Ignorance and prejudice behind violence, terrorism : Tharoor

Bhubaneswar: Ignorance and prejudice are the twin reasons behind violence and terrorism across the globe and literary awareness and imaginary minds could help in reducing the threat of fear from forces of disruption, Union Minister Sashi Tharoor today said.

"I am convinced that ignorance and prejudice remain the handmaidens of violence. It is as true of terrorism as it is of modern civil conflicts that men prey on the ignorance of the populace to instil fear and arouse hatred," he said in his keynote address after inaugurating the two-day Odisha literary festival organised by The New Indian Express.

Tharoor said a literary mind can expand the imagination and make people aware about human conditions. "If people understand that irrespective of culture, caste, creed and religion human miseries are same, then the men of wars cannot take benefits," he said.

Referring to economic globalisation, Tharoor, a former UN diplomat said it effects human conditions. However, literature globalised much ahead of trade and commerce.

Regional Indian literature was rich and needs to be properly translated into English in order to give it a global shape, he said.

The two-day festival features talks, discussions, book readings and debates on a wide range of subjects – from mythology to womens literature, childrens writing to publishing and poetry.

Prominent figures in Indias literary circle Namita Gokhale, Ashok Vajpeyi, Arshia Sattar, Pratibha Ray, Bibhu Padhi, Haraprasad Das, Jerry Pinto, Vikas Swarup, Prof Pushpesh Pant, Anushka Ravishankar, Ashwin Sanghi, Tishani Doshi, Anand Neelakantan, Anuja Chandramouli, Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, Supriya Dravid, Tara Deshpande, Dash Benhur and Meghna Pant would participate, the organisers said.