Single parents’ group offers a ‘safe space’ to seek support

by LAUREN CODLING A SINGLE mother has revealed the stigma against divorce in the Asian community, saying some keep it a secret from their loved ones. Aruna Bansal, who is from Kent, is the founder of the Asian Single Parents Network (ASPN) CIC. Set up in 2011, the group offers support to single parents from […]

Taslima Nasreen: Relentless rebel revelling in polemics

Banished from her homeland with a bounty on her head, author Taslima Nasreen has been forced to live in exile for more than a quarter of a century — but she refuses to bow to the religious fundamentalists that want her dead. The fiery 58-year-old Bangladeshi, whose bestsellers include A French Lover and Shodh: Getting […]

Caste discrimination taints corporate India

A winner of industry awards, Snehapoo Padavattan should have raced up India’s corporate ladder. There was just one problem. She belongs to the country’s lowest caste, the Dalits. At 35, the Chennai-based communications executive has been forced to repeatedly change jobs to escape persistent discrimination and has battled stress-related health issues. A sixth of India’s […]

The Brandfather

High-flying international CEOs do not often come in a more thoughtful and engaging form than Salman Amin, who heads up pladis Global and dominates the biscuit scene in the UK. His vast experience makes Amin a touchstone of wisdom and a clear voice in an uncertain time, especially because he thrives on uncertainty SALMAN AMIN […]

Army offers university students taste of life as military officers

by LAUREN CODLING FOR most students, life at university can be about acquiring an academic qualification or two, making friends and enjoying new experiences. But those looking for a bit more could try the University Officers’ Training Corps (UOTC), an Army Reserve unit which enlists university students who can go on to train as the […]

‘Impeccable’ Roadkill casting draws applause from Asian star

by LAUREN CODLING AN ASIAN actor starring as a barrister in a new BBC political thriller has applauded the casting in the series, as he emphasised the importance of seeing ethnic minorities in top professions. Roadkill tells the story of Peter Laurence (played by veteran actor Hugh Laurie), a charismatic Conservative politician whose career and […]

Swiping right: Slim pickings for Pakistan’s online daters

After endlessly swiping through pictureless profiles on dating apps, Muhammad Ali Shah still hasn’t found the one — or really anyone — to get serious with in Pakistan. In the ultra-conservative Islamic republic, where arranged marriages are the norm, he says many women choose to stay anonymous, making online dating matches tricky. “It’s slim pickings,” […]

Rapes show double struggle of low-caste women in India

The victim of India’s latest alleged gang rape faced the double discrimination of being born female and low caste, says her family, fearing she will get no justice in death either. They say it would all have been different if the 19-year-old victim of a brutal attack came from an upper-caste family or if the […]

Whose body? Indian court says sex work is a woman’s choice

A police sting that busted a prostitution ring and triggered a back-and-forth in the courts has revealed a conflict in Indian law over a woman’s right to sell sex and a state’s right to stop her. It all comes down to female choice, according to a landmark legal ruling last month that hands a rare […]

Bly Manor secrecy ‘is to keep viewers guessing’, says star

by LAUREN CODLING AN ACTOR with a “mystery role” in the upcoming season of The Haunting of Bly Manor has revealed the reason behind the secrecy surrounding the show. Kamal Khan will be starring in the latest series of the hit show, due to be released on Netflix on Friday (9). Loosely based on Henry […]

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