Nik Gowing, Anil Dharker, Shobhaa De and William Dalrymple were panellists at the session. Image Credit: Francois Nel/Gulf News

Dubai: Political infighting and perceived apathy to serious crime in India were hotly debated at a Dubai literature event on Friday.

Speaking at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, leading personalities in the Indian literature and media industry highlighted cases such as the recent gang rape and murder of a young woman in Delhi.

The India Panel session featured columnists Anil Dharker and Shobhaa De, and writer-historian William Dalrymple. BBC veteran presenter Nik Gowing chaired the session.

Expressing her views on what she described as the general state of affairs in India, Shobhaa said that “most state governments are at war with the municipalities, the state home minister represents another party interest and is at war with the chief minister.”

She added: “So when we have within the same city, the same state everybody warring with everybody else… with this kind of attitude how can there be any kind of progress or improvement, unless the people demand it.”

On the Dehli rape case, Shobhaa said that it “was the single most important case that galvanised public opinion in a way that I could not have imagined or dreamt of.”

“This momentum will not die, it is too important a case.”