Saturday, August 20, 2011

Winter gloom sets in on Kashmir’s Harud

“Harud or autumn is a beautiful season in Kashmir. It has inspired much excellent prose, poetry and even a film,” said Namita Gokhale, explaining why the literary festival her group will organise in Kashmir this September was called Harud.

“The idea arose from an educationist and arts enthusiasts who wanted to create a platform similar to those that have been created in other festivals. There was also special interest and enthusiasm from some Kashmiri writers who wanted to emulate the spirit of sharing and discourse in the sessions at the Jaipur Literature Festival this year. This was followed by a desire to seek an open and democratic space for poetry, readings and dialogue in Kashmir, as had been happening in other recent literary events in locations as diverse as Karachi, Bhutan, Kerala and, soon, Kathmandu.” Gokhale is also the founder director of the Jaipur Literature Festival, the much successful literary event that’s been held over the last few years in Rajasthan’s Jaipur city to huge international recognition.

But in Kashmir, the Harud somehow seems to have brought a gloom of winter too soon. Some of Kashmir’s major literary figures, though invited, have refused to attend the event. News related to the event spread by sections of the Indian media seems to have spoilt the party before it even began. And statements coming out from the organisers themselves haven’t helped either.

Full report here Dawn

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