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Marathi Sahitya Sammelan organisers in “wait and watch” mode over Nashik event

PUNE The 94th Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan (All-India Marathi Literary Meet) is scheduled to be held in Nashik on March 26, 27 and 28
By Manasi Deshpande
PUBLISHED ON FEB 23, 2021 05:17 PM IST

PUNE The 94th Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan (All-India Marathi Literary Meet) is scheduled to be held in Nashik on March 26, 27 and 28.

The Lokhitwadi Mandal of Nashik is the organising body of the annual meet and renowned astrophysicist Dr Jayant Narlikar will preside over the literary meet.

As the Covid cases are increasing in the state, uncertainty has now shadowed this literary meet which usually is attended by thousands of language aficinados.

Though preparations for the sammelan have not halted, organisers and the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Mahamandal are closely watching the situation and contemplating “other means” to conduct the literary meet.

“The cases have been spiking again, which is not a good sign. In the sahitya sammelan we have many attendees from all over the country. Many noted literary figures are over 60-years of age. If this situation continues, then either the literary meet will have to be postponed or it will have to be conducted online.

“If the sammelan is online then where will publishers put up their stalls?” said Milind Joshi, chief secretary, Maharashtra Sahitya Parishad, Pune.

“Let’s not rush to any conclusion as of now. We are monitoring the situation and keeping track of the number of cases. The chief minister has also said that we should wait for a week. Preparations for the sahitya sammelan have not stopped. After eight-10 days we will have a meeting with the Sahitya Mahamandal and the next course of the action will be decided,” said Jayprakash Jategaonkar, president, Lokhitwadi Mandal.

The three-day Marathi Sahitya Sammelan is attended by many noted literary figures, publishers, and book lovers. Speakers come all over from the state.

In his address to citizens on Sunday, chief minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray, urged people to follow the Covid-prevention norms and avoid crowding. He also warned that if Covid norms are not followed and cases do not come down in a week, then the administration will have to take stern steps.

“We cannot make any decision at this moment. We are aware of the situation and closely monitoring it. Let’s wait for a few days and then come to a conclusion,” said Kautikrao Thale-Patil, president, Akhil Bhartiya Marathi Sahitya Mahamandal.

On Feb 22, Nashik rural reported 54 fresh Covid-19 cases, while 127 cases were reported from Nashik city, according to the state health department.

“We are keeping a close eye on the numbers. No decision has been made yet. We will take a call after a week,” said Suraj Mandhare, collector, Nashik district.

The annual literary meet took place in Osmanabad in January 2020. This year, due to the Covid pandemic, it was not clear whether the meet could be held. As cases began to decline in December 2020 and January 2021, the schedule was announced. Once again, doubts have been raised about whether it will be possible to hold the event.

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