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Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters 2020 ends on a high note, offering incandescent possibilities of imagination and creativity to its audience

Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters 2020 ends on a high note, offering incandescent possibilities of imagination and creativity to its audience

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Trivandrum, 2nd February 2020 – Curtains were drawn on the Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters 2019 at Kanakakkunnu Palace grounds today. The last day concluded with a valedictory function inaugurated by Hon Governor of Kerala, Arif Mohammed Khan, Shri Kadakampally Surendran – Minister of Cooperation, Tourism & Devasoms . The other officials present at the event included Dr B Govindan, Chairman, Bhima Jewellery M V Shreyams Kumar, Jt Managing Director, Mathrubhumi Group, Sri Sabin Iqbal – MBIFL Festival Director, T K Rajeev Kumar,Festival Director and Manoj K Das, Editor, Mathrubhumi.

Hon Governor Arif Mohammed Khan said “ He reckons the time when he had resigned from his ministry  in the year 1986, and he was invited by Veerender Kumar, Madhavan Kutty and C N Mohammed in kerala and he attended 5 meetings with them, he said “India has given extreme importance to syllable, Akshar, which is a Sanskrit word cannot be destroyed by anyone, it is something that is indestructible. The word ‘Ka’ holds a greater mythical significance it denotes the question of How, When, What , and Why. He also said that he is reminded of Vijender Nath Singh who was the former chancellor of Mysore University who compared india with soul which keeps changing bodies but the soul never ages. The letters give importance to our civilization and is a celebration of literature he said. 

Day 3, opened with a with an interactive session on The Wars That Shaped India, by acclaimed writer Sudeep Chakravarti, and writer Salil Misra, they spoke about the role of wars in shaping india and the global world of today. Sudeep spoke for the times the earlier battels were fought they did transform society even in wars of 4th century populations were mobilised even more radically, they directly affected the treasury, there were direct recruitment into the army. They did transform society, the wars fought in the earlier century. Salil Misra added to the argument saying” I would like to draw a line between the 20th century and the wars which were fought earlier, the earlier wars were extremely important but wat would be called hypotheca, now wars, wars fought for limited purpose for the control of territory for institution colonial in India but they were limited wars but not to the extent of wars which were fought in the 20th century. In the 20th century wars one fundamental difference happened with modern warfare what came to be called as ‘Total Wars’, wars were no longer between military and army they were between populations. The purpose of the war was not simply victory or defeat or conquest over a territory it was subjugating an entire population. Wars were not simply about military strategy, they were about economy, the whole economy, all economic resources were in a way being channelised for the purpose of the war. We had a war economy in existence, when the war broke out it affected the economy, the people, the society, the quality everything was affected by it.

Another relevant session at MBIFL was of a session with journalist Sreekant Kottakkal, Director Priyadarshan sharing his experiences of being a Cricket player during his college days. He spoke about Cricket and Cinema, the 2Ç’s have always been his passion. He shared his experience of being injured during a cricket practise session in college which injured his eyes. During the lean period of rest and medicines he got closer to reading and he has never looked back to producing 95 movies in his 38 yrs of his stint in the film industry. He spoke about his upcoming release Kunjalimarakkar which he feels will be one of the best movies that india could be proud of for its technical excellence.

The day also had an musical and graphical presentation on the book written by by Carol Isaacs, “The Wolf of Baghdad graphic memoir” The Surreal McCoy which is a thought provoking memoir of the former Jewish residents of Iraq. It presents a fascinating look at the history of Jews in Baghdad, through the memory based around the writer imagined experience looking back at her family history and her own memories

The festival also experienced a powerful impactful session on ‘Disenfranchised Citizens’, What is the cause, nature and solution for this large scale disenfranchisement of citizens? With activist, politicians Yogendra Yadav and editor Manoj K Das. Speaking about how bringing in fresh energy in politics in youth of today, there is a need to bring out new leaders, speaking about the present electoral process he said no political party is democratic by it all means, it is the pressure from outside which makes them democratic, The dynasty phenomena is there in every singly political party and if that needs to change, it has to come only from outside.

The session between Dr Shashi Tharoor and Journalist Varghese K George experienced a jam-packed audience based ‘Tharoor Glocal’ where he shares his journey on how he came in to politics and what he thinks about it at the present stature. Sharing his ideologies he said “I have argued that swami vivekanand explained it best in his words I am proud to speak on faith has taught the world not just tolerance but acceptance, I thought during growing up in school that tolerance was virtue and is a good thing, but when I thought about what vivekanand said that realised is  tolerance is profoundly a patronising idea, cox what does tolerance actually says I am the truth you are an error and I will unamonously indulged  you to be proved wrong, tolerance is giving you the right to be wrong but what swami vivekanand said is acceptance that Hinduism teach you and acceptance is “I believe I have the truth, you believe you have the truth, I will respect your truth, please respect my truth.

 Highlights of few sessions of the last day as follows:

  1. Under the Tree : Black Warrant, Confessions of a Tihar Jailor- Sunetra Choudhury, Sunil Gupta, Adrija Gupta
  2. Conversation: The journey that led to the battle of the winds- Deepak Sivarajan, Manu K S
  3. Talk : Epic imagination; modern reality; how the fantasy tales of the epics find their new avatars in AI days – Devdutt Pattanaik, Priya K Nair
  4. Book Reading : Cyrus Mistry
  5. Book Launch : Author P S Rakesh, Title: Greta Thunberg: Bhoomikku Vendi Our Schoolkuttiyude Porattam, released by Jayaram Ramesh
  6. Solo: We see it, we feel it, Why don’t we believe it? – Ridhima Pandey

The last day concluded with a remarkable performance by famous musical band Reshmi Sateesh and her band ‘ReSa’who entertained the audience with his stunning performance. This year the festival witnessed over 6000 people participating for 4 days.

About Mathrubhumi International Festivals of Letters

MBIFL is celebration of Kerala’s inherited syncretic culture and an initiative to take forward the legacy of literarture, 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.




Michael Spinner-Just's picture

Michael Spinner-Just


2020-02-03 15:36