Bhubaneswar: The need for opening up space for questioning, interrogation and dialogue in Indian literature was stressed at the first SOA Literary Festival, which kicked off at the SOA Deemed to be University here on Saturday.
“Events around us show that the space is getting squeezed. What is the crisis of our times? What is the crisis any author of substance will face?” Dr. Sitanshu Yashaschandra, eminent Gujarati poet, said while speaking at the inauguration of the two-day festival here.
“What is ‘attractive’ is masquerading as ‘authentic’,” he said adding what looked ‘splendid’ and ‘spectacular’ was often not ‘sensible’ and ‘significant’. “How best can Indian literature and language, together address this crisis,” he asked.
The inaugural function was also addressed by Dr. Vasdev Mohi, eminent Sindhi poet who has been nominated for the prestigious Saraswati Samman this year, and Dr. Dnyaneshwar Mulay, eminent writer and diplomat.
The literary fiesta, spanning 27 sessions over two days, has been organised by the SOA Centre for Preservation, Propagation and Restoration of Ancient Culture and Heritage of India (PPRACHIN), an initiative of the university. The event has attracted around 100 eminent writers, poets, commentators, translators and critics from different parts of the country. Prof. R.K.Chauhan, Vice-Chancellor of SOA, presided over the programme while Dr. Gayatribala Panda, Head, PPRACHIN, welcomed the guests.