Fatima Bhutto, niece of Benazir Bhutto, is in India to promote her book Songs of Blood and Sword. She appeared in an interview with Barkha Dutt. The interview is 45 mins. long but worth every bit. Here is the link. I know it has Barkha I’m-trying-my-best-to-be-a-cross-between-Oprah-and-Simi-Garewal Dutt, but it is still worth your time.
Fatima’s father, Murtaza Bhutto, was killed in 1996 in a conspiracy allegedly involving her aunt, Benazir Bhutto. Her relationship with Benazir since, leading to Benazir’s own assassination and the strange circle that it completed forms a large part of the interview. And the book, I presume.
What struck me most was the ease with which she talks about the duality of Benazir Bhutto — as a politician and as an aunt. It would have been fine if she had shown her angst at the treatment meted out to her father and his family. But she comes across as remarkably composed and intelligent.
And then there is this quote of Fatima Bhutto (she was asked about why she refused to enter active politics) :
I don’t believe in birth-right politics. I don’t think, nor have I ever thought, that my name qualifies me for anything.
I’m political, my writing is political, I’m active in political causes. I’ve always been interested in politics — but this very idea of eastern politics of dynasty, I don’t think breeds affection. I think it is an entitled, dangerous system. It doesn’t enhance engagement in politics. It doesn’t help participatory democracy.
She deserves much respect for this quote. Given how the Zardari kids are shaping up with Bilawal Sunny-Deol Zardari and Asifa Imma-speak-Urdu-with-a-phoren-accent Zardari, Fatima might be the only good thing to come out of that whole family.
Oh, and she is really charming.