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Landscapes of Writing

Collected Essays of Bapsi Sidhwa

Series:

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 15. 2008 in Retrospect: The Most Momentous Year!

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← 104 | 105 →

· 15 ·

2008 IN RETROSPECT: THE MOST MOMENTOUS YEAR!

One cannot look in upon events in 2008 without reflecting on the fateful moments that held Pakistan hostage to a horrendous roller-coaster ride through 2007. The turmoil that spilled over from Afghanistan into the lawless maze of mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan intensified, and suicide bombers, not on our radars before, exploded like grotesque fire-crackers in the Northern Areas and in major cities including Lahore, killing thousands. The radicalization of the peaceful Swat Valley by the Taliban and their dire edicts was another development:

“If any ‘nai’ shaves or trims a beard, his shop will be blown up!”

What could the poor barbers do but obey?

A new girl’s school built by DIL, a voluntary organization for the development of literacy, was burnt down in the Valley.

On the heels of this turmoil came waves of protest by lawyers and politicians demanding General Pervez Musharraf’s resignation and calling for the reinstatement of the Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. The Supreme Court Justice was ousted by the General for challenging the validity of a case that would have permitted him to remain in power after elections.

Like his predecessors, who had come to power with some popular support, General Musharraf continued to overstay his welcome. ← 105 | 106 →

The processions and their acts of minor vandalism—burning busses and tires on streets—though disruptive, ironically...

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