The 3rd Sindh Literature Festival ends on high note
Sindh’s leading fiction writer Amar Jaleel on Sunday asked those at the helm of affairs that the voters in every constituency should have the right to quash their votes given to lawmakers whom they think were no longer suitably representing them.
“If someone casts a vote for a candidate, the voter should also have the right to cancel it and dislodge one’s representative in an assembly when the latter fails to do good for his/her constituents,” said Mr Jaleel, Sindhi’s most-popular short-story writer to a packed audience at a session of the Sindh Literature Festival at Beach Luxury Hotel, which concluded on Sunday.
He said voter, by choosing a candidate, was actually hiring someone to represent him or her in an assembly, make laws and resolve the issues facing a constituency.
“Employers fire their workers when the latter don’t perform; same should be the case with public representatives. They should be fired with a vote of no-confidence when they don’t perform or do well for their voters.”
He said the existing culture of politics was based on opportunism and cowardice; where deceit was being deemed as a good ploy to become successful.
Amar Jaleel, in conversation with writer Aijaz Mangi, spoke at length on various philosophical subjects, which included the afterlife, suicide and love, particularly the platonic love he often portrayed in his series of short stories.
He said he strongly believed that life never died but those that died were mere bodies; and the real essence of life kept manifesting it serially; infinitely.
“This body is our home, but not the life itself; this body can die and stink, not the life, which remains immortal.”
He said he did not know whether he was a Sufi or an atheist, as many labelled him frequently; yet, “I am what I am.”
He said Sufis liberated them from the scales of life that others wore until their life circle completed; while love was nothing but the total submission of someone to one’s beloved.
He said it was greed and fear that drove the human mind and extremism was the product of them.
In another session titled Jo hum nahin likh saktay, Noorul Huda Shah, Mujahid Barelvi, Aijaz Mangi, Asma Sheerazi and Wusatullah Khan spoke about the hardships writers and journalists faced while writing the truth.
Ms Shah said writers had many ways and means to convey the truth to one’s readers.
Wusatullah Khan said a society enduring worst conditions for its members was a fertile turf for writers to thrive.
Mr Barelvi lamented the correlation between movements and writers had faded to the hilt.
Ms Sheerazi said the current times were bad for journalists who were being demonised for performing their professional duties.
Books on interviews with scholars and writers by Humsafar Gadahi and the posthumous autobiography of journalist Shaikh Aziz were launched.
Writer Gul Hasan Kalmati moderated a session on the colours of old Karachi in which representatives of various communities and activists participated.
Sessions on the ‘Wisdom of G.M. Syed’, modern Sindhi novel, declining journalism, emerging digital media, mushaira and music evening were also held.
Barrister Murtaza Wahab, advisor to the Sindh chief minister on law and information, also spoke in the segment ‘Meet the Sindh government’. Besides, journalist Sohail Warraich, famous for his interviews with famous personalities, was interviewed by Wusatullah Khan.