Aligarh: On the evening of the 27th of March 2019, the second day of the Women Leadership Summit 2019, the panels took place inside the Women’s College Auditorium , Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). Newsd is the digital media partner for Women Leadership Summit organised by WCSU.
Amidst the on-going controversy inside the university campus, the Women’s College Student’s Union (WCSU) managed to continue the summit despite the attempts to cancel the first all women organized event. The panel for the evening was on the Man Booker prize longlisted book by Arundhati Roy, Ministry Of Utmost Happiness.
The other panelist was Arjumand Ara; professor of Urdu at Delhi University and the translator of Ministry Of Utmost Happiness which was later published by the title of ‘ Bepanah Shaadmani Ki Mumlikat’. The moderator for the panel was Sharjeel Usmani, activist and student of Political Science, AMU and the host for the day was Afnan, a student of literature, AMU.
The panel began with the introduction of the guests. For the first time, inside the Women’s College, a mega event was organized without any corporate funding and run solely by the undergraduate female students of the university. The idea of the three day event as Afreen Fatima, President WCSU said was, ‘to educate, empower and activate the potential of young female change makers’. Arundhati Roy was the chief guest speaker for the evening. A short video on the landscapes of Ministry Of Utmost Happiness was played to give the audience the visuals of the places mentioned in the book. Arundhati Roy read passages from her book , providing details of the story . Arundhati’s latest book covers incidences of over seventeen years that have taken place with in the country.
She said, ”I didn’t feel the need to write a book every two years. I had written thirteen years ago; talked about being attacked by people who called themselves liberal.” The book is political and personal, it is about Gujarat riots, it is about Kashmir and everything that happened between 1997 and the publication of Ministry of Utmost Happiness. Arjumand shared her experiences while translating the book into Urdu. She said, ”It is not easy to translate a culture, it has poems and several other things. The cultural essence is compromised in translation of a beautiful book. It has poems and words that cannot find similar replacements.”
The discussion wasn’t limited to the stories that ran through the pages of the book but rather the happenings in the modern Indian nation where the media is out of rails, the corporate organizations have been owning several news channels and how the intellect of the people is being deeply compromised. “It is not one man that is destroying things, it is an organized process.”
The panel came to end with an interactive session with the audience. The mementos were presented to the guests by the secretary of WCSU. The evening concluded with a book signing session with Arundhati Roy .