July 25, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Literature as a Muse — Tariq Ali

1 min read

Elita Karim interviews the British Pakistani writer, journalist, and filmmaker Tariq Ali in Dhaka

Tariq_AliAli is scheduled to start off the Hay Festival today, along with Syed Manzoorul Islam and Ahdaf Soueif at the Bangla Academy. “I would rather call it the Dhaka Literature Festival,” says Tariq Ali. “I don’t attend the Hay festivals in Britain. The only reason why I am here is because the festival is happening in Dhaka. And I am here after a long time.”

The last time Ali was in Dhaka, he spoke to students under a mango tree, prodding them to go for independence and not autonomy. “There were gasps everywhere! It was probably in 1969 or 1970,” he says. “I remember asking them if I should speak in Urdu or English. Everyone chanted together — ‘ENGLISH!’”

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