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India

In India, A New Movie Brings Religion v. Satire Debate To Hindus

A satirical comedy about an alien who comes to earth and questions religious dogma has found an enemy among many of India's Hindus. A new view after the Charlie Hebdo killings.

Aamir Khan in "PK"
Aamir Khan in "PK"
Bismillah Geelani

NEW DELHI — Outside a jam-packed cinema hall in New Delhi, dozens of activists from the Hindu nationalist group Bajrang Dal are protesting against the film PKbeing show inside.

Among those who burn an effigy of famous Bollywood actor Aamir Khan, who stars in the film's lead role, is Vikas Sharma.

"He has insulted our gods and goddesses," Sharma says. "Hindus will not tolerate this. We won't allow this film to run anywhere in the country. We will attack it everywhere until it's banned."

There have been similar protests in other Indian states, and some cinemas have been severely damaged.

The film tells the story of an alien from space who comes to Earth on a research mission and is unable to return to his home planet after his spaceship's remote control is stolen. While searching for the device, everyone he meets tells him that only God can help him find it. So he embarks on a journey to find God, and in the process comes across various practices, dogmas and superstitions associated with religion, including Hindu, which he questions.

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Society

End Of Roe v. Wade, The World Is Watching

As the Supreme Court decides to overturn the 1973 decision that guaranteed abortion rights, many fear an imminent threat to abortion rights in the U.S. But in other countries, the global fight for sexual and reproductive rights is going in different directions.

"Don't abort my right" At 2019 pro-choice march In Toulouse, France.

Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via ZUMA
Hannah Steinkopf-Frank and Sophia Constantino

PARIS — Nearly 50 years after it ensured the right to abortion to Americans, the United States Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade case, meaning that millions of women in the U.S. may lose their constitutional right to abortion.

The groundbreaking decision is likely to set off a range of restrictions on abortion access in multiple states in the U.S., half of which are expected to implement new bans on the procedure. Thirteen have already passed "trigger laws" that will automatically make abortion illegal.

U.S. President Joe Biden called the ruling "a tragic error" and urged individual states to enact laws to allow the procedure.

In a country divided on such a polarizing topic, the decision is likely to cause major shifts in American law and undoubtedly spark outrage among the country’s pro-choice groups. Yet the impact of such a momentous shift, like others in the United States, is also likely to reverberate around the world — and perhaps, eventually, back again in the 50 States.

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