Monday, February 7, 2011

Who kidnapped Karachi Literature Festival?

hmm....when I attended the Karachi Literature Festival last year….

I thought that this could be the platform or the bridge to bring our two classes…elite and common man…close to each other and help them to make friendship.

While I totally forgot that our elite class does not want to sit with a man chewing pan and wearing simple shalwar suit…the common man who sometimes smell…smell of human’s sweat which comes after the hard labor…

The elite class…who stolen everything from common man….his happiness…hope…love…even reason of life.

This time common man does not even know what has been stolen from him….because he didn’t even know that what was there in the Karachi Literature Festival for him…because he was not invited…even though...entries were free.

And let’s suppose by spending his one weeks pay...he somehow could manage to hire a cab to come so far away…honestly speaking there was nothing in the Karachi Literature Festial for him.
The writers…present in the Karachi Literature Festival don’t write for common man…
Actually….they didn’t even know that they are now “writer” until they reached Pakistan few days ago.

The columnists present in Karachi Literature Festival don’t think that Pakistan needs anything…they think...that the whole purpose of human race of Pakistan now is to kill…condemn…Terrorism…otherwise…all is well.
This Literature Festival…does not represent Pakistan….not Karachi…not even literature.
I remember…when I was a little girl…I used to buy small story books of almost ten to fifteen pages with weird pictures on the cover…they cost almost rupees one to five…I used to buy it from my pocket money…
Even those writers were better than the ones present in the Karachi Literature Festival...having whole half an hour session on their writing and books.
But…just because they wrote their books while living in UK...USA…they are the best writers.
The writers on which whole Pakistan should brag. They are the pride….the grace…of Pakistan.
Karachi Literature Festival…is a festival…there is no doubt about it…but a festival…for elite class…only...
The reason behind the creation of Karachi Literature Festival is to create….generate…another occasion for elite class….to make new dresses…to make appointments for beauty saloons…to look beautiful and rich...and happy too.

They are bridging gap…of course…but from rich to…hmm….more rich people.

And the same…simple hearted…poor….common man...tonight will see on his 14 inch television so many news about Karachi Literature Festival…where he would see that people with shining eyes and glittering ear rings were saying the same…repeated words….

“aaa…aaammmm….this is the best literature festival….aa…ammm…and it should continue….aaa…aaammm…I am so happy to attend the festival….aaa….this is the best way to bridge the gap between our apart classes….aaammm….this sure will portray Pakistan as an educated country…aaammmm….I am so much thankful to the ….. and… organize this festival.”

And after viewing and hearing the same repeated words again and again….the common man will change television’s channel….a channel where he can see and hear…

Munni badnaam hoi….Darling tere leye !



  1. Now-a-days readers are away from books cos of many reasons, the main reason is books are beyond of readers compass and internet easily replaced books.

    And for your last point, in our country Munni is become more popular along with being badnaam and same with Sheela.

  2. hhmmmm... so finally our Munni and Sheela crossed the border... legally or otherwise thats immaterial..... ha haaaa

    Best Wishes,

  3. Thinking, thank you for giving your comments about the KLF. I was expecting a post from your side.

    I could not attend the KLF but now I feel like I haven't miss much important thing. Our masses think and their thinking has creativity like the educated people but the educated ones or intelligentia considers that common men have no vision and they don't have any taste in art and literature.

    They talk about intolerance and terrorism but don't try to think that difference comes here when they separate themselves from the common men and can't tolerate them standing and sitting with them, discussing about their views on art and literature.

  4. Well i really wanted to test my assumption about KLF, but i couldn't go in this event. After reading your post, i think my assumption was true...

  5. A fantastic piece, thinking. Not saying because I have to fill in my share of the comments, but totally mean it. You have hit them right where it hurts.

    I have pretty much the same problem with "writers" who write for the mainstream media, the only thing they can do talk about is terrorism, lack of tolerance, extremism, and nothing else. There is so much more to Pakistan society than this.

  6. Dear genuis for the common soul of man, woman, well you have spoken my heart time and again since I was much younger than you until now...over and over again in many situations...even in my own country.

    And to tell you the truth, I find the writing here in this RR family much more to my liking than the Granta volume which is not at all representative of the Pakistan each of you have helped me to see.

    So slow getting here these days yet my heart and soul continue with you in countless ways...

