March 8, 2021 12:57:29 am
The 94th Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan, an annual gathering of the Marathi literary world, scheduled in Nashik between March 26 and 28, has been postponed due to rising cases of Covid-19 in the state, the organisers said on Sunday.
Astrophysicist, science writer and academic Jayant Narlikar was recently named president of the 94th edition of Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan.
“After holding discussions with various member bodies, we decided to put the Sammelan on hold as the cases of Covid-19 are rising rapidly again in the state. It has not been cancelled, and will certainly take place when the situation is normal. We tentatively hope to conduct it towards the end of May, if the situation normalises by then,” said Kautikrao Thale Patil, president of Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Mahamandal, an umbrella body of regional Marathi literary organisations in India that organises the Sammelan.
The Mahamandal includes representatives of four main Marathi literary bodies from Vidarbha, Marathwada, Pune and Mumbai regions and allied organisations from Vadodara, Goa, Karnataka, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Since Covid-19 cases started rising in Maharashtra, questions were raised on the organisation of the Sammelan, which has a history of a large number of people attending it from across the state and India. Organisers had been holding talks on various platforms about its organisation.
Thale Patil added, “We, along with members and allied bodies, held discussions with other key stakeholders about the process of the event’s organisation. We all agree it should be put on hold for a while. We are ruling out the option of holding it online.”
The Indian Express spoke with Mangala Narlikar, mathematician and writer and wife of Jayant Narlikar. Speaking on behalf of both of them, she said, “We were informed of the decision today. We agree as safety and health of people should be the priority.”
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