Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Shivaya

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Apr 16, 2017

Heads up on Dehradun Literature & The Arts Festival - ‘DLitFest’

Yet another Literature Festival?

There is a reason for a Literary Festival to exist and flourish in India. No, it is not the desire of professional authors and artists to interact with fellow authors and publishers etc. over wine and cheese events that dot the urban sector of literati. Instead, in my opinion, it is the young generation of Indian readers and cultural enthusiasts who are driving the success of Literary Festivals. They are looking for alternative avenues to decide what to like and read instead of being bewildered by the onslaught of marketing gurus pedaling cheap thrills in the garb of literature and culture.

So how this young educated Indian generation, (93.2 % projected enrollment in K-12 grade in 2017, announced by planning commission) faced with the marketing onslaught of big media houses find the right books to read, the right ideas to follow, right people to connect with. Thanks to widespread use smart phones and ease of connectivity, I believe the young Indians have intrinsically found a way out, without being manipulated by the marketing gurus. They check out You Tube, Follow Ted Talks and, as is the recent trend, attend literary festivals that are happening across India. 

From Bhutan to Goa, from Kashmir to Kerala and Lucknow, Patna, MP, Odisha etc. thrown in between, the young generation has a literary festival near by to attend. The popularity of literary festivals is due to the fact that it is found to be more authentic, score a lot more in content and interaction and is very convenient in terms of time and resources to attend. I have been closely watching the progress of our local Hindu Lit Festival in Chennai for years and I clearly see a tremendous growth of young generation attending this Lit festival. Hindu Lit Festival 2017 had a footfall of almost 25,000 people and majority of these attendees were students.

Dehradun Literature & The Arts (DELTA) festival: ‘DLitFest’ (17th-19th Nov, 2017)

Dehradun Airport
Dehradun is a beautiful city, surrounded by Himalayan peaks and tall deodar trees. Apart from being the home to famous educational institutes, Colleges and schools, Dehradun has 89% literacy rate among young generation, who are looking for a closer interaction with best in the field of arts, music, dance, theater, films and literature. The young generation of Dehradun was looking for a festival to call their own and to work and interact with the best in the creative field from across India and the world.  And as I interacted with Mrs. Rashmi Chopra - the driving force behind DELTA, over last few weeks, I realised that DLitFest is going to fill this gap.
The idea behind DELTA Festival is to create a platform that celebrates Dehradun’s heritage of literature and culture. Rashmi Ji said, “We wanted to encourage younger people to engage with books and authors. We want our students and teachers to develop sharp and critical minds through varied interaction and exposure with the best in the field of arts and literature. As there is substantial population of senior citizens in Dehradun, we also wanted to have an event to creatively engage them, share their experiences and to get them an exposure to the new genres of literature and arts.”

The DELTA team consists of book lovers, readers, reviewers, teachers, students, aspiring authors and lovers of Dehradun, who aspire to engage the young and old generation alike in creative and artistic pursuit as well as to bring awareness about the rich heritage, culture and natural diversity of Uttaranchal to the forefront - celebrating the spirit of Doon.

In last few months, the DELTA has secured the support of “The Shivalik Hills Foundation Trust” of ''The Chopras' - One of the largest career counselling and Education companies in India, in providing the seed funding. The SREI Foundation has ‘in-principle’ agreed to support the DELTA as the principle sponsor. The Garhwal Post is media partner and local teams of book lovers like The Book Nerds and Sanket Communications have joined in to work with 'DLitFest' as Event and Media Partners. The New Delhi based publisher Story Mirror has become one of the earliest sponsors of DLitFest - 2017

A great line up of prominent authors, artists and icons of the industry have given their consent to join the event and engage the participants in creative discourse over a period of few days in Nov, 2017.

Some of the programs that are tentatively scheduled for the event is as follows…

A) Sessions / Panel Discussions

Interaction with Signature Authors of Doon – Ruskin Bond, Alter, Nayantara Sehgal, I Alan Sealey, Vikram Seth, Amitava Ghosh, Ramachandra Guha, Vandana Shiva

Some of the confirmed author sessions from across India: Shashi Tharoor, Ruskin Bond, Rajdeep Sardesai, Mark Tully, Sanjeev Sanyal, K Vijay Kumar, Jerry Pinto, Rakhee Bakshi, L. S Bajpai, Satish, Anita Agnihotri, Raghav Chandra, Timeri N Murari, Chithra Madhavan, Capt Raghuraman, G S Cheema, Suchita Malik, Sheela Reddy, Khushwant Singh, Tarun Vijay, Shashidhar Sharma, Keshav, Captain Amrinder Singh, Juliet Reynolds...

- The Making of Uttarakhand: conversations with development professionals and his colleagues in government
- The story of the Everest – Tribute to Sikdar
- Short films on Environment
- Vijayanagar Dynasty
- Symbolism in ancient Painting & Sculptures

B) Art & Entertainment
Music, Mushaira and Movies

C) Book Launches and Literary Awards

D) Workshops
Creativity, Poetry, Haiku, Writing, Theater, Movie Making, Photography

The festival organizers have tentative schedule of interesting sessions on South India. Dr. Chithra Madhavan will be holding a session on “Vijaya Nagar Empire’. The Hindu Cartoonist and Krishna Devotee, Mr. Keshav will be taking the audience through ‘Symbolism found in Ancient Painting”.

Authors from Chennai

Authors from Chennai, Mr. Timeri N Murari and Mr. K Vijay Kumar (Ex Chennai Police Commissioner and author of the bestseller “Veerappan - Chasing The Brigand”) have confirmed their participation and the organizers are in talk with another Chennai author Meena Kandasamy for participating in the festival. In the end, it is an honour for me to be invited by Dehradun Literature & Arts to give a talk and share my own journey.

So I look forward to three days of knowledge sharing, learning and artistic awareness amongst the best in the field of literature & art and sincerely hope to see you all there as well…

For Updates on DELTA @ DLitFest, connect at the following links...
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ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya

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