by Heber Huang
HONG KONG–Two female writers came to Hong Kong Baptist University to talk about writing and social activism in South Asia today.
It was a one-hour writers–to-writers-to-be talk from Bina Shah and Meena Kandasamy, who both shared their unique experiences as professional writers with journalism students on campus.
Bina Shah, a fiction writer from Karachi Pakistan referred to the tragedy of Malala Yousufzai, who was shot by Taliban members due to voicing for children’s education in Pakistan, to show that women issues were still a big concern there.
According to Shah, writing cannot stand alone without interests in one field. Her interests in gender issues, especially female equality and education in Pakistan propelled her to keep on writing. When talking about writing skills, she said, “Instead of being the slave to writing techniques, let the techniques work for you.”
The other writer and also an activist, Meena Kandasamy talked more about being an activist and writing as one in India, which she said was the second largest democratic country but media was still used as a propaganda tool.
Kandasamy said although she was an activist but she never wanted to be a politician, who would compromise a lot. As a writer, she could never worry about any scandal and hit on anyone she wanted, she said.
Meena Kandasamy is talking about her perspectives towards politics in India.