Millennium Post

Bhopal welcomes its 'Literature and Art Festival'

The inaugural ceremony of the festival was held at Amphitheatre ‘Bahirang’, which has Lake of Bhopal as it’s backdrop

Bhopal welcomes its Literature and Art Festival

Bhopal, as on today, has it's own Literature and Art Festival. Titled 'Heartland Stories', the festival is a brain child of recently retired bureaucrat Raghav Chandra.

Amphitheatre 'Bahirang', which has the famous Lake of Bhopal as it's backdrop was the venue for the inaugural show. The dais and its surroundings were draped with flowers and colourful silk streamers, as the warm winter sun and the gentle breeze from the lake welcomed us all.

Raghav Chandra, the President of Bhopal Litfest in his inaugural speech, invoked Gandhi's message, on his 150th Birth Anniversary, and said that his thoughts, will be central to the theme of this festival.

Namita Ghokle's book 'Things to Leave Behind' was declared as the winner of the 'Sushila Devi Award'. Based on her home province of Kumaon, her book's basic tenor she explained, is: "There's no art without beauty, there's no beauty without joy, there's no joy without freedom. So we must pursue freedom at all cost."Dr Vijayalaksmi Sadho, the culture minister for Culture of MP, spoke about preserving art and culture of Bhopal and welcomed authors and delegates.

Alphones Tharakkan the Union Tourism minister declared the Festival open. He spoke about how everyone has a story to tell and life continues because of ideas. He narrated how an 80 year old lady once came in to his house and said, '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, Kerala government started a village contact programme which was a success. If you're open to ideas your life will be enriched," he further explained.

Bittu Sehgal's book 'Wild Madhya Pradesh' was also launched by the Union Tourism Minister.

Also, three parallel sessions, in the 'Antarang', 'Vaagrath' and 'Abhirang', were also a part of the three-day event.

The sessions included the presence of prominent authors and panelists like Amitabh Kant, Pavan Verma, Namita Google, TCA Raghavan, Bibek Debroy, Ila Patnaik, Rajiv Maharishi, Anil Dharkar, Nutan Manmohan, Seema Goswami, Ashali Varma, A S Dulat, to name a few.

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 at the event in Bhopal.

In the end, Bharat Bhavan and Bhopal Literature Festival complimented each other in ushering in an annual event that the Bhopal, a centre of art and

culture deserves.

Gautam Sen

Gautam Sen

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