Explore everything from caste to cricket at BLF this year
Patriotism, caste, cricket, economy, Aadhaar, trolls and Bin Laden - all these topics will be up for discussion and debate at the sixth edition of the Bangalore Literature Festival (BLF) at The Lalit Ashok, Kumara Krupa Road, on October 28 and 29. There will be over 70 sessions for adults and children.
The theme for this year's festival is 'Speak Up, Speak Out'. Explaining this, Srikrishna Ramamoorthy, from the festival's team, said: "In the present scenario, it is becoming all the more important that all voices are heard. At the festival, we listen to and accept a wide multitude of views."
On the first day, before the opening session, journalist Ammu Joseph will pay tribute to Gauri Lankesh.
For those who love cricket as much as literature, the festival has sessions with Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble. Dravid will be in conversation with journalist Rajdeep Sardesai about the latter's latest book 'Democracy XI: The Great Indian Cricket Story'. On day two, Gideon Haigh, sports writer and author of Australian cricketer Shane Warne's biography, will be in conversation with Kumble and Sardesai about 'How India's win in T20 World Cup changed Indian and world cricket'.
Last year, festival-goers were disappointed when Kanhaiya Kumar, then president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students' union, did not turn up despite much anticipation. "He had taken ill at the last moment. In fact, he wants to make up for missing the fest and will definitely be there this year," said Shinie Antony, the festival director. Kanhaiya will take part in a discussion on 'Nationalism, populism and the threat to the global liberal order'.
The fest will have controversial figures such as Paul Zachariah, a Malayalam writer known for his unorthodox political views, and Perumal Murugan, the Tamil writer who was in 'literary exile' after religious and caste groups took offence to his book 'Maadhorubaagan'.
The festival will have participation from young Kannada writers. Subodh Sankar, the co-founder of Atta Galatta, said: "Our idea is to expose the English-speaking crowd in Bengaluru to Kannada literature, particularly contemporary authors. Short story writing is now a trend in Kannada, so we have Vikram Hathwar, Shanthi Appanna, Abdul Rasheed and Karki Krishnamurthy."
V Ravichandar, fest advisor, said: "As we all know, the hard infrastructure in Bengaluru is in a bad state. The least we can do is develop the soft infrastructure through festivals like these."Historian Dr S Settar on the origin of Kannada language
Performance by Amaan and Ayaan Ali Khan, sons of sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan
'Children Literature Fun' for young ones on the theme 'Earth and Environment'
Multimedia installation by Prathibha Nandakumar based on 'Theridashte Bagilu' by Jayant Kaikini