Pakistan: Global literary festivals and Karachi Literature Festival

A literary figure, a writer creates his/her masterpieces for readers. It’s a rarity that a reader is blessed enough to meet the writer he likes in person. A reader is related to a writer through the latter’s words, imagination s/he uses in his writings. The meeting in person was considered more of a fantasy and a dramatised dream in olden days. But now things have changed, literature has also seen an advancement and progress. One of the many examples of that can be Literary Festivals organised globally.

william_dalrympleThere are many countries where these festivals are organised regularly with much fervour, enthusiasm and excitement. In Asia, a number of countries organise the festivals; India, China, Burma, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, and Japan top the list. Jaipur Literary Festival is considered the biggest festival in Asia where people from every nook and corner of the world come and get their literary thirst assuaged. In Pakistan the literature festivals, organised in Islamabad and Karachi, have also crafted their own individuality successfully. William Dalrymple is deemed as the soul of India’s Jaipur Literary Festival. He is a British historian who has written a number of books on India and Mughal culture. Two years back, Dalrymple also attended Literary Festival in Karachi. I, the scribe, was privileged to interview him. William Dalrymple started organising Jaipur Literary Festival of India in 2006 and the festival is organised now every year with increased passion. Pakistan’s scholars and writers also attend the mentioned festival in India. The organisers of Jaipur Literary Festival tried to arrange the festival in Kashmir to prove how peaceful the area is but the country’s scholars didn’t only boycott it, they also resorted to protest against the brutalities happening in Kashmir.

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