Richly bedecking spectra of timeless literary works, which comprised handful of regional masterpieces, Sahitya Akacemi organised its annual festival Sahityotsav 2016, Festival of Letters, at New Delhi from February 15-20, 2016. Distinguished Odia writer and fellow of Sahitya Akademi, Dr Manoj Das, inaugurated the five-day literary festival opulently decorated with colourful cultural programmes, literary meets and an award event. Jyaneswar Laishram reports a brief account of the annual literary festival. Onset of Sahityotsav 2016 was marked with the highlight of achievements Sahitya Akademi had garnered during the previous year: execution of 479 literary events, participations in 189 book fairs in 24 languages, opening of the Centre for Tribal and Oral Literature at New Delhi and Imphal, presentations of 117 awards in 24 recognised languages and many others. Dr Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari, president, Sahitya Akademi, in his speech at the inauguration of the festival, thanked the writer’s community of the country for their unflinching support and co-operation, and appealed everyone to continue their commitment.

“Many good regional literary works across the country have remained unexplored to the mass or diverse communities of the country. In this, the Akamemi should be lauded for uniting the country’s diverse fabric of literatures through translation works,” suggested Dr Manohar Das. More than thousands of tittles of translated regional literary works had been put up on display during the festival.

North-East focused

Opening of Sahityotsav 2016Theme and focus of Sahityotsav 2016 was ‘Tribal, Oral and North-East Literature.’ As part of their focus this year, Sahitya Akademi introduced the Tribal Language Poetry Festival featuring noted tribal poets from all over the country. Dr K Sreenivasrao, secretary, Sahitya Akademi, highlighted the role of oral traditions in the dissemination and carrying over of cultural components of communities all over India and the literary institution’s commitment to preserve and propagate the tribal and oral literatures. In this, he pointed out value of the strategic opening of the centers for tribal and oral literature in North-East states.

Award winners

At a glittering ceremony during the festival, Sahitya Akademi organised an eventful award evening presenting its prestigious ‘Sahitya Akademi Awards 2015’ to writers in 24 languages, amid verses of poems and literary musings. Eminent Urdu scholar Dr Gopi Chand was the chief guest at the award occasion. The writers who were bestowed with the awards with their works and languages they worked upon is listed as: Kula Saikia (Akashar Chhabi Aru Anyanya Galpa, Assamese); Alok Sarkar (Shono Jabaphul, Bengali); Brajendra Kumar Brahma (Baidi Dengkhow Baidi Gab, Bodo); Dhian Singh (Parchhamen Di Lo, Dogri); Cyrus Mistry (Corpse Bearer, English); Rasik Shah (Ante Aarambh, Gujarati); Ramdarash Mishra (Aag Ki Hansi, Hindi); KV Thirumalesh (Akshaya Kavya, Kannada); Bashir Bhadharwahi (Jamis Ta Kasheeri Manz Kashir Natia Adbuk Tawareekh, Kashmiri); Udai Bhembre (Karnaparva, Konkani); Man Mohan Jha (Khissa, Maithili); KR Meera (Aaraachar, Malayalam); Kshetri Rajen (Ahingna Yeksillaba Mang, Manipuri); Arun Khopkar (Chalat Chitravyooh, Marathi); Gupta Pradhan (Samyaka Prativimbhaharu, Nepalese); Bibhuti Pattanaik (Mahishasurara Muhan, Odia); Jaswinder Singh (Maat Lok, Punjabi); Madhu Acharya ‘Ashawadi’ (Gawaad, Rajashthani); Ram Shanker Awasthi (Vandevi, Sanskrit); Rabi Lal Tudu (Parsi Khatir, Santhali); Maya Rahi (Mahingi Murk, Sindhi); Aa Madhavan (Ilakia Suvadukal); Volga (Vimukta, Telugu); and Shamim Tariq (Tawawwuf Aur Bhakti, Urdu).

All the winners of the Sahitya Akademi Awards 2015 were arranged to meet and share their experiences as writers and poets. At the converge, Dr K Sreenivasrao welcomed the winners, briefing about the objective of the programme, while Dr Chandrashekhar Kambar, vice president, Sahitya Akademi, carried the proceeding forward.



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