Actor turned politician Shatrughan Sinha inaugurated the Pune International Literary Festival (PILF) at Yashwantrao Chavan Academy for Development Administration (Yashada) on Friday. This is the first time the festival is being organised outside MIT campus.
The event formally began with Sinha’s open interview by Bharathi Pradhan in a section titled ‘Yours Truly’. The actor spoke on a range of issues, starting with a funny anecdote on how his name was pronounced differently in various parts of the country to how he got into into politics. He also spoke about his biography, which is being written by Pradhan and will be released by year-end.
“Pune has a special place in my heart. I left my hometown to be a part of FTII. I had no film background and the city gave me an identity. Today, I am here again making an announcement about my biography. It feels special,” said the actor.
This year, PILF will see over 50 sessions and panel discussions apart from workshops and book launches in a span of three days.
Apart from Sinha, ‘Yours Truly’ section will also feature eminent personalities like Sudha Murthy and Shashi Tharoor. A special exhibition on Agatha Christie – The Queen of Crime and Mystery – will be organised at the venue to mark her 125th birth anniversary. Three special sessions with noted American-French documentary maker Neil Hollander, classical singer Arti Anklikar-Tikekar and actor Bharat
Dabholkar have also been organised. Panel discussions with celebrated national and international authors like Piers Moore Ede, Anand Neelakantan, Ashok Banker, Sunil Sethi, Satyajit Bhatkal, R. Raj Rao, Francois Gautier, Kathryn Hummel and Katrharina Ritter have also been lined up during the festival. A special court martial/ roast with author Ravi Subramaniam will also be a part of the event.
Talking about the festival, Manjiri Prabhu, Pune-based author and founder director of PILF, said, “I had never thought that PILF would have another edition when it started in 2013. However, due to an overwhelming response from authors, writers and people we are witnessing the biggest literary congregation in the Oxford of the east.”
He added,”In a bid to make the festival more meaningful we follow a theme every year. This year, the social theme defining some of the panel discussions is Global Image of India. Every citizen should work towards upholding the core moral values of society, contribute to the social and environmental welfare of the country and be a global ambassador for India.”