Kolkata: With eminent authors returning Sahitya Akademi awards to protest rising intolerance, union minister Bandaru Dattatreya said it was their individual right and intellectuals were free to act as per their wish in a democracy.
“It is their individual wish and India is a democratic country,” the minister of state for labour told media persons here on Tuesday while attending an event organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Nearly two dozen authors have announced their decision to return their awards as a mark of protest since a man was lynched in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri area allegedly for consuming beef, and in the wake of murders of writers in the country.
Asked about Monday’s incident of Shiv Sena cadres pouring black paint on Sudheendra Kulkarni, chairman of the think-tank Observer Research Foundation, Dattatreya said, “The political leadership of BJP has already commented on it and my stand is the same as that of the national leadership.”
A group of Shiv Sena cadres poured paint on Kulkarni to protest launch of a book by Pakistan’s former foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri at a function in Mumbai on Monday.
The craft of distilling is very ancient and recipes have been handed down generations. To me, food and spirits are very culture-centric and each dish or drink is an experience of this culture and have a lot of story to it.
Every bottle of alcohol has a tale to tell and to celebrate this, over 20 international masters, distillers, mixologists and story tellers will gather in Mumbai over the weekend on a platform that celebrates the craft of distillers and distilleries. It will also be a rite of passage for the new consumer who is open to experiencing luxury beverages that are a product of passion and commitment and are produced in small batches, without any compromise on quality.
“Every bottle has a tale, waiting to be shared – of its founder, of the distiller, of the wood in which it lay, of the people who built the spirit, of the mixologist who decided to `play’ with it and more. Listen, learn and celebrate the people behind the spirits,” Keshav Prakash, who began his career as an advertising filmmaker and then travelled the world to discover the world of fine spirts, told IANS of The Vault Biennale at the Mahalakshmi Race Course.
“The craft of distilling is very ancient and recipes have been handed down generations. To me, food and spirits are very culture-centric and each dish or drink is an experience of this culture and have a lot of story to it.
“For example, making whiskey is a tradition native to Scotland, much like rum to the Caribbean, Mezcal to the Mexico and so on. These are parts of their values and teachings handed over from generation to generation, with much love and celebration, making it an intrinsic part of a living culture,” Prakash explained.
The event is open to only 400 aficionados each day.
“We envision two kinds of visitors at the Biennale – one who are newly immersing themselves in fine spirits and others who know their single malt, gin, whiskey etc. The aim is for the curated audience to meet curated brands and learn about their stories. We consciously wanted to create a small, well-curated festival that encourages such conversations amongst the visitors,” Prakash elaborated.
Over 50 handpicked fine beverage brands like Kilchoman Machir Bay, Rémy Martin, Cotswolds Gin, and Amrut Peated Port Pipe. Leading the audience will be mixologists from World’s 50 Best Bars, among them Hiroyasu Kayama of Tokyo, Alex Simonidis & Georgia Georgakopoulou of Athens and Jose Luis Leon of Mexico City. (IANS)