Clarifying that the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) did not sponsor the Karachi Literature Festival, Director General Amarendra Khatua on Monday said the council only bought air tickets for four Indian authors to attend the event on the recommendation of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.
While the ICCR sponsors artistes and authors to travel to different countries to showcase their work, its decision to send four writers to Islamabad at a time when there is a chill in ties between the two countries has raised eyebrows. “We only bought air tickets for four Indian authors and we did so at the recommendation of our High Commission in Islamabad. We have not sponsored the KLF,” Khatua said.
Urvashi Butalia, Preeti Shenoy, Dr Saif Mahmood and Mamang Dai were the Indian writers who attended the KLF, held between February 10-12.
Officials said that sending Indian cultural troupes, artists and authors abroad has been the mainstay of ICCR’s work since its inception. “Artistes have travelled abroad from every corner of India — to show India’s classical, folk and modern dance and music. Great masters and young and promising artistes have seen the world and have shown India to the world,” an ICCR official said.