EMINENT PAKISTANI writer Intizar Husain feels that his country had witnessed an ‘awakening’ for Hindi writings and a large number of them were being translated in Urdu. “There has been a surge in the translation of Hindi literary works into Urdu. Likewise there has also been an increase in the translation of Urdu writings to Hindi in India.
This is a good sign for bolstering relations between the two countries,” he told the Hindustan Times. “It is a healthy message that the writers of Pakistan are taking more interest in Hindi, but unfortunately all these translations are being done because of the personal interest of writers. There is no encouragement from the government.”
Husain said that he had also translated a Vijay Tendulkar play, ‘Chup Raho Ye Adalat Hai’, which was staged in Pakistan. The writer is in the City to read his stories as part of the ‘Paath’ series at Bharat Bhavan on Thursday. Maintaining that literary activities were more popular in India than in Pakistan he said, “I was shocked to see that people buy tickets and visit book exhibitions here. This exemplifies their literary taste. Theatre is also very active in India.”
He said religious books were becoming very popular in Pakistan. On the freedom of expression in his country, he observed, “It is much better than in the past. There is a lot of freedom given to the Press these days, as compared to the restraints
in the past.”
“There are trade relations between India and Pakistan, but I still never find an Indian book written in Urdu or English in Pakistani book stalls. Even Indian newspapers are not available in Pakistan. This is bad. If potatoes and onions can be traded then why can’t books and newspapers be sent across the boundaries?”
Husain, who has been decorated with the Adamji Award of Pakistan and ‘Yatra Samman’ of India, said, “Notwithstanding the tension, camaraderie always prevails in the literary fraternity of the two neighbouring countries.”
Born in India, Husain had migrated to Pakistan after the partition. His writings got a canvas after he saw the sufferings during the partition. “The immediate happenings around me during the partition found an expression in my writings and this is how I started penning stories.”