When the organising committee of an upcoming multi-lingual literature festival invited registrations, they were expecting around 150-200 applications. However, to their surprise, more than 500 people have registered for the Ghuman Bahubhasha Sahitya Sammelan so far. The fest would be held at Ghuman in Punjab on April 3 and 4.
The fest is being organised by city-based Sarhad under the guidance of renowned literary critic Ganesh N Devy. A Padma Shri awardee and Sahitya Akademi winner, Devy is the founder-director of Bhasha Research and Publication Center, Vadodara, and Adivasi Academy, Tejgadh, Gujarat. While the organising committee is headed by Bharat Desalda, Arun Nevaskar is the chairman of the reception committee and Devy is the president.
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“While the country sees many literary festivals themed on particular regional languages, this is the first time that a multi-language literary festival is being organised, where writers and poets of different languages would come under one roof. Mediums such as language, dance and music can be used to integrate people from various regions. It is also an endeavour to keep regional languages alive,” said Sanjay Nahar, founder of Sarhad, a non-profit organisation working for more than a decade for violence-affected children of the Kashmir valley.
The festival would witness the participation of a number of Sahitya Akademi awardees, Jnanpith awardees and Padma Shri winners, including litterateurs of Assamese, Hindi, Kashmiri, Urdu and Bodo. “The number of registrations has been very encouraging,” Nahar said. The two-day fest includes seminars, lectures, kavi sammelan, cultural programmes, book publications and award ceremony.