If you’re a woman with a brain in either India or Pakistan, a thousand things will be said about you: Barkha Dutt

If you are a woman with a brain in either India or Pakistan, then a thousand things will be said about you, well-known Indian TV journalist Barkha Dutt told a large audience during the launch of her book This Unquiet Land: Stories from India’s Fault Lines on the second day of the 7th Karachi Literature Festival (KLF).

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Ms Dutt, who shot to fame in India, for her reporting of the Kargil war between Pakistan and India in 1999, works in a senior role for NDTV in India and has won numerous awards.

Her session at the KLF was moderated by well-known journalist Ghazi Salahuddin. At least one person in the audience, a journalist herself, tweeted that his moderation was not that good.

Ms Dutt said that it was sad that Anupam Kher was denied a visa and couldn’t come to Pakistan to attend the KLF. She said that the establishments of both Pakistan and India needed to grow up as far as visa issues between the two were concerned.

She said that the Kashmir issue was something that created conflict between India and Pakistan but that it could be resolved if other issues between the two neighbours were resolved. “Kashmir is no longer the theatre of conflict,” she said.

Ghazi Salahuddin

Indian journalist Barkha Dutt at the Karachi Literature Festival on February 6

Ms Dutt is often trolled on social media, especially Twitter, by many Indians as well, who see her and her channel as championing values that run contrary to those of the BJP and in particularly Narendra Modi’s government. It was perhaps in this context that she told the audience that social media had “made it impossible to have a nuanced, complex discussion”

Ms Dutt also highly of Indian democracy saying that it was “very safe in the hands of the people. They will bring politics back to the Centre”.

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