New Age Islam
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Current Affairs ( 8 Apr 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Young boys make news: Pakistani as suicide bomber, Indian as user of fairness creams

By Debra Killalea


07th April 2009


A would-be suicide bomber aged 11 has been arrested alongside Taliban fighters.


Known only as Abdullah, the youngster was caught crossing the mountains from Pakistan’s tribal region into Afghanistan wearing a jacket packed with explosives.


Police say he is the youngest terror recruit they have ever come across. Abdullah has also become Afghanistan's youngest prisoner but he is still being held at a top security prison in the capital, Kabul.


Abdullah has become the world's youngest terror suspect after he was caught wearing a jacket filled with explosives

Originally from Peshawar in Pakistan, Abdullah was training to be a suicide bomber and had learned the principles of jihad - holy war - at the religious school in Pakistan where he was taught.


Abdullah was interviewed by ITV News's International Editor Bill Neely, who wrote about the visit in the Mirror.


His full interview will be screened on tonight's ITV News at Ten.


Mr Neely said he was shocked at the picture of innocence before him.


'I'd been told I would meet a youth who had been arrested with a group of Taliban fighters – but I didn't expect the picture of apparent innocence that confronted me,' he said.


'I watched this little boy speak, his high-pitched voice so innocent, pouring out the detail of an adventure he had clearly relished.'



ITN journalist Bill Neely said he was shocked at how innocent Abdullah appeared

Mr Neely said Abdullah's days were spent reading the Koran and his evenings were taken up learning how to load weapons and how foreigners came to Muslim lands to kill them.


Abdullah's younger brother Amin, 10, is also a student at the same school.


Abdullah told the journalist, his favourite weapon of choice was the Kalashnikov because he found the trigger of the pistol hard to pull.


When Mr Neely asked the 11-year-old how felt about becoming a suicide bomber he said he knew he 'would end up in pieces.'


He also said he knew the difference between suicide and sacrifice and that he wanted to kill non-Muslims when he grew up 'so they can't come to our homes and kill us.'


It is not yet clear what authorities will do with the boy but it is likely he will be returned back to his religious school.



Youngest user of fairness creams is just 12

Namrata Singh

 8 Apr, 2009 0155hrs IST TNN

MUMBAI: The user profile of fairness creams just got younger. In this age of high exposure to all kinds of media and lower social taboos, the youngest user of fairness creams is a 12-year-old. While most parents might frown upon this statistic, market research reveals that the threshold level for fairness cream users has come down with the youngest age bracket being 12-15 years.


This statistic looked a little different a few years ago, when a debutante fairness cream user was placed in the age bracket of 15-18 years.


“Prosperity in terms of improvement of household incomes, evolution of the consumer from a perspective of wanting to take care of their skin and watching family members using the product would be some of the factors leading to user profile becoming younger,’’ said Ramesh Viswanathan, executive director, CavinKare.


Very often in Indian households, the fairness cream is the only skin cream to gain entry into the household product basket. The personal care basket of a typical middle-class Indian household comprises soap, shampoo, hair oil, fairness cream and talcum powder.


All these products cut across age groups, with a majority of Indian households yet to upgrade from single-brand usage to multiple-brand usage. This also explains why most men use women’s creams, especially since the woman of the house is still the key decision maker when it comes to personal care purchases. Marketers are going to benefit from the wider user base of fairness creams. However, companies continue to target the bulk users, which fall in the age group of 21-35 years, in their promotions.


“Fair & Lovely target consumer profile is in the age group of 18 and above. The bulk of the users are in the age group of 21-35 and the brand communication has always been targeted at this age group and there is no change in this,’’ said a spokesperson of Hindustan Unilever (HUL), which markets the leading skincare brand, Fair & Lovely.


Marketers are not yet targeting the 12-15 year olds because they do not want to dilute the image of their brands. However, market research by IRS 2008 reveals that 12-14-year-olds form 13% of the fairness cream users by age.


This is higher than the age bracket of 40-49-year-olds, which form 7%, and 50+-year-olds, who form 3% of the users. The age groups which house the bulk of fairness cream users are 20-29 years (35%), 15-19 years (22%) and 30-39 years (20%). The growing usage has made the fairness cream market of the order of Rs 1,500 crore in size, making it the largest segment in the skin cream market.