Kozhikode: The third edition of the four-day Kerala Literature Festival (KLF) had a colourful start here on Thursday with the participation of eminent writers and intellectuals. They included Arundhati Roy, Romila Thapar, M.T. Vasudevan Nair, T. Padmanabhan, actor Prakash Raj, K.R. Meera, poet Satchidanandan, Balachandran Chullikkad and K.P. Ramanunni. Though the organizers wanted Arundhati Roy to be on the inaugural venue, she opted to be among the audience. The programme was officially opened on the sandy beach with Sopanam exponent Njeralath Harigovindan singing a song on the strength of womanhood.
Inaugurating the event, M.T. Vasudevan Nair said that such a big literature event was a blessing for the city that loves literature and writers more than any other cities. Referring to the participation of youngsters, MT said that such events will give a chance for the youngsters to see and hear those they love and admire. Poet Satchidanandan, director of the festival, said that the slogan of the festival is ‘voices of dissent’ which is ideal for the time when violence against humanity and message of hatred spread across the nation and also in some other countries.
Delivering the presidential address, Mr Pradeep Kumar MLA said that to ensure more comfort to the audience and also to make the venue permanent, Rs 6.5 crore has been allotted. The venue was packed from the morning with over 20,000 people flocking to the place. A delegation of writers from Ireland, the guest country, is participating in the event.
Kerala is my heaven, affirms Prakash Raj
It is high time to unite and protest against religious forces that create divides in society, actor Prakash Raj, while addressing Kerala Literature Festival here, said. He lauded the state as he doesn't need a script whenever he is here. “Religious fanatics of my state ask me to go to Kerala and stay here forever, which I would simply love to," the actor said, adding that "they don't know that they are forcing me to go to heaven,” amid thunderous applauses.
“I am here as a book of all things I had read. I am here as a poem of all those poems I had recite”, he said. Prakash Raj voiced his protest against the Central government as it “loots our pockets and when we raise an alarm, they sound it back and confuses us.” “We should now stand up with full vigour and resist them as our fear is their strength,” he said.
Most travelogues are sham: T. Padmanabhan
Travelogue is the most overused branch in Malayalam literature, said writer T Padmanabhan. While participating in the face-to-face programme at the third edition Kerala Literature Festival here, he explained in detail why he desisted from penning travelogues. “In my knowledge there are many who wrote travelogues even without visiting the place”, he said, adding that, at a time when all the information was at one’s fingertips, it was easy to write travelogues.
He said sarcastically, “In this era, people who visit Bangkok on an official trip and those women who go to South Africa for post-delivery care of a daughter also are in the habit of penning travelogues. Amazingly, in some of these travelogues, the flight starts from Mumbai only in the 10th chapter”, he said. “All these travelogues kept me off from penning one of my own. I have visited many places. More than India I had a chance to visit many places in USA. But I will not be writing a travelogue”, Padmanabhan said.