Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 31: The much-awaited Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters kicks off its 2nd edition of annual event on Thursday, featuring over 30 sessions with world–renowned authors, speakers across the globe.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the event in which writer Prof Germaine Greer, MP Veerendra Kumar, Managing Director, Mathrubhumi, PV Gangadharan, Managing Editor, Mathrubhumi Group and MV Shreyams Kumar, Jt Managing Director, Mathrubhumi Group, and P I Rajeev, Executive Editor, Mathurbhumi were present.
In his opening remarks Chief Minister said 'A man becomes a man only when he acquires knowledge. No political party can mislead an educated public."
Calling upon the people to cultivate reading as a habit, he said the world of letters purifies people, gives strength to fight against social inequality and eradicate social evils.
Speaking on the occasion, MP Veerendra Kumar said “The festival will see vibrant writers from across the world with a common purpose of celebrating literature and celebrating human mankind, dignity and freedom at the same time, the true value of human freedom can only be felt by someone who has to loose freedom."
MBIFL 2019, opening session was addressed by writer-diplomat-politician Dr Shashi Tharoor as the keynote speaker on “Era of Darkness – Then & Now” the title which is a reference to the book he had published in 2016, Inglorious Empire what the British did to India.
A book that looked at 200 yrs of British colonialism not as a narrative history but as an argument which laid out what the British had done in the course of these centuries that we could look back upon and formulate a judgement about.
He spoke on India as a country which in 1700 accounted for 27 per cent of global GDP, the richest country in the world, the revenues of the then emperor Aurungzeb exceeded the revenues of every single crowned headed Europe combined including Louis in his grand palace in Versailles and queen of Elizabeth it was a wealthy prosperous thriving society with a sophisticated civilization the worlds leading exporter of textiles since the days of the roman empire.
Speaking on the present era, he said the present government is imposing a different kind of darkness over india at a time when in 70 years india had built up a thriving democracy with free press, with autonomous independent institution, and thriving culture.
He also requested the British to undo the scars and wanted any of the members of the Royal family to visit India and apologise for the atrocities and 200 years of criminal exploitation.
The Day 1 concluded with book reading by Paul Zachariah, and Arundhati Subramaniaman and a documentary film show by Methil Devika. The event was attended by over 3000 people on day 1.
MBIFL19 taking place at Kanakakkunnu Palace is celebration of Kerala’s inherited syncretic culture and an initiative to take forward the legacy of literature, words, and their potency.
High – profile conservations, reading sessions. A cartoon / illustration exhibition, story-telling, impromptu performances and an exploration of traditional Malabar cuisine and the wandering history of the Malayalee are among the main attractions.
Each day of the festival will culminate in cultural evenings. Programme and Themes will bring together over 300 international and Indian writers from five continents with sessions devoted to divergent topics, trends, ideas and genres ranging from fiction, poetry, nonfiction, politics, environment, travel, science & technology, activism and cinema prominently.UNI