BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha Literary Festival (OLF), Eastern India’s biggest literary extravaganza, is back, packing more flair, verve and punch in its embodiment. Having established itself as a much-awaited event in the Capital City’s cultural calendar, the OLF 2018 in its seventh edition is all set to kick off at Mayfair Convention hotel on Saturday.
Bringing together the brightest minds from literature, politics, films, music, creative and performing arts under one platform, the OLF, as has been its essence, will be a stirring cauldron of ideas and exchanges, serving a veritable feast of intellectual discourse combined with the sweet and savoury dose of entertainment.
The festival will be inaugurated by Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal in presence of Editorial Director of The New Indian Express Prabhu Chawla and Editor GS Vasu. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will be the chief guest on the concluding day on Sunday. Union Petroleum and Natural Gas and Skill Development Minister Dharmendra Pradhan will also address a special session on Sunday.
The opening evening will encompass a riveting session on “Why does religion matter so much” with heavyweights from across the political and ideological divide including former Union minister Salman Khurshid, former Rajya Sabha MP and Editor-in-Chief of The Pioneer Chandan Mitra, RSS ideologue Rakesh Sinha and journalist-author Ashutosh holding forth on the burning topic. The day will end with an enthralling Odissi performance by renowned danseuse-composer Aruna Mohanty, who will perform a specially choreographed dance item for the OLF 2018.
The second day will start off with none other than one of India’s best-selling writers Ashwin Sanghi holding a special session for students titled, “Connecting the dots: Myth, history and science”. It will be followed by MP, poet and thinker Feroze Varun Gandhi speaking on “Media, Society and Culture – Inter-relation and emerging trends”.
While there is much debate on the vernacular fast losing relevance in the present times, eminent personalities including Editor of Sambad and MP Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, linguist Debi Prasanna Pattanayak, academician and writer Jatin Nayak and tech-warrior and founder of Odia Wiki Subhashish Panigrahi will deliberate and explore if “Technology can rekindle interest in Odia writing”.
Authors and journalists Avalok Langer, Kota Neelima and Neyaz Farooquee will take part in the session “Embracing the Other: Can the written word help?” that will be moderated by Sujit Mahapatra. The other session “Women on Women: Are they the Best Fit?” will be engaging with noted writers Devapria Roy, Ira Mukhoty and Manjima Bhattacharjya along with author and senior political commentator Ravi Shankar Etteth conversing on handling of women characters by male or female writers.
The audience will also be served with a unique platter of Hindustani song and poetry “Meri zubaan desi hai” by independent singer-songwriter Kavish Seth. The cast and crew of upcoming movie “Kaashi in search of Ganga” including Bollywood star Sharman Joshi, director Dhiraj Kumar and producer Manish Kishore will be special attractions. They will share their experiences of the film and also deliberate on “Changing subjects and scripts of Indian cinema” with noted film critic Piyush Roy.