Pondy Lit Fest 2018 kicks off on August 17: Smriti Irani, Kiran Bedi among speakers

Puducherry Literary Festival 2018: Along with Smriti Z Irani, Kiran Bedi, and V Narayanasamy, as the chief guests, a majority of speakers and attendees at Bharat Shakti are supporters of the saffron ideology.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | Published: July 31, 2018 2:54:45 pm

pondy lit fest 2018, puducherry literary festival 2018, bharat shakti, smriti irani, kiran bedi, v narayanasamy, bjp pro speakers, hindutva, pondy lit fest saffron hue, indian express, indian express news Pondy Lit Fest’s guest list raised many eyebrows for attendees in support of saffron ideology. (Source: @PondyLitFest/Twitter)

The Pondy Lit Fest 2018 is all set for its first edition — Bharat Shakti — for literature lovers from August 17 to 19. The festival, which will touch upon themes of literary, cultural, social, artistic and political importance, gets its name from philosopher Sri Aurobindo’s quote that reads thus: “India is a Bharat Shakti the living energy of a great spiritual conception and fidelity to it is very principle of her existence.”

Key speakers include Union Cabinet Minister of Textiles Smriti Z Irani, Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry Kiran Bedi and Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy as chief guests. The festival is being curated by Professor Makrand Paranspe and Lalit Varma of Aurodhan Puducherry. 

No sooner was the guest list out, people slammed @PondyLitFest’s post on Twitter for including either those are from the BJP or supporters of the party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Amish Tripathi, the author of the Shiva trilogy, Aravind Neelakanthan, the co-author of Breaking India, chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the PM, Bibek Debroy, Swarajya editor R Jagannathan, founder of Tapovan Open University of Yoga and Ayurveda, filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, national award-winning actor Pallavi Joshi and Dr Sampadananda Mishra, the director of SARC are some of the attendees.

Offering a clarification in a tweet, Paraspe wrote: “Wish to thank everyone for their support and suggestions. The festival is small, with limited resources. Next year we hope to do better with goodwill and additional help.”

He also went on to apologise for not inviting many other scholars and said he would “love to invite” the likes of Pavan K Varma, Shekhar Gupta, Vir Sanghvi, Suhel Seth and Raveena Tandon “if they were willing to come”.

Jointly organised by Indologue Events and Ideas and Alliance Francaise, the Pondy Lit Fest will be held at different venues including Maison Colombani, Coramandel Cafe, Alliance Francaise and Aurobindo Society.

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