The third edition of the Hyderabad Literary Festival (HLF) began here Friday with the participation of over 100 writers, artists, scholars, publishers from India and abroad.
The three-day multilingual event being held at Moulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) will focus on writing in Indian languages.
There will be conversation with authors, reading, panel discussions, workshops, book launches, cultural programmes and events for college and school students.
Panel discussions on topics like translation as recovery, writings about Hyderabad, and endangered languages and cultural traditions will be held.
Anita Nair, Amita Desai, Sekhar Kammula, Shankar Melkote and Nukhban Langah are amongst the literary figures attending the festival.
France is the invited guest nation at the event with participation of French writers and cultural artists. It will feature Indo-French collaborative work.
Telugu will be Indian language in focus with eminent Telugu writers addressing special sessions. Starting this edition, HLF will focus on one Indian language every year.
Inaugurating the festival, Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan hoped that it would help re-ignite the reading habit.
He noted that the literature has lost some of its sheen due to complete shift in reading and writing habits because of technological advancements.
"We don't even write letters these days as we simply send messages through our mobile phones. This is one of the perils of technology. While we have to move forward with times, we should not forget our traditions and culture," he said.
The governor also regretted that students were concentrating on optional subjects while ignoring the languages.
Even students who opt for foreign languages, do so only to score marks rather than learning them, he said.
While underlining the need for more powerful writers, Narasimhan cautioned that emotions should not overtake reasoning.
Well-known poet and Jnanapith awardee Sitakant Mahapatra delivered the key-note address.
MAANU Vice-Chancellor Mohammed Miyan and Chandana Khan, secretary, tourism and culture, government of Andhra Pradesh also spoke.