Third Day of literary Lahore festival start by enormous well known and incredible personalities like Aakar Patel, Asma jehangir, Fahd Hussain, Arif Nizami,  Ayesha Jalal, Romila Thapar, Mina Hassan and Nazia Ejaz stealing the limelight.

Manto’s Session:

In this Session discussion on early life of Manto took place, how he got attached to Bombay and how much people from the film industry adore him for his work.

Aakar Patel who translated Manto’s work from Urdu to English talked about Manto’s writing relevance in today’s world, how Manto discussed the violence that prevails in our society and how the society is responsible for it. Mr.Patel also said that no one like Manto can be born again in terms of quality of writing. He also believed that freedom of speech is practiced under certain circumstances and hence that’s the reason many of Manto’s work has not been published. These Translations can help youth connect with Manto and read his stories which are true essence of Literature. Mr.Patel also touched upon an interesting fact of Manto’s writing not reflecting religious mind but instead had straight forward way of saying even if you like or not one cannot stay away from it.

Malika-e-Tarannum Noor Jahan

On the screen one can say the monologue of the Queen of Melody, Madam Noor Jahan takes you back in time. It was just mesmerizing. It was after fifteen years that City of Lahore paid tribute to a legend like her by having her daughters Mina Hassan and Nazia Ejaz sharing their affectionate bond with their mother and what a great celebrity she was.

Hamid the grandson of Fazi Ahamd Faiz , who was also present at the panel shared his experience of meeting Madam Noor jahan telling that she would just take few minutes to tell the person’s personality. He also told the audience how he one day in jail listened to her ghazal “Mere Mehboob” and after when he was released from jail he went to see Madam and said ”Mere Mehboob” belongs to her.

In between the sessions songs like “Lakht Jigar” “chikori” and many other famous were played which made the audience applause and glued them to their seats that the session went longer than the expected time which showed how much Lahoris adored and appreciated her.

Noor Jahan’s role in recording Anti-war songs was also discussed as how she was unhappy to see jawans loosing their lives in the war.

This session indeed gave Lahoris the best of Noor Jahan.

Mirch Masala Journalism Session

Different aspects of media working were looked upon in this session; media rating systems, advertisers, quality and television were discussed. Arif Niazmi, Fahad Hussain, Muneeza presented their point of views as being a part of this field. Fahad Hussain, the anchor on express news being an optimistic saw media as a changing tool and disagreed that Governments or agencies has pressure on them, according to him it’s the advertisers who are the biggest pressure on them. He also talked about television being superficial rather than being philosophical and in producing in depth issues as you will lose viewership if your content does not connect with viewers. Arif Niazmi who was also on the panel agrees that media lacks quality reporting journalism and this is the thing we all should look upon while on the other hand Muneeza talked about the quality of stories they want to publish but cannot and the areas that are excluded from coverage.

The whole session was full of information and healthy discussion which was worth listening specially when there are great journalists around.

Living With Internal Differences: The South Asian Dilemma

Three powerful women of South Asia Ayesha Jalal, Romila Thapar and Asma Jahangir were on panel along with Khaled Ahmed. It was indeed a pleasure to listen to someone like Romila Thapar, her grip on her subject was firm and her arguments were well researched.

The session started off by Khaled Ahmed asking about internal conflicts and later touching upon serious points regarding democracy, unity, identity, curriculum and Sharia laws.

According to Ayesha Jalal, Pakistan had been unlucky to build elected institutions and had problems in accepting others whether it’s in term of accepting elections, while Romila Thapar discussed that democracy is defined by religion rather than being a free entity and being secularized, therefore we need to think on that note.

While Asma Jahangir, the Human rights activist talked about how in Pakistan we have failed to enjoy diversity that could have greater benefits to us, she said nation states has its own values and therefore everyone should be allowed to live their own values in order to avoid conflicts. She also talked about democracy being a process which takes time and improvements. Lastly the session ended by Asma Jahangir talking about Hudood Ordinace laws which are being amended by great efforts and how religion in sub continent has been oppressive and given more importance.