Lit fest opens today, set to discuss #MeToo and more

Lit fest opens today, set to discuss #MeToo and more

The seventh edition of the Bangalore Literary Festival throws the spotlight on many contemporary concerns.


The #MeToo movement is the subject of one of the sessions at the Bangalore Literature Festival opening Saturday.

‘Mard Ko Dard Hoga: #MeToo’ features Sandhya Menon, Sister Jesme, Tushita Patel and Vinta Nanda in conversation with Barkha Dutt at 11.30 am on Sunday. The festival is back in its seventh edition, this time on the lawns of The Lalit Ashok. Entry is free. 

V Ravichandar, from the organising team, says, “The event is one of the best for three reasons. It’s the only literature festival that is completely community-funded. Secondly, most authors tend to stay at the hotel, which gives them more time to interact with each other and with the audience. And most importantly, this year, we have more programmes planned for children.” 

Read also: Bangalore Literature Festival: All you need to know!

Like every year, speakers will reflect on new realities. This year, subjects include the upcoming elections, fake news, #MeToo, sex work and Section 377. 

With the theme this year being ‘Young Voices, Relevant Noises’, the audience can expect many young speakers like Roanna Gonsalves, Snigdha Poonam, Aatish Taseer, Manu Pillai and Rajith Savanadasa.

There will also be stalwarts like Shashi Tharoor, Sophie Hannah, Ramachandra Guha and Vijay Seshadri in attendance. David Frawley will speak on ‘How I Became a Hindu: My Discovery of Vedic Dharma’. ‘The Business of Sex’ is a session featuring Nalini Jameela and Nora Bossong in conversation with Reshma Bharadwaj. This festival also features panels on cartooning and science fiction. 

On Saturday evening, you can enjoy music with ‘Alchemy of Sounds and Strings’, a duet of sitar and Indian cello by Pandit Shubhendra Rao and Saskia Rao-de Haas. 

The Sunday concert is titled ‘An Odyssey of Seven Notes’ and features saxophonist Lavanya with Rageshri Dhumal (keyboard), Shalini Mohan (bass guitar), Siddhi Shah (drums)
and Soumya Sanathanan (percussion).

Children can look forward to sessions such as ‘Ma, I want to be a Journalist’ in which Barkha Dutta, Mukund Padmanabhan, R Sukumar and Shruthi Mohan are participating.

‘Abracadabra: Time for Some Jadoo’ is another attraction, and features the Bengaluru magician K S Ramesh. That event is on Sunday at the Grand Ballroom.

Need more reasons to drop by? The tennis court area is dedicated to bookshops. 

“The idea of BLF is to bring together the spirit of community, sense of fun and wonder. One shouldn’t just be about being stuck in traffic and looking at garbage. We also need to please our senses and soul. And because this event is a community-based one, it has its own charm,” says Ravichandar.

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