While waiting to hear about the line-up of writers for the next Khushwant Singh Litfest (12-14 October 2018), letâ€™s take a flashback to last yearâ€™s festival, and especially the wine preferences of some eminent participants.
Ambassador K.C. Singh:Â As a first-time participant at the Festival, KC, as he is affectionately known, wasÂ seduced by the locale, but more so by the deep engagement of the audiences in Kasauli.Â As a diplomat turned columnist and sought after TV commentator on political and strategic issues, Ambassador Singh chaired a panel on Pakistanâ€¦. a subject which always stirs passions, is thought-provoking and evokes debate.Â On being asked when the time may be ripe for â€œreunification, Ã la Germanyâ€ KC pragmatically notes that the invaluable common cultural context is being diminished by extreme religious movements in both India and Pakistan. Any rapprochement is far down the road, if at all. The role of religion will first need to be diminished, essentially through education, he says sagely. Even just arriving at peace would be a major accomplishment. On the easier topic of wine, KC admits his gradual conversion from whisky to wine, preferring the new world reds which go well with Indian food, he believes, especially the flavourful, well bodied Australian varieties. While the Indian wine industry is developing and there is an enlarged market, some states are now going dry, such as Bihar – hopefully, others do not follow.
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