Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar today floored an audience that included her Pakistani counterpart,senior ministers and parliamentarians by delivering a speech in flawless Urdu laced with couplets from Firaq Gorkhpuri,Majrooh Sultanpuri and Faiz Ahmed Faiz.
At a dinner hosted by Fehmida Mirza,the Speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly or lower house of parliament,Kumar was repeatedly applauded by the gathering as she interspersed her speech with Urdu couplets.
Kumar praised the natural beauty of Pakistan and said: “Your matchless hospitality is famous in India. But after coming here,I have found that the hospitality,in reality,is even greater”.
The parliaments of both countries,she said,have an important role to play in fostering better relations between the people.
The foundation of relations between India and Pakistan is based on common culture and links,including a shared love for music,films and sports,Kumar said. Indian film stars are loved in Pakistan,while Pakistani musicians and singers have huge followings in India,she added.
Referring to the passion for cricket in both countries,Kumar said more exchanges in all fields would help send a message of peace to the people.
“It is necessary for us to move towards the goal of friendship with greater speed,” she said before concluding her speech with a couplet from Majrooh Sultanpuri.
In contrast,Mirza largely spoke in English and noted that the lower houses of parliament in Pakistan and India had women Speakers for the first time. Noting that this was a tribute to the women of the subcontinent,she said: “Women don’t make wars,women make peace. Women don’t take lives,women give lives”.