Following its thumping success in the inaugural year, the second edition of the LIC Gateway LitFest, India’s only platform to celebrate writings in Indian languages at the national level, will be held at NCPA, Mumbai on February 20 and 21, with a wider canvas of 70 writers representing 15 languages. 

This year’s event will line up a number of top writers including several Jnanpith laureates, Sahitya Academy awardees and budding writers from across India to discuss and debate the contemporary regional literature landscape.  

Jnanpith awardees such as Marathi writer Bhalchandra Nemade, Hindi poet Kedarnath Singh, Odia writers Pratibha Rayand Sitakant Mahapatra will be sharing the same dais.

“We received an overwhelming response to the first edition of this unique initiative from the literary fraternity. The need to create a powerful platform for regional literature and writers in a largely English language-dominated milieu found wide resonance with the readers and writers alike. We intend to make this a people’s movement with the inclusion of new programme formats and wider participation of regional literature lovers,” said Festival Director Mohan Kakkanadan.

The event, jointly held by Mumbai-based Malayalam publication Kaakka and communication agency Passion4communication (P4C), has been conceived to put the regional writings on the same pedestal along with Indian writings in English that is hogging the limelight mostly across the literary events.

“The effort is to bring together the writers from different Indian languages at the national level to promote co-existence and co-growth which is vital for preserving our national labyrinth of diversity in linguistics,” said festival Executive Director M Sabarinath.

One of India’s most prolific postcolonial writers on the challenges of penning regional literature: DNA

Kiran NagarkarMost authors wouldn’t stop talking about their work if it had turned 40 and was still up there considered as a milestone in literature. But then novelist, playwright, film and drama critic and screenwriter Kiran Nagarkar has always been different.

Despite being celebrated as one of the most significant writers of post-colonial India, he resorts to self-effacing sarcasm when asked to react to his first book Saat Sakkam Trechalis (SST) turning 40. “The Guinness Book record-worthy success of Saat Saakam Trechalis (Seven Sixes Are Forty-Three), which sold a record 1,000 copies is what comes to mind,” laughs the septuagenarian Mumbai resident whose books are a target of ideological critique due to the hybrid nature of his version of postcolonialism, involving irreverence alongside seriousness.