Source : Times of India
Puducherry: Come August, Puducherry will host its first ever literature and ideas festival. Titled Bharat Shakti: the Pondicherry Festival or Arts and Ideas, scheduled for August 17-19, will feature a host of well-known names. The list includes best-selling authors Amish Tripathi and Vivek Agnihotri, historians Michel Danino and Meenakshi Jain, Bibek Debroy, chairman of the economic advisory council to the PM & well-known author, Sanjeev Sanyal, bestselling writer and principal economic adviser in the ministry of finance, Government of India, actresses Pallavi Joshi and Kalki Koechlin, and Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta, among others.
The festival is being co-curated by JNU professor Makarand Paranjape and Lalit Verma, owner of Puducherry-based Aurodhan Gallery.
The festival will also be “graced by” Union textile minister Smriti Irani, Puducherry lieutenant governor Kiran Bedi and Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy. With a strong focus on promoting local talent, the festival will feature a crosssection of Puducherry-based writers from Padma Shri and Sahitya Akademi Award winner Manoj Das to narrative history writers J B More and P Raja to Sampadananda Mishra, winner of 2018 Kendra Sahitya Akademi’s Bal Puraskar, to 10-year-old Vipanchi Nayak.
The festival organisers are looking to offer the event as a platform for local writers and poets particularly because the city has been home to a growing community of authors writing in Tamil, French, English, Odia, Sanskrit and a variety of other languages. The festival derives its name from the city’s patron saint Sri Aurobindo who declared, “India is the Bharat Shakti, the living energy of a great spiritual conception, and fidelity to it is the very principle of her existence.”
Lalit Verma, co-curator of the festival, said: “Pondicherry has seen dance, music, art and theatre events before but what was lacking was a confluence of arts, ideas, culture and literature. This festival is not only bringing the best ideas and thoughts of the world to Pondicherry but also taking the work of artists and great writers of this city to the world.”
The three-day event will also feature art exhibitions, dance and music performances. The primary focus of the event is a strong focus to nurture and portray local talent.