J&K has already embarked on a new era of cinema, films, art and drama and it continues to remain a creative hub. One of the most coveted literary festivals in India is going to set the perfect ambience of creativity right here in Srinagar. Kumaon Literary Festival is to be held in the summer capital of J&K next week, uniting some of the most brilliant and unique minds from various genres of the creative world.

J&K LG Manoj Sinha will inaugurate the Kashmir edition of the fourth Kumaon Literary Festival. The two-day festival begins October 19 and an extensive itinerary has been planned to feature various sessions on literature, cinema, art and culture.

"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," Asha Batra, co-founder of the festival, said in a statement.

Srinagar set to host country's traveling literary festival
Srinagar set to host country's traveling literary festival

The Kashmir Edition is being held in association with KYARI — Kashmir's Yumberzal Applied Research Institute, whose founder Arhan Bagati will host the festival.

Arhan Bagati, a Kashmiri Pandit, is the youngest Deputy Chef-De-Mission of the 54-member Paralympic squad of India, youth ambassador of Pixstory Application and chair of Indian Cinema Heritage Foundation's Cinemaazi Gen X Think Tank. He founded KYARI with an aim to conduct Applied Research on a broad spectrum of topics that impact civic and social issues in J&K, which will also ultimately pave way for decision-making in the matters of public policy. Their mission is to focus on the developmental issues hindering the economic and social growth of J&K.

Speaking about the guest lineup for the festival, Bagati said: "he 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, Danish Manzoor Bhat, Khushboo Mattoo, Nusrat Durrani, Tamanna Slathia and Tsering Gurmat."

Srinagar set to host country's traveling literary festival
Nurturing the Kashmiri Roots - a session with Arhan Bagati and Danish Manzoor

What to expect from Kumaon Lit Fest?

There are many events lined up for the upcoming two-day lit fest. This year's speakers panel includes some eminent personalities, including:

  1. Dr Bibek Debroy, Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India
  2. Ashwin Sanghi, India's highest-selling fiction author
  3. Rahul Rawail, veteran filmmaker
  4. Actor Divya Dutta
  5. Filmmaker Rahul Mittra
  6. Jameel Gulrays, founder of Katha Kathan
  7. Bhawana Somaaya (journalist)
  8. Anant Vijay, a senior journalist and author
  9. Pavan Jha, a film historian
  10. Shantanu Ray Chaudhari, publisher

Besides, many noted authors will also be attending the coveted event. Renowned authors like Kiran Manral, Yatindra Mishra, Jai Arjun, Anu Singh and Mona Verma will be present.

Srinagar set to host country's traveling literary festival
Srinagar set to host country's traveling literary festival. Check out these sessions

There are also going to be some interesting sessions, such as a special one called 'Raj Kapoor – The Master at Work' with Rawail and Mittra, and interesting book launches as well as discussions.

There will be sessions on books including "Kishore Kumar: The Ultimate Biography", "The Magicians of Mazda", "The Mystic and the Lyric: Four Women Poets from Kashmir", "Inked in India-Fountain Pens and A story of Make and Unmake", "Letters to Self by Narendra Modi", "The Stars in My Sky" and others will also be organised during the event.