SAARC literature festival begins in Taj city

SAARC literature festival begins in Taj city

Renowned authors, academicians and artistes from India and Pakistan besides other SAARC countries have gathered at the Taj City to participate in the three-day literature festival beginning today.

A number of writers from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were today honoured at the festival, inaugurated by Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) Director General, Suresh Goel.

The writers who were felicitated included A K Rashid (Afghanistan), Kazi Sufia Akhtar and Md Nurul Huda (Bangladesh), Tshering Dorji (Bhutan), Ibrahim Waheed (Maldives), Abhi Subedi (Nepal), Nasreen Anjum Bhatti and Nisar Ahmed Chaudhry (Pakistan), Daya Dissanayake (Sri Lanka), Sitakant Mahapatra, Abhay Kumar, Surjit Patar and Jayant Mahapatra (India).

Pakistani writers Nasreen Bhatti and Farheen Chaudhry, talking to media said, "It is politics that is causing artificial barriers between the people of India and Pakistan, which had a common cultural heritage that is seen in various customs, including bridal songs and songs of parting from the parental home."

They lamented that while Indian films and television channels were permitted to be shown in Pakistan, not a single Pakistani TV channel could be seen in India.

"The people of the two countries would have to decide the course of relations between them, as it was the people who determined the politics of countries," they said.

The festival will also have cultural performances, including the whirling dance by the Malangs of Pakistan, Odisi dance by Kavita Dwibedi and presentations by Pakistani Fakiri and the Baul group of India.