Thursday, February 4, 2010

When Punjabi writers across the border meet

Times of India's Aman Ki Asha initiative had Chetan Bhagat and Mohammad Hanif  talking to each other. Hhere's what ensued 

Earlier this week, two Punjabi writers from both sides of the Line of Control talked peace and took panga with war. Youre a fellow Punjabi so you know what the word panga means. You look like the kinda guy who takes pangas, said Chetan Bhagat, Indias pop fiction writer and youth icon, to Mohammed Hanif, Pakistani writer who painted satirical picture of life under General Zia in his book, A Case of Exploding Mangoes. Exploding Indo-Pak myths was a job the two men proved mighty good at as they faced each other under the spot light on the lawns of Horniman Circle at a tete-a-tete for Aman Ki Asha, an Indo Pak peace initiative by The Times of India and Pakistan's Jang group. Their dialogue tackled serious issues but was interspersed with light banter as well prompting rounds of laughter.

People dont realise that Pakistanis have always taken panga with the state because were almost always uled by military dictators, said Hanif. When asked whether Pakistanis were pre-occupied with India, Hanif said that people in Pakistan were more worried about whats going on in their own country to worry about India. They want peace in Pakistan, first, he added.

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