A technician working for Air India has died after being sucked into a jet engine as the plane pushed back for take-off at Mumbai airport. The freak accident happened on Wednesday evening when the co-pilot of flight AI 619 to Hyderabad mistook a signal from ground staff and started the …Read More »
Its Himalayan glaciers are melting fast, its agricultural heartland is drying up and its capital is choking on the world’s filthiest air. Yet India’s government is one of the few major economies refusing to pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions, ahead of this month’s major climate conference in Paris. Global …Read More »
India on Friday announced a plan to make air travel affordable for millions more Indians, with schemes to revive ailing airports and connect rural areas that it said would “take flying to the masses”. The long-awaited draft policy aims to bring down airfares to just 2,500 rupees (£25) per hour …Read More »
Police have warned of a “backlash” after it was revealed that Channel 4 will air a documentary about Britain’s Muslim gay scene.
It comes after well-known Pakistani-origin drag queen and activist Asif Quraishi – who goes by the stage name Asifa Lahore and who is featured in the documentary – said he was concerned about reaction to the show, which is titled ‘Muslim Drag Queens’.
Quraishi is one of the most prominent LGBT rights activists within the British Asian community and has previously received death threats for his work.
He said police have already put in place “measures” to ensure his safety once the show is broadcast next Monday.
‘Muslim Drag Queens’ is voiced by the legendary actor and gay rights activist Sir Ian McKellen who has praised Ms Lahore and other members of the “Gaysian” community for their bravery in telling their stories.
Sir Ian said the film was surprised by the scale of the prejudice against gay Asians that exists in Britain today.
“I’m ashamed how little I know about drag and trans and areas of being gay that I’ve not been part of,” he said. “It makes me begin to understand what it was like 20 or 30 years ago about simply being gay.”
Quraishi - who spoke about his struggles and triumphs in an interview with the UKAsian last year – has sparked outrage within Britain’s Muslim community for his outspoken views.
He has been particularly vocal against those who insist that homosexuality is against Islam.
'Muslim Drag Queens' is part of Channel 4's award-winning First Cut strand.
The film delves into the largely secretive gay Asian community in the UK through the eyes of three gay drag queens.
32-year-old Asif Quraishi is Britain’s first out and proud Muslim drag queen. Performing as his glamourous alter ego Asifa Lahore he has established himself as a leading figure within the Gaysian community, and as an activist for gay rights. Born to conservative British Pakistani parents, his choice to perform and out himself so publically has strained relations within his own family and triggered death threats against both himself and his parents. Unbowed, he uses his very visibility to campaign and challenge perceptions: “Up until now, people in my community have chosen to be invisible,” he explains. The epitome of glamour, Asifa appears on stage in sequins, ruffles, saris and cocktail dresses and in a calculated move to provoke reaction and debate – a burqa.
28-year-old British Pakistani Imran has been using drag for six years, creating a female alter ego Zareena Khan. Single and searching for love, he has profiles on a number of dating apps and social media sites, but has discovered he attracts more interest as Zareena. Men in both Britain and Pakistan respond to his online profiles – often married men who he believes find it more acceptable to sleep with him because he dresses as a woman.
Ibrahim, a 22 year-old Mauritian, is studying for a degree in the UK. He recently came out to his family who surprised him with their unconditional support. Since arriving in the UK he has immersed himself in the Gaysian scene and wants to start performing drag. Having discovered Asifa Lahore online he seeks out Asif for advice and support. Despite his passion to perform, Ibrahim sometimes struggles to reconcile drag with his devout religion.
'Muslim Drag Queens' is said to have been partly inspired by a Guardian documentary about the Muslim gay community by Kieren Yates.Read More »
Two pilots attached to Air India have been grounded after allegedly getting into a fracas inside the cockpit during a domestic flight. The captain and his co-pilot began arguing soon after preparing for take-off on flight AI611 on Sunday from Jaipur to Delhi. An Air India spokesman told the Times …Read More »
After years of dominating the paid-for South Asian TV landscape in Britain, Indian broadcast major Zee is expanding its remit in the UK this weekend with the launch of ‘&TV’, a free-to-air channel that promises an exciting line up of general entertainment fare.
It may be the newest entrant in the segment but it is testament to Zee’s clout that the channel roped in none other than superstar Shah Rukh Khan to front the channel’s flagship show ‘India Poochega – Sabse Shaana Kaun?’, an Indianized version of the international format ‘Who’s Asking?’Read More »
A Paris-bound Air India flight was delayed for three hours at Chennai airport on Saturday after a fight broke out inside the cockpit between the pilot and an engineer. According to reports, flight AI 143 with 122 passengers on-board had been scheduled to depart Chennai at 9.45 am but developed …Read More »
Air India has joined the Star Alliance group of carriers, a spokesman said on Tuesday, a move that could help boost revenues at the loss-making state-run airline. Executives at Star Alliance met with Air India officials in London on Monday and agreed for the airline, which has been in talks …Read More »
An effort by the World Health Organization to measure pollution in cities around the world has found New Delhi admits to having the dirtiest air, while Beijing’s measurements, like its skies, are far from clear. The study of 1,600 cities found air pollution had worsened since a smaller survey in …Read More »
Air pollution killed an estimated 7 million people in 2012, making it the world’s single biggest environmental health risk, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday. The toll, a doubling of previous estimates, means one in eight of all global deaths in 2012 was linked to polluted air and …Read More »