Chengannur (Kerala) | The third edition of the South Indian Writers Ensemble (SIWE) Literature Festival started on the banks of Pampa River here with a number of popular writers from across the country participating in it. Noted English-Tamil writer Ambai (C S Lakshmi) last evening inaugurated the three-day event, which has the literature of Northeast as the focus this year.
Inaugurating the meet, Ambai said in the independent India, post the linguistic division of the states, there was a movement to assert the identity of language. It was then for the first time, that I wondered if language is going to define our identity. The world we live in, has become about who is going to tolerate whom and who is going to outdo who. To understand diversity in a manner that it is linked with our life, that should be the aim of a festival like SIWE, she said.
Noted Assamese writer and columnist Mitra Phukan said, Northeast is not a single entity. It has 220 ethnic groups. Much of the issues and conflict of this region are reflected in the writings from this area. She also said there was also the issue of being misunderstood by the rest of the country. So this distance that separates us can only be bridged through the medium of culture, she said.
Tamil poet-writer Salma read a few lines from her poems before addressing the gathering. I appreciate what SIWE is doing at two levels. We are ignorant about what is happening in our neighbouring states, let alone places like the Northeast, she said.
The inaugural session was followed by Mitra Phukan and Dhruba Hazarika discussing the topic ‘Guns and Guitars: Literature, Revolt and the question of Identity’. Jahnavi Barua moderated the session. About 50 authors and writers from across the country and 200 delegates are participating in the meet, organised by the Kerala State Youth Welfare Board, in association with PAMPA (People for Performing Arts and More), organisers said.
Subscribe to our email newsletter.