Intolerance is Keyword on Day 1 of Bangalore Literature Festival

The first day of the two-day Bangalore Literature Festival was marked by attempts to define and understand ‘intolerance’.

Published: 06th December 2015 05:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th December 2015 05:39 AM   |  A+A-

Bangalore Lit Fest-EPS

For Representational Purposes (Nagaraja Gadekal | EPS)

BENGALURU:  The first day of the two-day Bangalore Literature Festival was marked by attempts to define and understand ‘intolerance’. The word came up in many contexts, such as the keynote address by novelist Shashi Deshpande and the poetry sessions. Kannada writers took offence at being pushed to a non-prime session during the two-day festival. They were given time during the lunch break, which they alleged was unfair. Delivering her keynote address, Shashi Deshpande asserted that returning awards was a legitimate form of protest. “However, it has been turned into a confrontation between different sets of writers,” she said. She took offence to the term ‘award wapsi’, describing it as disgusting. “Returning awards is not a form of disrespect. It is a sacrifice,” she said. Bengali poet Subodh Sarkar said it was the responsibility of writers to protest against intolerance.

For writer-journalist Aakar Patel, the debates raging in the country reflect the deep chasms in society.

Kannada Ire

In a session titled ‘Sirigannada — Hindhe, Indhu, Mundhe’ (Rich Kannada — Past, Present, Future), writers wondered why they had been given a slot during the lunch break. Writer Narahalli Balasubramanya advised the organisers to invite at least one Kannada writer to each session so that questions pertaining to are discussed in a proper setting. Scholar Hampa Nagarajaiah asked whether the organisers had any concern at all for Kannada. “They should ensure a forum to discuss literature in both languages in subsequent editions,” he said. Jnanpith laureate Chandrashekar Kambar lamented that governments were sidelining regional languages.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp