Monday, October 4, 2010

Indo-Pakistan debate at Kovalam Literary Fest

Pakistani writer Mohammed Hanif rudely exploded the longheld feelgood myth that Indians and Pakistanis are long lost brothers.

"I have been hearing this mantra for quite long but we are different people. We might have shared a common history but we have interpreted it differently,'' the author of A Case of Exploding Mangoes said in the irritated drawl of man who had been woken up from sleep.

The writer's body language alone was enough to suggest what he thought of 'IndoPak Relations: The Way Forward', the topic put up for debate at the end of the Kovalam Literary Festival. He sat on the dais as though he might easily slide down from the chair, frequently passed his hands through his adamantly curled hair and whenever he was asked whether he had anything to say he mostly began with an absentminded 'no'.

At one point, in a sarcastic reference to the topic of the debate, he said he did not know how things were going to move forward. Another time he suggested the debate reflected India's arrogance.
"Only you can conduct such a debate on India and Pakistan without referring to Kashmir.'' Hanif looked irredeemably suspicious.

Full report here New Indian Express

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