The Diary: Fatima Bhutto
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      Fatima Bhutto in a conversation during Jaipur Literature Week at Diggi Palace, Jaipur in Rajasthan, India, in 2008.

To India, where I'm on a panel with Germaine Greer. We have been invited to the India Today Conclave to discuss whether or not burkas and bikinis can co-exist. I'm afraid I've been selected to represent Team Burka (being Pakistani and, therefore, automatically assumed to be a fundamentalist of some magnitude).

I ring up a friend who teaches gender studies at a Karachi college (see, we are not all fundos) and ask to borrow some books. She photocopies some hardcore Muslim feminist writing for me and attaches a note: "Of course, the burka and bikini can co-exist, have these people not heard of the burkini?" Quite. (The burkini, in case of reader confusion, is a swimming costume designed especially for the most orthodox Muslim women.)

It does seem strange that no one who wears a burka seems to be involved in the panel discussion. But perhaps I'm wrong and that's going to be the big reveal — or not, if you see what I mean.

Fatima Bhutto is the author of the 2010 Nation Books title, Songs of Blood and Sword: A Daughter's Memoir. 

To read the rest of this post, please visit the Financial Times website, where it originally appeared.


Tags: bhutto, bikinis, burka, burkas, burkha, burkhas, fatima bhutto, india, karachi, pakistan

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