Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Sunday said that literary festivals like the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan (ABMSS) connect one end of country with the other besides giving an opportunity to exchange languages, cultures and heritage.
The BJP leader was speaking on the concluding day of the three-day 88th edition of the Marathi Literary Festival at Ghuman village in Punjab's Gurdaspur district, which bears an association with Marathi Saint Namdev.
Saint Namdev- an important saint of the Bhakti movement from Maharashtra - is believed to have spent the last years of his life at this a nondescript village. His 61 shabads were included in Guru Granth Sahib, a holy scripture for the Sikhs.
"The warmth of relations between Marathi and Punjabi that Saint Namdev fostered are strong even today and this is the prime reason Marathi language is celebrating itself on the Punjab's land at village Ghuman today at the Marathi Literary Fest," he said.
While paying tributes to the Saint Namdev, he said that the literary and spiritual relations, which he set rolling between Marathi and Punjabi will last till eternity.
Javadekar said that he was participating in this event not as a Union Minister but as a literary aficionado.
Appreciating the efforts of 'Sarhad Sanstha' Pune in holding this festival at Ghuman, he said that the event would prove to be a milestone in development of Marathi language.
Expressing gratitude to the Punjab government for conducting this event, he said that he was thankful to the Chief Minister of Punjab Parkash Singh Badal on behalf of entire Maratha community for their hospitality.