Nepal Literature Festival 2017 opens with a flourish

The sixth edition of the Nepal Literature Festival 2017 (Nepal Sahitya Mahotsav 2073) has been inaugurated at the premises of Nepal Tourism Board, Pardi, Pokhara. The four-day long literary extravaganza will host literary and artistic dialogues in 40 sessions with nearly 100 personalities till January 30. The celebration was inaugurated by eminent Litterateur and Chief Guest Dhruba Chandra Gautam by lighting a lamp.

The keynote speech for the event was delivered by Educationist and former Vice Chancellor of Tribhuvan University, Kedar Bhakta Mathema. In a rousing speech, he underlined the discrepancies and disorder prevalent in the education sector, and exhorted one and all to fight against negative practices. “We should all be angry with the miscreants, and not be laid back!” he insisted.

This was followed by a special session honoring Kavi Shiromani Lekhnath Poudyal, who was born in Kaski. As a tribute to his literary contributions, Poet and Author of Children’s Literature, Prabha Bhattarai, recited poems of the Kavi Shiromani. Welcoming all word lovers to Pokhara, Constituent Assembly Member and President of the Development Committee of the Legislature Parliament, Hon. Rabindra Adhikari, said, “There is a need to extend the description of Pokhara as a holiday destination and establish it as a culturally rich center.” Deepak Raj Joshi, the Chief Executive Officer of Nepal Tourism Board, was also enthusiastic in his appreciation of the Nepal Literature Festival. He said, “The festival is a wonderful touristic product, because it adds to the beauty of this already beautiful city,” he said.

After the formal inauguration, sessions were opened for the day. The first session was Pokhara: Abako Parikalpana (Pokhara: The Imagination Ahead), in which Hon. Rabindra Adhikari and Mr. Birendra Bahadur Basnet shared their vision for Pokhara in the upcoming years. The session was moderated by journalist Sujit Mahat.

This was followed by one of the most awaited session: “Democrats and Dissenters”, wherein editor Kanak Mani Dixit conversed with noted historian and sociologist Ramachandra Guha. The erudite conversation focused around Guha’s new book, a collection of essays on topics ranging from politics to society, intellectuals to ideologues. The next session, titled “Kahan Chhan Bauddhik?” (Where are the Public Intellectuals?) was a search by sociologist Chaitanya Mishra and political columnist CK Lal to identify and discern the intricacies of public intellectuals in the country. The session was moderated by journalist and author Aditya Adhikari. After this, writers Dhruba Chandra Gautam and Khagendra Sangraula shared their experiences and anecdotes in the session entitled ‘A-Likhit Samwaad’ (Un-Written Dialogue). The session was moderated by Journalist and Writer Devendra Bhattarai. The final session for the first day was a musical performance by Rambhakta Jojiju and Binod Baniya.

Enthused by the first day’s crowds that led to packed sessions, Festival Director Ajit Baral said, “Last year, we promised that the next edition of the festival would be in Pokhara. We have fulfilled our promise, and Pokhara has also repaid us with love, affection and support.”