On the final day of Literati 2013,the Chandigarh Literature Festival organised by the Chandigarh Literary Society at the Lake Club,the citys literati had animated discussions on diverse topics,including Women and the Paradox of Modernity. Panelists comprising actor Gul Panag, Kishwar Desai,Tishaa Khosla and V Sudarshan agreed that continued patriarchy was a major reasons for malice in society.
Do not perpetuate patriarchy,said Gul Panag,while adding that women must assert their rights to property and fight for it. V Sudarshan pointed out that despite modernisation,education and women liberation,society still got carried away by caste or religion-based discrimination.
Kishwar Desai reiterated that patriarchy was at the centre of the problem and women themselves were responsible for remaining complacent about the atrocities. Though a middle-aged working woman like her has all the freedom,it is the woman as a person,whose confidence can ward off negative behaviour.
The first session opened with cartoonist,humorist and writer Krishna Shastry and journalist Jai Arjun Singh discussing The Challenge of Humour. The session was dedicated to the great satirist and humorist,late Jaspal Bhatti. The panelists mulled over theoretical aspects of humour as depicted in writing,theatre,cinema,or by stand-up comedians. They agreed it was ultimately the recipient who decided whether the genre tickled the funny bone or not.
Jai Arjun Singh,however,lamented that despite humour being much talked about,seldom had comic performances won an Oscar in 85 years. Shastry agreed saying there were not many humour writers in India and,unfortunately,those who write humour are considered lesser beings.
Singh said humour was being stifled by people in power and people were being arrested for even stating facts on social media. According to Singh, this is a sorry state of affairs where even innocuous comments are labelled offensive by politicians with vested interests. Meanwhile,Shastry kept the people in good humour with his witty remarks and hilarious excerpts from his latest book Jump Cut.
Later,a thesis on Kashmirs Narratives of Conflict by Manisha Gangahar was released by author Rahul Pandita and another book,Lal Chowk by noted writer Kashmiri Lal Zakir was released in the afternoon session.
Authors including Gyan Parkash,Manjula Rana,Bubbu Tir,Manmohan Singh and Madhav Kaushik discussed the challenges of contemporary literature,while H S Rana,Chandra Shekhar Varma,Manish Shukla,Shashi Prabha Attri,Pam Handa,Angelee Deodhar with Madhav Kaushik, recited poems in the session Poetic Expressions.
Ashwin Sanghi talked about his mythological book Chanakya in the penultimate session,while in the session on Narrative,Mind and Memory writers Manju Kapur,Rahul Pandita,Nirupama Dutt and Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry explored aspects of creativity and how memory played a role in the creative process. Especially touching was the story of displacement of Kashmiri Pandits in 1990,who are living through the pain,refusing to return to their homeland with the fear of finding it devastated.