    Alway your's...

  7. dont know why u ppl alwys critize constructive going on?

    KHI LIT FEST should cont, and if u dont like it you can have choice not to attend.

    ok boss?

  8. “I’ve been in a rickshaw”: Some critical reflections on the Karachi Literature Festival 2011

  9. Society Meeting

    To brandish all the signs of genius
    To bear the marks of disability
    To read the myth of Mighty Peleus
    With such diminished visibility
    Are not the signs of High Society
    Nor will they bring in any money now

    Can this be life when all I do is read?
    And go out once a while unheard, unseen
    Alone and unaccompanied – I plead
    To be let in the group, I have not been
    Involved in anything like this: 15
    Poets all discussing poetry

    “Oh Yes” “Of Course” and that dull “Sure, why not?”
    “Well, you know, when he published Don Juan
    “It all went down so badly and he got”
    “Some very bitter reviews” “And … well … one can
    Either take things badly” “But not Byron”
    He made the most of it, he fobbed them off.

    Go on you dullards mocking: ones who make
    The money from these meetings, those who eat
    The cakes and all the pies and also take
    The freebies to be had from such a meet
    Let me alone now with my bread and water
    And then return back home to Homer’s Daughter

    © Rehan Qayoom, 16v July 2006.

  10. It was not a literature festival instead a Britain sponsored political gathering which included many foreign participants discussing terrorism, sufi-ism etc, extremism. Out of over 70 participants few notable writers and intellectuals were Fehmeeda Riaz, Iftikhar Arif, Zehra Nigah Zahida Hina and Kishwar Naheed. I am strongly in favor of these interactions but these political gathering should not be named as literature festivals etc.

  11. Unfortunately like everything Literature is also now stand divided into segments and camps. All the writers and intellectuals who appeared at KLF belonged to one such division. It would have been appropriate if writers across the spectrum were selected so a wholesome representation was showcased.

    I fully agree when you say that literature should represent people but you must accept that the literature that they were representing were representing for the elitist. So they were the writers, they were the readers and they were the listeners. They represent the small minority and had that same minority their audience.

    KLF was a social event for all those who consider literature as a fashion and not as a way of life. And the literature that they are reading can never become a way of life. A literature that doesn't come from the basic source of life, the day to day living, is just a ornamental decoration and cannot be called literature, literature has to come from the soil, the sweat, the twinkle in the eyes of those dreamers who walk on their fields with shoulder to shoulder with their brothers and tell not their own stories but dreams and aspirations of those multitudes who are not just others or ordinary people but their companions, member of a big family called community, nation and humanity.

    The KLF was not a bad show it was a fine event for elitists, with educated panelists and audience, it was just wrongly titled as Karachi Literature Festival an appropriate name would have been Karachi Literates Festival. (Here literates signify people who have been educated abroad or only in English medium schools)

  12. nice..very well written, loved your post!
    keep up the good writing..A slap for those who think themselves to be on pedestals and gaining strength by snatching from commons...
    its all propaganda by Media..BS of all kind..

  13. To add to Peerless comment, the event was sponsored by British Council and surprisingly co-sponsored by US Consulate; shamefully they are sponsoring social events like this in hotels and killing people in streets.

  14. Well I just can't deny that I agree 100% with Mr Akhtar Wasim Dar.

    When these type of literary activities are hijacked by British Council and US Consulate results ought to be disastrous.

  15. Dear Asma Khan

    Thanks for coming. Internet does not replace anything...its just an addition to our daily life routine....

    What replaced books is this DIVIDE...which makes one wonder what to choose....its become difficult for common to choose what elite's like and elite don't like to choose what masses like...

    Now....buying a book is a kind of who would read something which does not represent him/her....

    hmmm....thanks anyways.

  16. Irfan Sahib

    hmmm....Indian Movies and Indian songs are famous here as well and I do sometimes enjoy them alot.

    I guess both India and Pakistan even after partition have same liking and same disliking...

    You know what makes MUNNI so famous here too...because she acted as a common person...the extras with her was also common people...

    hmm...Thank you so much for coming.

  17. Dear Urooj

    Thanks for your views. Well I can't say that you didn't miss anything...ofcourse you missed me...because I was there

    And yes thats what makes me feel bad because all the pannelists and writers were talking about the BRIDGE between elite and common men... hurts when I heard writers praising their own contemporary writers and didn't mentioned even a single writers from past.

