Chandigarh Lit Fest to offer intense literary, cinematic feasts

  • Harjeet Inder Singh Sahi, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Oct 24, 2015 15:29 IST
Professor Akshaya Kumar (left), PU and Mitul Dikshit, educationist (right). (HT Photo)

Come November 5 to 8, a host of books and films, and their authors and directors, will descend on the city for celebrating the printed word and the motion picture, at the Chandigarh Literature Festival that will be held at the Chandigarh Club.

Writing ceased to be a secluded affair long ago as publishing became only the beginning of a process, involving promotional and marketing events and the author’s engagement with target readers.

“The writer has to reach out to the readers. Literary festivals are important as they provide a platform for interaction, which is never enough. The publishing of a book is not the end but one of the steps in engagement,”says professor Akshaya Kumar, one of the critics at the festival.

Adab Foundation is organising the festival, as it claims, with a format that is ‘different’ from the usual literary festivals. “The festival is not personality-driven and the format does not celebrate authors, rather the focus is on the books, which will be elaborately discussed in author and critic sessions,”says foundation chairman Mitul Dikshit.

The fest will read an eclectic selection of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. “The nuances of poetry and prose are diverse and unlimited and we are making a small attempt to delve into them. There are umpteen good books that don’t come into the limelight and the festival will celebrate good writing,”says Akshaya.

Combining modes of representation, the fest will also screen four critically acclaimed films. The lineup includes ‘Masaan’, ‘NH-10’, ‘Killa’and ‘Badlapur’, all of them the crop of 2015.

Akshaya sets the tone for the upcoming fest as he says, “The selected books are not books of a consensual culture. Writing of a book itself is half the resistance,”he says. Protest is certainly catching up in the community of authors as the last few weeks saw the return of literary honours and awards in protest against the growing intolerance in the country.


A writing workshop, to be organised at Panjab University on November 7, will also be a part of the fest. “One of the major constituencies of any literary event is the university. Students will also attend the festival and gain from the interactive discussions,”says Akshaya.


“It (the decision to invite the author) was taken much before the return of the Sahitya Akademi awards began,”says Akshaya. Probably, this is what makes literature a canvas without boundaries and conditions, as it encompasses aeons of stories and protests of societies across the world, rather than being confined to a single happening. Or as Akshaya puts it, “It is too early to write obituaries of the printed word.”

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