Revolt-hit Kashmir to hold literary festival
Monday 01 August 2011
Indian-administered Kashmir will host a major literature festival this September in another sign of easing tensions in the revolt-hit Himalayan territory.
The event is to be staged in Srinagar, Kashmir's main city, by the organiser of Asia's biggest literary festival, held each January in India's "pink city" of Jaipur.
"We want it to be a success and also an opportunity for Kashmir literature to flourish," said Namita Gokhale, an Indian writer and a co-founder of the Jaipur Literary Festival held in the northwestern state of Rajasthan.
Plans for the new event, to take place from September 16-18, came after the Jaipur festival earlier this year gave pride of place to Indian Kashmir, whose literature has been marked by more than two decades of rebel violence.
To be called the Harud (autumn) Literature Festival, "it will be an apolitical dialogue concerning literature. We will be discussing English, Urdu and Kashmiri literature," Gokhale said.
Muslim-majority Kashmir has a rich literary tradition dating back to the 14th century, but few outside readers are familiar with its beauty because little has been translated.
But now a growing number of Kashmiri works are appearing in English as reader interest in a region beset by a separatist insurgency since 1989 is growing.
The three-day event will be marked by book readings, interactive sessions with authors and cultural programmes.
It was not yet clear whether the organisers will make it an annual affair.
Among those likely to attend are young Kashmiri writers including Basharat Peer, who wrote "Curfewed Nights", Mirza Wahid, who authored "The Collaborator" and Kashmiri Hindu writer Siddhartha Giggoo who wrote "The Garden of Solitude".
The insurgency against Indian rule has claimed more than 47,000 lives. But police now say violence is at its lowest since the start of the separatist revolt.
educationTo mark International Women's Day, Sarah Brown on how charities have brought proper joined-up thinking to the delivery of education
Arts & Ents blogs
Jared Leto: Best Supporting Actor Oscar sparks backlash from transgender community
In Kony's shadow: Shocking photographs reveal brutality of Lord's Resistance Army
Captain Phillips actor Barkhad Abdi struggles despite Oscar nomination
Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill set for new film penned by Captain Phillips screenwriter Billy Ray
First clip of Outkast's Andre 3000 in Jimi Hendrix biopic All Is By My Side emerges
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
- 1 The future of sex: The first female condoms were derided, mistrusted and shunned - but will their modern counterparts catch on?
- 2 South African rhino finally put down after roaming Kruger park for days with horn hacked off and bullet in brain
- 3 Study suggests that 'gaydars' are real - at least for women
- 4 Man stabbed with Legend of Zelda Master Sword in serious condition
- 5 First clip of Outkast's Andre 3000 in Jimi Hendrix biopic All Is By My Side emerges