The first-ever literary festival in J&K was inaugurated on Wednesday by Union Minister Meenakshi Lekhi at ski resort Gulmarg.
The literary festival, organised by the Union Territory administration, has brought many literary personalities from across the country to mark the 75 years of independence, and is part of the 'Iconic Week Celebrations' under the Azaadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM).
In this festival, known writers, emerging poets and intellectuals will discuss and analyse several aspects of literary traditions.
First of its kind festival
Inaugurating the literary festival, Lekhi praised the efforts of the J&K administration for organising a festival of this kind and said that such festivals inspire youth to explore their inherent creativity and also attract literati from across the country.
She emphasised that literary festivals provide a platform to budding writers and young enthusiasts to express their ideas and feelings.
Kashmir has been a seat of learning and culture since ancient times and maintained that these literary festivals can play a part in maintaining that harmony and co-existence, she said, adding that such festivals definitely protect our culture, heritage and also play a role in celebrating 'Unity in Diversity'.
In the morning session moderated by writer Arjun Gaind, famous writers Kanchana Banerjee, Anuja Chandramouli, Koral Dasgupta, and Neil D'Silva participated.
In another session moderated by Siddhartha Gigoo, meant for the budding writers from Jammu and Kashmir, four young poets and writers, Anushka Dhar, Manpreet Kour, Mahpara Khan and famous Urdu poet and DC Srinagar, Mohammad Aijaz Asad (IAS) participated.
In this session, Asad who is a recipient of Rashtriya Gaurav Award, 2019 for his book "Barf Zaar", presented some of the famous couplets from his book.
In another session, in conversation with Geetika Kohli, celebrated poet and famous Bollywood lyricist Irshad Kamil threw light on his literary journey.
Kohli's songs have appeared in famous Bollywood movies like "Sultan", "Jab We Met", "Highway" and "Love Aaj Kal".
Other sessions with themes "Writing and Reporting in a Fractured World", and on mythology, romance, memoir, history, fantasy, and folklore were also held.
In the afternoon session, Indra Basu had conversation with Dolly Thakur on the theme, "Many Languages of Belonging".
(With inputs from IANS)