Assam joins the growing list of states hosting literary jamborees with the three-day Brahmaputra Literary Festival (BLF), which will see the participation of more than 150 authors from India and abroad, beginning here on Saturday.
The festival, organised jointly by the National Book Trust (NBT) and the Assam government, will host 60 panel discussions, book releases, readings and culture events including screenings of films based on books, musical and dance performances.
The focus is on the "languages, literature, culture, society, politics, performance traditions, music, identity, media of the northeastern region of the country but also national and international elements packages in the three-day event".
"We have aimed to make the festival a landmark event of the country's literary calendar which will not only expose people to interact with famed litterateurs but also take literature of the northeast to the rest of the country and the world," NBT Director and a Sahitya Akademi winning Assamese author Dr Rita Choudhury said.
The festival will be inaugurated by Union Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar.
"There are many popular literary festivals in the country but the northeast with such a rich literary tradition, both past and contemporary, is yet to have one and the BLF wants to change that," Choudhury said.
"We hope that the festival will become an annual feature of the country's literary calendar and not only encourage new ideas and their dissemination but also offer a platform for intellectual exchanges," she said.
The festival will bring together prominent personalities and celebrities, writers, thinkers, artists and other performers both from northeast India and across the country as well as internationally acknowledged litterateurs and other intellectuals from across disciplines, she added.
Prominent contemporary authors from abroad expected to participate in the event include Carlo Pizzati from Italy, Clara Penalvar from Spain, Randy Teguchi from Japan, Linda Christanty from Indonesia, Dhunpal Raj Heeraman and Ramdeo Dhorundhur from Mauritius, Rajivawizesinha from Sri Lanka and Selina Hossain and Shaheen Akhtar from Bangladesh.