The fourth edition of the Ncell Nepal Literature Festival 2014 kicked off among much fanfare at a ceremony in the Nepal Academy premises in Kamaladi. The four-day literary extravaganza will run from 19 to. Organized by the Bookworm Foundation and sponsored by Ncell, the festival was inaugurated by litterateur Dr. Banira Giri.
The keynote speech was delivered by eminent political, social and economic analyst Dr. Chaitanya Mishra, who spoke on the ‘stories of caste’. He expounded on the history of the caste system in the country, and revealed surprising facts about this system that we often take for granted. Expressing his delight at being able to organize the fourth edition,
Festival Director AjitBaral said, “The festival is becoming a much looked forward event in the Nepali literary calendar.” The festival opened with the session “How can Nepal progress?” (Kasari Banla Nepal), during which journalist Sushil Sharma talked to CK Lal and Swarnim Wagle and Pradeep Giri on the issues heckling Nepal’s progress, and the measures to tackle them.
This was followed by a tête-à-tête with the writer couple Tishani Doshi and Carlo Pizzati on the joint perusal of arts, moderated by author Richa Bhattarai. Readers with varied interests enjoyed the discussion focused on the responsibility and reach of social media. In this session moderated by journalist Narayan Amrit, other media persons Pratik Pradhan, Sanjeev Pokhrel and Rajneesh Bhandari discussed its pros and cons.
The audience concluded that a social media identity has become much like a tattoo, by which a person is known, and needs to be carefully moderated and treated with a whole lot of caution. Audience in the Dabali had a novel experience when political scientist Hari Sharma talked about how Nepal is losing agency vis a vis its relation with India and it can reclaim its agency. Meanwhile, the last session of day one drew in all the music enthusiasts, who listened to musician Aabhas discussing about the era of Narayan Gopal’s music with Bishwambhar Pyakhuryal and Nagendra Thapa.
The festival will host 8 different international authors and above 100 national authors, artists, politicians, media persons, intellectuals, economists, sociologists among others in more than 35 panel discussions on a variety of topics. The festival brings together 5 international writers—Shashi Tharoor (India), Farah Ghuznavi (Bangladesh), Tishani Doshi (Britain), Carlo Pizzati (Italy), and Hartosh Singh Bal (India) and over 140 Nepali writers, academics, intellectuals, politicians, artists and journalists.
These include Abhi Subedi, Durga Lal Shrestha, Bairagi Kainla, Sarubhakta, Yubaraj Ghimire, Vijay Kumar Panday, Momila, Pratisara Sayami, Sarswoti Pratikshya, Toya Gurung, etc. “For the next three days, the Festival will have panel discussions, poetry and ghazal recitals and book signings. Lovers of literature will get a chance to rub their shoulders with the national and international literary stars, engage in racy dialogues, and grab a book and get it signed by their favorite writers,” said Ajit Baral, festival director in a press release.