Odia writer Manoj Das to inaugurate ‘Festival of Letters’

New Delhi: Eminent Odia writer and Sahitya Akademi award recipient Manoj Das will inaugurate the institute’s annual six-day ‘Festival of Letters’, which is scheduled to begin here from February 15 will this year focus on tribal, oral and North-Eastern literature.

The Akademi will be organising a Tribal Language Poetry festival which will see tribal poets from across the country reciting poems in their native languages, followed by the respective translations in either Hindi or English.

The Akademi, which has its centre for tribal and oral literature in the north eastern parts of India, has recently opened a new centre in Delhi.

‘Purvottari,’ a writers’ meet for authors hailing from North and North Eastern India will also be organised.

The institute will also felicitate the winning authors for the year 2015 on February 16.

The names of the selected authors writing in 23 different Indian languages were announced at a press conference held in December last year by K Sreenivasarao, Secretary, Sahitya Akademi.

While the Akademi’s annual ‘Samvatsar’ lecture will be delivered by eminent jurist and Gandhi scholar, Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari, a three-day national seminar on “Gandhi, Ambedkar, Nehru: Continuities and Discontinuities” will be organised, where the relevance of the philosophies of these three builders of modern India will be deliberated upon.

The seminar will be inaugurated by noted scholar Kapila Vatsayan.

A day long symposium on “Unwritten Languages of India” and a seminar of “Translational consciousness and literary traditions in India” will run parallely to the festival.

The literary event is expected to see the participation of over 170 writers and literary scholars from across the country including S L Bhyrappa, Bhalachandra Nemade, Gopi Chand Narang, K Satchidanandan, Indra Nath Chaudhuri, Krishna Kumar, Vivek Shanbag, Mahendra Kumar Mishra and Debi Prasad Pattanayak.

The festival will also feature a young writers’ festival called ‘Yuva Sahiti,’ and ‘Spin-A-Tale’ for children besides a host of cultural performances from different parts of the country like ‘Karma Dance’ from Odisha, ‘Raslila and Pung Cholom’ from Manipur and ‘Cheraw’ or Bamboo Dance from Mizoram.

A qawwali performance by Nizami brothers and a Kathakali rendition of William Shakespeare’s “Othello” will also be part of the festival.

The festival is set to continue till February 20.