Odisha: Kalinga lit fest to recall Gandhi’s ‘idea of India’

Bhubaneswar: With “Gandhi’s Idea of India: Truth, Harmony, Non-Violence” as its central theme, the three-day Kalinga Literary Festival (KLF) here later this month will pay tribute to the Father of the Nation through contemporary reflections on his ideas and is set to trigger global and national discussions on his work and ideas through literature; lived experience, politics, art, film, business, media and sports.

Around 250 speakers, poets, musicians, artists and performers will feature in the fourth edition of the festival during innovative sessions on radio, poetry recitation, short story, lyrics and cinema. Concurrently, the Kalinga Art Festival will showcase works of 60 artists from Odisha and India. Four prestigious awards will be conferred and more than 30 national and international books/publications will be released during the July 19-21 event.

“KLF is well-known for its socially relevant themes and in a way compels all creative people to think and articulate ‘the contemporary’. The festival will cover several dimensions of the interconnection between literature, Gandhian ideology, truth, harmony and non-violence,” the organisers said in a statement.

KLF founder director Rashmi Ranjan Parida said that as Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary is being celebrated this year, “it is only fitting to pay tribute to him, his ideas and reflect upon them in contemporary times”.

The key sessions will be on topics such cultural nationalism, Gandhigiri, Generation Y, Odisha, Media Children, Women, Transgenders, Kamasutra, Citizen’s Engagement, Cinema, Sports, Ethics, Discrimination, Revolutions, Peace-building, Conflict Resolution and Harmony.

“The delegates will have a unique opportunity to participate in the Ekamra Heritage Walk and participate in plantation and seed ball making. To expand the opportunity for the delegates, KLF team has partnered with local cycle clubs to provide cycles for speakers to roam around the temple town and experience the blend of ancient heritage and modern urban planning,” the statement said.

The writers, poets, speakers and performers at the Festival will include Bhawana Somaaya, Bhavani B Iyer, Christopher C. Doyle, Namita Gokhale, Nalini Mehta, Nambi Narayanan, Pavan K. Verma, Priya Somaiya, Pushpesh Pant, Rakhshanda Jalil, Sathya Saran, Saira Shah Halim, Tamal Bandopadhya and Yashwant Sinha, among others.

There will be cultural programmes to showcase Odisha’s art, culture and literature on each day of the event. Among other highlights will be the story-telling session “Dastan-E-Mantoiyat” by Syed Shadab Hussain and Meera Rizvi and the screening of Oscar-nominated director Ashvin Kumar’s “No Fathers In Kashmir”.

The Kalinga Literary Award (for a distinguished writer in Odia), the Kalinga International Literary Award (for a writer in any global language), the Kalinga Karubaki Literary Award (for women writers) and the Kalinga Literary Youth Award (for a young writer in any global language) will be conferred on the occasion.


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