BENGALURU: In a panel discussion on ethnic identities, Islamabad-based freelance journalist Haroon Khalid drew a parallel between how Hindus are viewed in Pakistan and Muslims in India. “Muslim and Pakistani are viewed as synonymous,” said Khalid, who has authored the book A White Trail: A journey into the heart of Pakistan’s religious minorities. “Even in Pakistan, people say Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan are Pakistanis because they are Muslims.” He recalled how ahead of a certain World Cup match, a group a Sikhs praying for Pakistan’s victory made news. “And I didn’t understand why. Just because they are not Muslims?” he asked.
As a journalist, when he interviews people, he has sensed that even patriotic declarations have an undercurrent of intolerance. “When people say ‘I love Pakistan’ over and over, the way they say it makes you wonder.” Creative Writing in Sanskrit A panel titled ‘Challenges creative writing Sanskrit today’ saw speakers Radhavallabh Tripathi, Shankar Rajaraman and T S Vishwanathan conversing largely in Sanskrit about whether or not the current readership for works in the language was sufficient to make authors want to write.