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From Kasauli to UK: Khushwant Singh Lit Fest pops up in London on May 17

By April 24, 2018No Comments

Source : Hindustan Times

The Nehru Centre in London will be the venue for KSLF Pop-Up of some five hours with the theme Indo-Anglian.

Kushwant Singh

Six years after the Khushwant Singh Literary Festival (KSLF) took wing at Kasauli, it now travels for the first time to London for a pop-up in the merry month of May. The Nehru Centre in London will be the venue for the KSLF Pop-Up of some five hours with the theme Indo-Anglian.

Talking about the details of the festival, writer-journalist Rahul Singh, son of Khushwant Singh, told HT, “Theme Indo-Anglian is not to be confused with the colonial connotations for the first edition of the festival abroad will showcase writings on the mutual influences and cultural confluences of the Eastern culture of India with the Western nuances of the UK.”

Rahul says his father spent his formative years in the King’s College, London, before entering the Bar at Inner Temple. “In the heady Nehru-Mountbatten years, he was posted as diplomat in the Indian high commission at London,” he adds. Rahul also studied at King’s College at Cambridge University from 1959 to 1962.

Niloufer Bilimoria, co-director of the KSLF, says that friends of Rahul and admirers of Khushwant Singh have made the festival’s walk to London possible. “The idea had been discussed by author Navtej Sarna some years ago when he was high commissioner of the Indian embassy at London but he moved soon as high commissioner to the US. It was revived by the present deputy high commissioner Dinesh Patnaik and they really supported this effort. Besides, Rahul’s friends have played a key role in making this possible.”

The sessions at the festival will include a humorous opening dedicated to Khushwant, who is the only writer to have a whole festival in his name. Poet Imtiaz Dharkar, author Zareer Masani and Rahul Singh will be present in this session. Economist Meghnad Desai will talk of the resurgence of nationalism all over the world.

Another session will look at the western re-discovery of Indian heritage like the Ajanta Caves, the Sanchi Stupas with author Charles Allen.

A session is dedicated to celebration of 100 years of voting rights for women and the suffragette movement in which Princess Sophia, grand-daughter of Maharaja Ranjit Singh played a key role.

Rahul’s friend Barroness Tessa Blackstone will be hosting the cocktails in the evening and the invitation to the festival is open to all friends of KSLF who may be travelling to London this summer. “It is our first time in London and going by the response we will enlarge its scope in the years to come,” says Rahul.

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