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Landscapes of Writing

Collected Essays of Bapsi Sidhwa


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 20. Bury the Hatchet for Peace Sake!


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In 2004 the Indian and Pakistani communities led by South Asian physician groups and community activists organized the second Indo-Pakistan Independence Day Peace Celebration. Bapsi Sidhwa was invited to present a talk at the event of the 2004 South Asians for Peace, Prosperity, and Development. Here is a copy of her presentation as found in her archive.

In 2003 a baby whose defective heart could not be treated in Pakistan was flown over to Bangalore in India for treatment; and with the heart surgery of baby Fatima Noor in Bangalore, hope beat again in the hearts of millions of Indians and Pakistanis—how else can one explain the flood of goodwill gifts for the Pakistani child in India? And are not the prayers for the recovery of the toddler also an evocation for the healing of the wounds we have inflicted on each other—prayers for Dosti (friendship) between India and Pakistan.

But can we in Pakistan and India bury the hatchet? Relegate our past furies and mistakes to the past? There are so many hatchets requiring “burial” that one needs to ask: “Which hatchet?” And often it is not a question of “can we” but of “should we.” Can we bury the Kashmir hatchet? Can we bury the distrust and hate with which each religious community views the other? Given that one should not even contemplate the use of nuclear...

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