitude, pro-employment and pro-nuclear-energy stance and pro-peace beliefs for Israel and it’s border nations. But I have to remark there about his ideas with this that his arguments sometimes, despite its plus points can be so pressingly-flawed.
Hillary Clinton is his strongest Democratic rival and it’s understandable, for her point of views in the campaign race. She is leading in the double digits, in comparison to Trump and the two are polar opposites in American politics: Clinton is pro-abortion, pro-guns, as well as all for responsible gun ownership, pro-peace for the Middle East, pro-tax-increase for the affluent, pro-tax-relief for the middle classes in America, supportive of good healthcare provisions, national solar power and ‘green’ credentials, and police reforms for the safety of American towns, pro-employment and she has even gone so far as to promise to make college more affordable. Trump, by all means, keeps moving from one end of the debate to the other, for various crucial topics. He wants to, for example, limit crime committed by immigrants and wants to turn them away from the United States, even if they come back and this is then furthered by his hard opinion of Mexico doing very little about its local crime moving house to within the borders of the United States. Imagine the catastrophe that would befall for foreign policy, if we all shared divisive thoughts along those lines: the American industrialist actually wants President Assad and IS extremists to tear each other apart constantly, rather than hold the Syrian government to account for local atrocities and engage in talks to push for peace in Syria.
Intervention by US troops in Syria cannot simply be looked upon as an invasion by US troops in Syria; the intervention is meant to help Syria reach a peaceful resolution of the very lengthy national conflict. Trump does make good points when he takes a hardline approach towards defence funding for rich nations, stating that he is completely against misuse of American national wealth. He is also really good in defining the Iraq war as a negative war because indeed it was a war fought in total ignorance. However, Trump definitely needs to convince more about why his atypical Republican point of views over foreign policy can be a game changer. It is important to note that, Donald Trump is a candidate who is pro-life but why does he want to snatch away the rights of mothers there over pregnancy? Americans, I believe, should be given the opportunity to safeguard their homes with gun-ownership as Trump highlighted recently but what about those shooting incidents reported, where a madman was loose with a gun? Can a greater amount of surveillance as proposed by Trump really solve that? Is police-reform in America what is needed for it?
There is nothing conclusive about his thoughts over those important issues at all but meanwhile, we must content ourselves with Trump picking on the environment, stressing the importance of fixing administration for veterans and American freedom over energy, voicing support for reserving waterboarding for criminals, more American debt, more national recession and more corporate benefits, going all for the termination of government-run medical programs and tiptoeing around the subject of corporate tax. Donald Trump has certainly run a campaign with numerous potholes there, which is why it would be such a challenge for him to become the next President of the United States of America. I know, he believes in the positive necessity of higher education and revitalising Silicon Valley’s national manufacturing activities, alongside its global domination of technology, but it’s simply not enough, given Trump’s campaign points.
Bollywood is seeing a new surge in worldwide popularity. But why are Hindi films proving to be an alternative means of entertainment for an audience traditionally tuned into Hollywood?
Bollywood is an enormous filmmaking industry in India. On the eve of globalization moving with remarkable speed, popularity with the Indian movie space is becoming a very common sight. The industry’s trademark interplay of images, stories and well-known faces or newcomers is nowadays giving rise to a greater awareness of film stars in India; the whole Indian celebrity culture is proving to be a hit with the masses because with its help, global interest about modern India peaks.
Producing films in the Hindi language and seeing diverse contributors from Yash Raj Films to Fox Star Studios aside, the industry can trace its roots back to when the East India Company still governed India (and Bangladesh). At that time, much like the American film industry, Hollywood’s earliest days, silent films would entertain audiences before commercial success knocked on the industry’s doors. Musicals, on the other hand, became a major aspect of the Hindi filmmaking chapter in India, unlike Hollywood but all of this came to a standstill when the British Raj experienced the Indian independence movement. Storylines quickly shifted from escapist cinema to movies focusing on social problems, alongside the independence movement featuring heavily in Bollywood.
After the British Raj granted independence to India, Hindi filmmaking moved towards another dimension, in terms of storylines: the Indian urban life during the fifties, were portrayed with absolute freedom in critically acclaimed movies. Bengali cinema in India began to feed into this Indian filmmaking narrative with neorealism (circa 1914), the Indian edition, but romance, action and independent filmmaking gained prominence in the later decades, predominantly. Today, Bollywood faces stiff competition from Hollywood’s Indian presence, and this actually doubles up both for television shows and films. Bollywood films, previously, were very popular in countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan. Although, it had tried to crack the Soviet market, with the support of strategic casting, in the past, when the Soviet Union collapsed, Hollywood dominated the Russian film market, making business very tough for Bollywood.
Leaving all of that in the dust, Bollywood movies are nowadays seeing popularity in a handful of countries outside the borders of the Indian subcontinent: the UAE is increasingly appreciating Hindi filmmaking, along with Egypt and Turkey and it’s not tough to comprehend why. Films in Bollywood are often inspired by Hollywood films, even though the two are drastically different. Hollywood films are realistic creations, whilst Bollywood is entirely almost fiction, which mixes with the daily lives of people in India. Bollywood films are also often deeply inspired by the native epics ‘Mahabharata’ and ‘Ramayana’, Sanskrit, Indian and Parsi theatre, and Western music videos. The Hindi filmmaking narrative, because of all of that regularly portrays strong sentiments of Indian nationalism, and despite the unique musical-storylines in Hindi scripts, Bollywood films endure across the globe because it has become an integral part of the Indian story.