Monday, August 29, 2011

Controversy brews over Srinagar Lit fest

Harud - The Autumn Literature Festival, to be held in Srinagar Sep 24-26, has stirred a controversy with a section of authors, filmmakers and intelligentsia from the state alleging the festival is an effort by the "repressive government" to gag the freedom of Kashmiris.

The protesters have devoted a Facebook page to criticise the festival, being presented by Teamworks Production, the organisers of the Jaipur Literature Festival.

They say there is no freedom in Kashmir for people to speak their minds, as the festival claimed.

Promoted as the state's first national literary festival, "Harud- The Autumn Literature Festival" has promised to bring together local, regional and national literature under one platform to allow exchange of ideas and assimilation.

The festival is scheduled to be held on the Kashmir University premises.

In a appeal Saturday, the organisers expressed grief at the malicious campaign to tarnish the spirit of the festival, billed as "apolitical and inclusive".

An open letter this week said: "Holding such a festival would dovetail with the state's concerted attempt to portray that all is normal in Kashmir".

The letter was signed by writers Basharat Peer, Mirza Waheed, journalist Najib Mubaraki, research scholar Insha Malik, filmmaker Sanjay Kak, rights activist Gautam Navlakha, author-activist Anjum Zamrud Habib and academician Nivedita Menon, among others.

Full report here Daijiworld

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