IPL row finds a place in Jaipur Literary Festival

Beyond boundaries
Last Updated 23 January 2010, 19:36 IST
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The cricket controversy popped up during a session titled “in a tough neighbourhood” at the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival on Saturday that featured noted Pakistani human rights activist Asma Jahangir, young writer Ali Sethi and former Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran among others.

Amid discussions over how much cultural exchanges and civil society dialogues do to bridge the gap between India and Pakistan, Sethi said the IPL issue was somewhat over- hyped by the Pakistani media.

It even prompted ISI officials to assert their own anti-Indian views saying, “See, this is what the Indian people think of you. We have been telling you this.”

Noted lyricist Javed Akhtar, who was sitting in the audience came up with the inside story to clear the misunderstanding. He said what he was telling was “the truth” he knew through some of his close friends.

He said, since the bidders do it for business, each team owner knew that others were not going to bid. One of the owners was too keen to bid for a promising and talented Pakistani cricketer but he said he would not do so this time, given the situation between the two countries, Akhtar added.

Saran said civil society dialogue in itself has a great value, no matter such interactions  help both the countries only up to a point. He said he too would have loved to watch good cricketers from the neighbourhood but the issue should not be blown out of proportion.

Recalling the intolerance and suffering in Pakistan, Jahangir said the people of Pakistan had great expectations from India. The debate revolved around the question whether India was tough as a neighbour or its geographical situation landed it in a “tough neighbourhood”.

Till diplomatic talks make headway and perhaps in all times, civil society dialogue must continue with “aman ki asha and prem ki bhasha,” someone remarked from the audience.

‘Hollywood can’t beat Bollywood’
Noted theatre and film personality and writer Girish Karnad feels ever since music became an integral part of Indian cinema, it has not looked back. Hollywood might make a great film like Titanic but it can’t make ‘Hum Aapke Hain Kaun’, he said in a lighter vein while delivering the keynote address at the Jaipur Literature Festival on Saturday, reports DHNS from Jaipur.

In his inimitable style, he took the audience down memory lane recalling the colonial influence on arts, literature and architecture and the gradual changes in Indian theatre and films over the years. As a student, we were fascinated by Japanese and Italian film companies, which were later devoured by Hollywood. But ever since music married Indian films, it has not looked back, he wittily observed.

(Published 23 January 2010, 19:35 IST)

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