NewZNew (Chandigarh) : The Chandigarh Literature Festival (CLF) 2015, organized by Adab Foundation, kicked off, at Chandigarh Club, with the ceremonial lighting of the lamp & Theme introduction by Mitul Dikshit, Chairman, Adab Foundation. This was followed by a Festival Introduction by Jai Arjun Singh, Festival Director CLF 2015. The highlight of the inaugural session was giving of a Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in literature to acclaimed Author Nayantara Sahgal, by Adab Foundation. The award carried a cash prize of Rs 1 lac/- along with a plaque and a shawl. A citation will also be read during the award ceremony.
A very interesting session moderated by noted Journalist Sagarika Ghose, was about Biblio –a leading literary Magazine’s journey and the changing landscape of literary criticism over the past two decades. A panel discussion comprising its current editorial team members, including Dileep Padgaonkar, Rukhmini Bhaya Nair, Brinda Datta and Manisha Sethi was held. The panelists walked the audience through the journey of India’s most respected literary magazine.
The panelists discussed that in this digital age of micro-blogging and decimating attention spans, Biblio as a journal has been steadfast in providing an academic and literary platform to the intelligentsia. Dileep Padgaonkar shared various anecdotes of Biblio’s journey and its founding Editor Sham Lal. Manisha Sethi discussed the multiple challenges faced by the journal in earning a well-deserved space within the academia. Rukmini Bhaya Nair emphasized upon generating a connection between readers, authors and texts. Brinda Datta and other panel members discussed the standpoint of Biblio of not following State dictates or any other reigning ideology. Further attention was drawn towards the lack of funds being faced and requirement of investment for further expansion. The ultimate focus lied on the fact of maintaining the status of the journal as a cusp between the academic and the public sphere.
The second & final session on the inaugural day was really a special one where well known writer & playwright Kiran Nagarkar spoke with famous writer Nayantara Sahgal about her large body of work. It is noteworthy that Nayantara Sahgal had returned the Sahitya Akademi Award to protest what she called ‘increasing intolerance’ and in ‘support of right to dissent in the country’, following the murders of rationalists Govind Pansare, Narendra Dabholkar, M. M. Kalburgi and the Dadri mob-lynching incident. This had triggered a National Awards’ returning spree, by Indian writers.
“In a unique format, 14 of India’s leading critics’ nominated books will be dissected, analysed & read out at the Festival. A writing workshop by Indira Shekhar-Editor of ‘Out Of Print Magazine’ for young writers is also an attraction. Some selected Films will also w=be screened and discussed.” ,said Mitul Dikshit.