NAMSAI- The fourth edition of the Arunachal Literature Festival 2022 organised by the Department of Information & Public Relations, Government of Arunachal Pradesh in collaboration with the Arunachal Pradesh Literary Society (APLS) began with a colourful start at the Multipurpose Cultural Hall here on Thursday for a three day literary sessions.
An initiative of the Department of Information & Public Relations, the festival aimed at creating awareness on importance of literature and throw light on eminent writers and poets including emerging writers. The event facilitate interface between the local writers and established writers and authors thereby encouraging the budding talents to enhance their skills in creative writing, besides providing them a platform to express themselves in terms of creativity and literature.
Themed “Building Bridges Through Literature”, this edition of the Arunachal Lit Fest, the fourth in series since its beginning in 2018, will focus on reading, creative thinking and expressions, a series of brain storming literary sessions, besides sharing knowledge through presentations and discussions.
Many prominent authors, publishers, writers, poets, besides upcoming writers, poets and literature lovers from state and outside the state are participating in the three day event.
Addressing the gathering, DCM Chowna Mein emphasized on the need for documentation of the rich oral literature of the state for its preservation and prosperity. He said that although Arunachal Pradesh is a late starter in education as well as in the journey of development owing to its locations in the remote north-eastern most corner of the country, there is no dearth of talents and is catching up with other states in all fields.
While lamenting on the fact that there is no written history of the tribes in the state, the DCM informed that the History Department of RGU has been entrusted to research and write on the history of Khampti tribe and on state’s Unsung Heroes who rebelled against the Britishers. He also felt the need to translate the rich local literature (dialects) in hindi or english for the people to understand, besides the poetic form of Khampti literature into prose format for better expression.
He said that the state rich in biodiversity and cultural diversity is on the way to have flourishing tourism industry and Namsai, being located in the centre point of the eastern Arunachal Pradesh is due to become the biggest tourism circuit of the area covering Pasighat – Dibang valley – Pangsau Pass.
Mentioning that with the advent of modernization and electronic devices, reading & writing habits among the youths is diminishing day by day, Mein urged the literary society to play a vital role to keep the mother tongue alive as well as the true essence of language. Adding that literature festival gives the much-needed opportunity to the youths to share and interact with the experienced and renowned writers, poets & publishers from across the country, he hoped that they will take full advantage of such opportunity and enhanced with new ideas and skills.
In his address, Advisor to Minister IPR & Tourism Laisam Simai encouraged the young budding writers of the state to inculcate the habit of writing and reading. Stating that such literature festivals provide appropriate platform to translate one’s dream and imagination into reality through creative writings, Simai called upon the eminent authors/ writers outside to motivate the budding writers to hone their talent to serve the purpose of the theme bridging the bridges through literature.
While giving a vivid account of the journey of Arunachal Literature festival since its beginning in 2018, Padmashri and APLS President Y. D Thongchi said that though the state with numerous tribes is rich in oral literature, there were no written literature earlier due to lack of scripts except for Khampti and Monpa. He informed that APLS is formed in 2006 in order to create awareness on the importance of literature and provide a platform to writers for better exposure and create new writers through various literary activities across the state which later paved the way for the literature festivals. This 4th edition is being organized at Namsai, first time outside Itanagar to give a fillip to the literary movement in the eastern part of the state, besides presenting the picturesque beauty of the place to the outside guest, he added.
Padmashri Mamang Dai in her keynote address called upon the upcoming writers to explore the world and express their feelings through writings, adding ‘writing is about language and imagination with honesty of feelings’. Reciting a Manipuri poem in english ‘My beloved Mother’, Ms Dai said that literature festival is an ‘intangible heritage’ and facilitates the writers and boost their imagination to raise the standard of creativity among them, besides providing a meeting ground of our thought.
Earlier, Director IPR Onyok Pertin, while welcoming one and all said that Arunachal Literature festival is organised by the DIPR in collaboration with APLS to provide a common platform for the literature lovers to come together.
Local MLAs of the area, Chow Zignu Namchoom, Jummum Ete Deori, Dasanglu Pul, Namsai ZPC, Namsai DC C.R Khampa, SP, HoDs, prominent public leaders, besides students from AUS and other local colleges attended the inaugural function.
Other highlights of the event included – lighting of ceremonial lamp to mark the formal inauguration of the programme, release of Book on poetic collections in hindi by Dr Jamuna Bini, group song by students of AUS and Tai Khampti language teachers, peacock dance by Tai Khampti heritage & literary Society. Book stalls put up by National Library, Guwahati, Reader’s Realm, a book cafe from Itanagar with their collections of books for book lovers, DIPR photo exhibition displaying photographs of previous three Literature festivals and other stalls by the local NGOs.
The three day lit fest will have various literary events including – Poetry recitations, Short Story Reading, Rainbow Conclave /Queer Poetry, Workshop on Poetry Writing by Tenzing Tsundue and Novel Writing by Jayant Madhav Bora, discussion on topics – Crossing Boundaries through Translation, Theatre as an Art form of Literature, Environment for preservation of Arunachal Language, Writing for Children- The Joys and Difficulties, Discussion on “Chronicles of Arunachal”, besides Book discussions on Padmashree Mamang Dai’s Book “ Legends of Pensam”, Padmashree Y.D Thongchi’s Book and Jamuna Bini’s Book “Ayarchi Athithi Aur Anya Kathayein” and this year “Meet the Author” programme will feature conversation with Padmashri Awardee Geeta Dharmarajan, a renowned Writer, Educator and Executive Director of KATHA, a non profit organization for providing quality education to underprivileged children.