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Kolkata literary festival 2014 kicks off

The fifth edition of the Kolkata Literary Festival 2014 took off on Wednesday, with the Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan announcing that he would make a film on his great grand uncle and freedom fighter Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.

Presented in collaboration with Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies (MAKAIAS) and the Victoria Memorial, the festival was announced open with a special tribute to Azad on his 125th birth anniversary. MK Narayanan, governor of West Bengal inaugurated the festival against the vintage facade of the Victoria Memorial.

Khan spoke about the contribution of India’s first education minister, writer, scholar and national leader, Azad, towards the building of modern independent India, particularly in the field of education, science and culture. The opening ceremony was followed by the launch of the book, ‘Maulana Azad, Islam and the Indian National Movement’ written by Syeda Hameed, Member, Planning Commission, Government of India.

Anjum Katyal, Co-Director, AKLF 2014 said, “A major theme running through the festival this year is a tribute to Maulana Azad. Our inaugural ceremony is dedicated to him and the principles he stood for, and several sessions throughout the five days are conceived to honour the cultural values he propagated. Urdu poetry and literature were close to his heart. Education for all, particularly the girl child, and the empowerment of women through education was important to him as Education Minister”.

The festival has a tradition of paying tribute to great minds, writers and litterateurs of our country. Rabindranath Tagore, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Saadat Hasan Manto are some of the figures whose memory has been honoured by AKLF in the past.
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