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Landscapes of Writing

Collected Essays of Bapsi Sidhwa

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Bapsi Sidhwa

Edited By Teresa Russo

This book is a collection of essays by international writer Bapsi Sidhwa gathered for the first time in one edition by Teresa Russo, with a foreword written by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Deepa Mehta. Landscapes of Writing: Collected Essays of Bapsi Sidhwa provides a writer’s perspective on issues of South Asian literature, linguistics, poetry, and views of political events and globalization. In the first part of the book, Bapsi Sidhwa discusses her childhood, family life, and how she became a writer. There is also a revised essay detailing how her book Cracking India became a film by Deepa Mehta. The second part of the book focuses on her thoughts concerning war, terrorism, and how to achieve peace. This collection includes two letters, demonstrating her local and nationalistic perspectives to a larger view of an interconnected world.

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Chapter 13. A Letter to The Hindustan Times: In Defense of Deepa Mehta’s Water

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· 13 ·

A LETTER TO THE HINDUSTAN TIMES: IN DEFENSE OF DEEPA MEHTA’S WATER

May 19, 2000

In 2000, Bapsi Sidhwa writes to Hindustan Times, defending Deepa Mehta for the attacks of the Hindu extremist organizations who sought to halt the production of her film Water (the third film of Mehta’s Element Trilogy). The letter, titled “They are punishing Deepa for deflating their egos,” was made available on May 19, 2000 for international viewing on the World Socialist Web Site (wsws.org), a news site published by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI). The editors wrote on their website: “Author Bapsi Sidhwa sent the following letter to the Hindustan Times defending filmmaker Deepa Mehta against the virulent attacks of the Hindu extremist organisations seeking to prevent the production in India of her latest film Water. Bapsi Sidhwa provided a copy of her letter for publication on the World Socialist Web Site.” The letter is made available here in its original form as Sidhwa sent it to the newspaper and published on WSWS, courtesy of Joseph Kishore of the World Socialist Web Site.

Of all the charges brought against Deepa Mehta’s script of Water, the charge of plagiarism is perhaps the most unjust. The credit for the most absurd goes to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for objecting to the script because it is supposed to have included the marriage of a low-caste Dom Raja to a Brahmin widow....

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