Bhopal has become the latest Indian city to have its Literature and Art Festival, with ‘Heartland Stories’ its first instalment held over the weekend at the ‘Bahirang’ amphitheatre against the backdrop of the city’s scenic lake.
A brain child of recently retired bureaucrat Raghav Chandra, the three-day litfest was inaugurated on Saturday by Union Tourism minister K J Alphons, who said everyone has a story to tell.
He narrated how an 80-year-old woman once came in to his house and said that the ”government has given you a car then why can’t you come to my village instead of forcing me to travel to your office?” “Subsequently, the Kerala government started a village contact programme which was a success. If you’re open to ideas your life will be enriched,” he added.
Alphons also released Bittu Sehgal’s book “Wild Madhya Pradesh”.
Madhya Pradesh culture minister Vijayalaksmi Sadho stressed on preserving the art and culture of Bhopal as she welcomed authors and delegates to the litfest
Raghav Chandra, the President of Bhopal Litfest in his inaugural speech, invoked Mahatma Gandhi’s message, in the year of his 150th birth anniversary, and said that his thoughts, will be central to the theme of this festival.
Namita Gokhale’s book “Things to Leave Behind”, based on her native Kumaon area of Uttarakhand, was declared the winner of the Sushila Devi Award.
The festival had three parallel sessions – Antarang, Vaagrath & Abhirang – featuring prominent authors and panelist like Amitabh Kant, Pavan Verma, TCA Raghavan, Bibek Debroy, Ila Patnaik, Anil Dharkar, A S Dulat and many others.
In the art space Bhaiju Shyam, the Gond artiste, was present with his creation ‘London Jungle Book’, his first impression of a western city, along with an exhibition of his paintings.
First Published: Jan 15, 2019 00:05 IST