Valley’s Spirits Mountainous: Kashmir To Host Kumaon Lit Fest

The Fourth Edition of Kumaon Literary Festival will be held in Srinagar from 19-20 October 2022. Eminent thinkers and writers from the state and from other parts of the country will gather here to talk about Kashmir.

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By: Shabeer Ahmad | SRINAGAR
Updated: 17 October, 2022 6:48 pm IST
Arhan Bagati, KYARI Founder and host of Kashmir Edition of Kumaon Literary Festival

We are drawn to Kashmir for its beauty. What we often forget is that it has been a revered seat of learning for centuries together and its pristine locations attracted scholars from all across the country to learn and write seminal works of literature, grammar and spiritual texts.

The political changes in the state have brought in its wake several other changes that have seen increased activities around art and culture. One such initiative is being taken by 23-year old Arhan Bagati, who toils tirelessly to study Kashmir – from its agriculture to its people with scholastic rigour. This is the reason his organisation joined hands with Kumaon literature festival and brought it to Srinagar.

Many say the event may be used to allay fears over the recent spate of killings involving Kashmiri pandits that have disturbed the valley yet again.

Kumaon Literary Festival is India’s only travelling literary festival and is all set to take place in Srinagar on October 19th and 20th, 2022. The one and a half-day festival will be inaugurated by Manoj Sinha, the Lt. Governor of Jammu and Kashmir and will feature various sessions on literature and cinema highlighting many aspects of art and culture.

The Kashmir Edition is being held in association with KYARI, Kashmir’s Yumberzal Applied Research Institute. Arhan Bagati, KYARI Founder and the host of Kashmir Edition said, “The Fest will see participation of many eminent writers and literary persons from the region such as, Neerja Mattoo, Nirupma Kotru, Saleem Beg, Sanjay Raina, Siddhartha Gigoo, Aditya Raj Kaul, Ajay Raina, Dinesh Manzoor Bhat, Khushboo Mattoo, Nusrat Durrani, Tamanna Slathia and Tsering Gurmat.”

Bagati, India’s first and the world’s youngest ever Deputy Chef de Mission at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, is passionate about highlighting “peace in Kashmir” through his initiatives.

He is upbeat about bringing the festival to Kashmir and turning it into a hub of literary and intellectual discussion about the problems in Kashmir. He says the locals have been very supportive and he is hoping for a positive response from Kashmiri youth.

Announcing the festival, Asha Batra, co-founder of the Festival said, “India has been a global hub for arts and culture for centuries; the setting and inspiration for celebrated works of literature, drama and art, and home to artists and writers from around the world.”

“The festival brings together brilliant and unique minds from various genres of the creative world. We are extremely excited to host this edition of Fest in Srinagar and look forward to making art and literature lovers in Kashmir on a creative journey. We have a very impressive line-up of speakers this year along with some interesting book launches and discussions.”

Each year, the festival promotes literature and cinema with numerous innovative initiatives. This year, the festival will have eminent speakers like Dr Bibek Debroy, Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India; Ashwin Sanghi, India’s highest selling fiction author; Rahul Rawail, veteran filmmaker; Divya Dutta, Actor; Rahul Mittra, award winning filmmaker; Jameel Gulrays, Katha Kathan founder; Bhawana Somaaya, veteran journalist; Anant Vijay, senior journalist and author; Pavan Jha, film historian; Shantanu Ray Chaudhari, publisher.

Renowned authors like Kiran Manral, Yatindra Mishra, Jai Arjun, Anu Singh, Mona Verma and will also grace the event with their presence.

Apart from these, books being launched and discussed, include ‘Kishore Kumar: The Ultimate Biography’ by Parthiv Dhar and Anirudha Bhattacharjee, ‘The Magicians of Mazda’ by Ashwin Sanghi, ‘The Mystic and the Lyric: Four Women Poets from Kashmir’ by Neerja Mattoo, ‘Inked in India-Fountain Pens and A story of Make and Unmake’ by Bibek Debroy and Sovan Roy, ‘Raj Kapoor – The Master at Work’ by Rahul Rawail, ‘Letters to Self by Narendra Modi’, Translation by Bhawana Somaaya, ‘The Stars in My Sky’ by Divya Dutta, and many more.

The festival was founded in the year 2014 by Sumant Batra, a lawyer of global repute, author and cultural champion. The not-for-profit festival has held many successful editions attended by hundreds of literary luminaries and thinkers from around the world.

Kumaon Literary Festival is one of the first travelling literary festivals in the country which brings together creative minds to offer insights on matters relevant to literature and our cultural life as a nation.

Founded in the year 2014, the not-for-profit festival has held many successful editions attended by hundreds of literary luminaries and thinkers from around the world, and many Constitutional officeholders.

It is produced by Indian Cinema Heritage Foundation, with Sumant Batra as its managing trustee. Veteran filmmaker, Rahul Rawail, and actress Asha Parekh are among the prominent people on Foundation’s Board.

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