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Partition memories, brand Modi highlight the Kumaon Literary Festival

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Dhanachuli: Pakistan participants discussed partition memories in Kumaon Literary Festival though Pakistani author Kanza Javed was denied participation.

In a late evening session titled ‘Remnants of a Separation’, Asif Noorani, columnist of Pakistan newspaper Dawn, however reiterated the fact that there is no enmity between the people of two countries.

“When I go back to Pakistan, people ask me about the price of onions and tomatoes in India. There is no enmity between people. It’s only the leaders who create the divide,” said Noorani, whose family migrated from then Bombay for Lahore when he was five years old.

The session evoked some emotional moments with the audience also sharing stories of Partition and how the heartache still lingers in both sides.

Noorani also urged that it’s high time that the countries move beyond the security forces’ drill at the Attari-Wagah border and replace it by cultural programmes as suggested by Ameena Saiyid, founder of Karachi and Islamabad literary festivals.

To a question of why the Partition happened, Noorani said that everyone has to share the blame.

“It’s like the Gulzar movie ‘Aandhi’. At the end of the movie, the estranged couple introspects that both have to be share the blame for their separation. In the case of Partition too, it’s the same,” he said.

Earlier in the day, a session titled ‘Ab Ki Baar Slogan War’ saw Trinamool Congress MP Dinesh Trivedi and social commentator Santosh Desai brainstorming on how Mod’s advertising campaign during 2014 general elections changed the landscape of political campaign in the country.

While blaming Modi’s advertising campaigning for corporatizing politics, Trivedi said that the ‘Acche Din’ campaign has become a butt of jokes in social media.

“The flip side of the Modi campaign is out now. With pulses at Rs 200, people are asking where is acche din? He has failed to deliver,” he said.

Arguing that Modi was successful in branding himself as a ‘reliable product’, Desai said that other political parties have also aping Modi’s playbook.

In another session, literary historian Rakshananda Jalil and Saif Mahmood,founder of SAALARC, discussed how the Urdu language from lingua franca became only the preserve of Muslims.

While forgotten legends of Indian cinema were discussed by theatre director M.K. Raina, the day was rounded off by performance ‘Making of Mahabharata’ by Deepti Pant.

The festival was inaugurated Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Friday.

(IANS)

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The 8th Edition of Mountain Echoes Literary Festival in Bhutan to Showcase Unexplored Landscapes, History and Literature

The festival will take place from August 25 to 27, with a special inaugural ceremony on Thursday evening in Thimphu

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Literary Festival, Trongsa Dzong
Trongsa Dzong architechture in Bhutan. Mountain Echoes Literary Festival in Bhutan to have Unexplored Landscapes, History and Literature. Wikimedia
  • The festival promises to be a walk along unexplored landscapes and breathtaking beauty
  • Festival visitors will have an opportunity to indulge in activities that are close to nature
  • This extraordinary advantage of the lit fest comes along with a stellar line-up of writers, artists, and performers

Thimphu, August 24, 2017: Literature festivals are quite the trend these days, but this one comes with an added attraction of the surreal beauty that the Land of the Thunder Dragon is known for. Literary stalwarts have already begun descending on Bhutan’s picturesque capital for the eighth edition of Mountain Echoes Literary Festival, but visitors will have much more than just literature to savor.

The festival promises to be a walk along unexplored landscapes and breathtaking beauty, as well as dzongs and monasteries steeped in history. With a legacy of culture, tradition and natural beauty like few others, festival visitors will have an opportunity to indulge in activities that are close to nature.

From a visit to the 15th century Punakha Dzong, that translates into the Palace of Great Happiness, to a trek along the Dochula pass at an altitude of over 10,000 feet, there are a lot of thrills in the itinerary of visitors.

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This extraordinary advantage of the lit fest comes along with a stellar line-up of writers, artists, and performers who will enthrall the visitors. While lit fest regulars like Shashi Tharoor, Namita Gokhale, and Ruskin Bond will share their stories with book lovers, there are quite a few offbeat names like Markus Zusak, Padma Lakshmi, Pranay Lal, Francesca Beard and Phuntsho Namgyel that visitors may also look forward to for some interesting discussions.

Fashion is also one of the key themes this year as the festival aims to weave the traditional textile heritage of Bhutan and India with contemporary fashion and build a common thread between the two countries and their shared cultures.

The festival will be held from August 25 to 27, with a special inaugural ceremony on Thursday evening in Thimphu.

(Saket Suman’s visit to Thimphu is at the invitation of the organizers of the Mountain Echoes Literary Festival) (IANS)