    Thanks for coming. I am honored.

  18. rIZ

    Thanks for coming. Please don't ever trust your must see and check to prove your assumption....

    hmm...may be next year !

  19. A Great Liar

    Thanks for coming.

    And are right about the writers and their way of getting the share...

    That's what I think...they are just striving for their share....

    I am honored that you came.

  20. Dear Connie

    Thanks alot for coming.

    Well you said it right...Granta also...didn't represent Pakistan....

    Waiting for your full participation...

    Thanks for coming...I am honored.

  21. Anonymous

    Thanks for coming...hye...its the freedom of speech I am practising here...remember?

  22. Akhtar

    Thank you so much.

    I didn't mind your copying my post to the other website...but I will be greatful if you just let me know next time (if you like to copy) by email before you do that...

    Thanks...I really do like the way someone put up with Bina Shah...

    hmm...thanks for giving me honor.

  23. Ph_

    Thanks alot Ph_.

    I am honored that you take out time for my blog.

  24. Qayoom Sahib

    hmm....thanks for such to the point poem....

    You are very good in selection too....

    "And then return back home to Homer’s Daughter"

    That's what may be the only thing left for masses now....

    I am honored that you take out time for my post.

  25. Dear Peerless

    Thanks for coming. I know...these gathering should not be named as Literature Festival...

    hmmm....thats what made me feel bad too...that when KLF was first originated its main reason was to bridge the gap...but now they have plans to invite authors from other countries without even having a second thought on what they have done to close the departed classes here....

    I am honored that you came.

  26. hmm....

    Dar Sahib

    Thanks alot.

    Actually...the reason behind...the motive of KLF was bridge the gap...

    To get get close...

    To know eachother and to talk about eachother...

    It could be the best step to bring the two classes on one that they can know about each other...

    But somehow...the whole event was kidnap by the elite class...and mass couldn't even get a glimpse of the festival...

    No body cares mass is so much busy in earning the ROOTI nowadays its easy to take away these kind of events under their nose....

    hmmm....I am glad that you looked at the festival the way a rational person should see it....

    hmm...we too gossip lot about US consulate...what a dare brush/bush off....

  27. Dear Harman

    Thanks for liking the post. I am honored.

    I hope we could change the way of the world...its

  28. Talha

    Thanks for taking out time.

    I am honroed.

  29. "..the event was sponsored by British Council and surprisingly co-sponsored by US Consulate; shamefully they are sponsoring social events like this in hotels and killing people in streets..."

    Wow, I didn't know HOW serious and problematic this was - but you have really opened up my eyes. This is wrong - all wrong - and so so counter-productive for good relationships all the way around.

    Some of you may want to see the very lengthy collection of notes I've placed together on
    No More Crusades blog...

    Apologies to several here for not only it's length but also it's use of some folks works who I'd like to identify yet wisdom says not plz understand...

    Also, I'm seeking to pull that whole subject of the misidentified contractor away from the issue of Aafia and hoping beyond hope perhaps that someone in the US will stop coverage of Egypt long enough to give it the attention it sorely needs.

    Plz let me know - perhaps via my email - what you suggest we need to change or add?

    For now, plz once again use:

    In unity and heart with each of you...

  30. Literature festival and the exhibition attached to it, is like a buffet which provides opportunity to all to pick up delicious food but normally, highly garnished stuff is picked up first while the “tastiest” awaits “someone really hungry” who could take a bite and say, “why didn’t I had it first”.

    These few lines struck my inner strings :-

    “I remember…when I was a little girl…I used to buy small story books of almost ten to fifteen pages with weird pictures on the cover………… I used to buy it from my pocket money…”

    I too picked up a Russian book when I was in class 6th from a Fair which was picturesque. It was about a girl who lost her gold ring during rain under a Cedar tree while returning home from a Jungle. She goes to the same place during spring with her Grandpa and starts removing tree-leaves which were fallen over the ring. Finally she gets it.

    Anyway, I wish, the misty world so beautifully projected by all writers from time to time, could become a reality one day.

  31. Stranger

    hmmm...what a lovely picture you showed us of the childhood and what lovely story it was...

    hmmm....and what you said about the Literature so true....

    Thanks alot for coming. I am honored.