Literature festival in Karachi
A TWO-day ‘Literature festival’ on the pattern of Jaipur and Galle literature festivals is being organised by the British Council and Oxford University Press (OUP) at Karachi.
Such literary activities will definitely provide a breath of fresh air in the suffocating atmosphere created by ceaseless gruesome incidents in various parts of the country.
For a country like Pakistan, where book reading habit is on the decline, the idea of celebrating such literary activities will not only generate/enhance readership but will also encourage writers to produce quality works for readers.
At the same time such healthy activities will play a positive role in taking our younger generation away from indulging in self-destructive activities such as political violence, etc.
However, the literature festival will not achieve the objective for which it is intended if it is limited to English readership.
I wish that distinguished writers of other languages, i.e. Sindhi, Urdu, Seraiki, Punjabi, Pushto and Baluchi, are also invited and their books introduced on the occasion so as to make the festival fully representative.
The OUP, during its 58 years of existence, has done a wonderful job by publishing many quality books on biographies, history, politics and literature, etc. However, most of these being in English have limited readership and, therefore, did not spread expected learning, the very objective for which this great institution was established.
Therefore, taking advantage of this occasion, I approach the Oxford University Press authorities with a request to publish works of other languages of Pakistan so as to encourage good writers and increase the scope of learning activities in the country.