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Shabdotsav, literary festival in Pune, opens with new discourses on social issues

Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Babul Supriyo was also present at the event as the guest of honour. 

pune Updated: Feb 04, 2018 15:00 IST
Ananya Barua
Ananya Barua
Hindustan Times, Pune
Shabdotsav,literary festival,Pune
Javed Akhtar and Babul Supriyo during the inauguration of Shabdotsav at Symbiosis, Vimannagar on Saturday in Pune.(HT PHOTO)

The position of women is stuck in between the dichotomy of the humane and the divine, reflected the distinguished poet and lyricist, Javed Akhtar, while expounding on the issue of women empowerment.

He was speaking as the chief guest, at the literary festival, Shabdotsav, on Saturday, at Symbiosis International University (SIU).

“The society where mothers are out on a pedestal, is where womankind is in danger. The mother is respectable, worthy of worship, all these statements are used to put a woman on a pedestal of motherhood while condemning all other women.

“By doing this, we are either making goddesses out of mothers or condemning other women, as both do not come under the ambit of human rights and humane treatment. All this is rubbish!” said Akhtar.

He was among the other eminent national personalities, all assembled to reflect upon the power of words and ideas, at the 1st edition of the festival, organised by SIU in association with the ladies organisation of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI-FLO).

Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Babul Supriyo was also present at the event as the guest of honour.

He further, elaborated upon various issues, to explain the confluence of literature and philosophy in our daily lives.

Acknowledging the importance of literature, founder SIU, SB Mujumdar, said, “I am not an artist, author or a poet, yet I know and understand that literature has taught me the meaning and purpose of life.

“Just like there is the system of inheritance of genes through generations, literature and its lessons have travelled through civilisations, centuries and generations.”

Speaking to a crowd of over 100 students from different colleges of Pune, he advised the youth to be original, “Every art has an aspect of craft attached to it, in addition to imagination and aesthetics, but originality in whatever you do is a must.

“You all should realise that all of you are unique. From your fingerprints to your life experiences, all of it is unique, hence there has never been a person like you, and will never be. Keeping this in mind, I feel all the individuals should be the best version of themselves. Hence, never lose the real you amidst all the social conditioning,” advised Akhtar.

Tweet your politics

“Twitter is a powerful tool with complexities we are yet to understand”, said former AAP leader Mayank Gandhi, during a heated discourse tracing the play of politics on the virtual platform of social media, at a panel discussion, ‘Tweet you politics,’ during the Shabdotsav, Symbiosis International University (deemed)’s literary festival on Saturday.

“Twitter is like a weapon today. For me, it’s like a powerful medium that allows me to reach out to the masses, and we need to understand its intricacies before using it,” he added.

He was answering a question, on the AAP’s twitter journey, raised by the session moderator, senior journalist Prashant Jha.

The panel included Congress’ national media panellist, Muhammad Khan, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra and Babul Supriyo, union minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.

Adding to the discourse of caution, associated with Twitter, Patra said, “The words uttered anywhere are ever immortal, and so whatever you type or say are always going to be present in both the real and virtual space. Hence, it is very important to know what and what not to tweet.”

Further talking about the use of Twitter, Supriyo added, “I tweet as an individual and I am myself on Twitter, keeping a balanced point of view. There are times when one wants to tweet certain things, for instance about Padmavat, but then some things are best to be left unsaid.”

Changing the course of the discussion, Jha raised the question of democratisation and degeneration of social media through politics.

Responding, Gandhi said, “AAP was a forerunner of using social media, especially Twitter. I remember every night we used to set the agenda for the next day’s discussion point or trend. But the use of it turned vicious, especially during Yogendra Yadav’s exit.

“From a brilliant scholar, he was branded a traitor, after he started to raise questions about transparency in the party. I saw the perversion of a party initially aimed to dismantle the autocratic nature of political discourse in parties.I used to stay up late lamenting autocracy inside Congress and BJP with Arvind Kejriwal. Now he threatens to kick dissenting voices out of AAP.”

First Published: Feb 04, 2018 14:59 IST