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The Quarterly Newsletter of South Asian University | Volume 1 December Edition, 2016

There is no freedom of expression without freedom of thought and in turn no democracy and eventually
no modernity, he opined. Questioning in a democracy should never stop, he added. On freedom of faith,
he said there should be freedom to choose one's faith and that should not exclude one's choice to be an
unbeliever or an atheist. There cannot be modernity if there is no gender equality in society and it is even
against shariat law to deny gender equality, he said. If the present generation is able to achieve these four
freedoms, it would be a great tribute to the generation that worked to achieve freedom from imperialism
and would then have played their part in the historic transformation of the world, the minister said.
In her welcome address, Dr. Kavita Sharma, President of SAU, expressed the hope that SAU would soon
have a permanent campus of its own as the first phase of construction was processing smoothly and the
second phase could start soon.
The inaugural function was followed by a panel discussion on “Cinema and Society in South Asia” with
three eminent panelists – filmmaker Rahul Roy from India, publisher Kanak Mani Dixit from Nepal and
filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage from Sri Lanka. The session was chaired by Prof. Sasanka Perera, Vice
President, SAU.
No celebration seems complete without some music, and to fill in that requirement, an experimental sufi
band – Chaar Yaar belted out an eclectic set of numbers to entertain the crowd. The last activity of the day
was screening of films – Dying Dreams directed by Sudath Abeysiriwardane from Sri Lanka and Boxing
Girls of Kabul directed by Ariel Nasr from Afghanistan.

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