As part of the ‘Iconic Week Celebrations’ under Azaadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture, Meenakshi Leekhi inaugurated the first ever literary festival at Gulmarg today.
The literary festival organized by the J&K Government has brought numerous literary personalities across the country to mark the 75 years of independence. Acclaimed writers, emerging poets, intellectuals discussed and analyzed several aspects of literary traditions in the festival.
While inaugurating the literary festival, Meenakshi Leekhi praised the efforts of J&K UT Administration for organizing festival of this kind and said that such kind of festivals are inspiring youth across the country to explore their inherent creativity and is also attracting literati loving people. She emphasized that literary festivals provide a platform to the budding writers and young enthusiasts to express their ideas and feelings.
She expressed that Kashmir has always been a seat of learning cultures since ancient times and maintained that these lit festivals can play a part in maintaining that harmony and coexistence. She stressed that such kind of festivals definitely protect our culture, heritage and also play role in celebrating our ‘Unity in Diversity’.
In the morning session ‘Debut To Bestseller’, The Climb, The Voyage with moderator Arjun Gaind, famous writers Kanchana Banerjee, Anuja Chandramouli, Koral Dasgupta and Neil D’Silva participated.
In another session with moderator Siddhartha Gigoo, meant for the budding writers from Jammu and Kashmir, four young poets and writers, Anushka Dhar, Manpreet Kour, Mahpara Khan and famous Urdu poet and DC Srinagar, Mohammad Aijaz Asad (IAS) participated. In this session, Mohammad Aijaz Assad who is a recipient of Rashtriya Gaurav Award, 2019 for his book “Barf Zaar”, presented some of the famous couplets from his book.
In another session, in conversation with Geetika Kohli, celebrated poet and famous bollywood lyricist Irshad Kamil threw light on his literary journey. Prior to mention that the songs written by him have appeared in famous bollywood movies like Sultan, Jab We Met, Highway & Love Aaj Kal.
Other sessions with themes Writing and Reporting in a Fractured World, Mythology Romance, Memoir, History Fantasy and Folklore were also held.
In the afternoon session, Indra Basu had conversation with Dolly Thakur on the theme, ‘Many Language of Belonging’.
Deputy Commissioner Baramulla Bhupinder Kumar, SSP Baramulla Rayees Mohammad Bhat among other officers were also present on the occasion.
Later, the Minister also visited Martand Temple Mattan in Anantnag District and performed Puja. She was apprised about the history and present status of the temple.
The minister on the occasion assured all possible measures for bringing the temple on the tourism map of the country so that more and more tourists are attracted to this place
She also interacted with some tourists, who shared their experience with the minister. The tourists expressed satisfaction with regard to the hospitality of the valley.