4th Arunachal Literature Festival begins

Mein emphasises on documentation of oral literature

NAMSAI, 3 Nov: The three-day 4th edition of the Arunachal Literature Festival, being organised by the department of information & public relations (DIPR), in collaboration with the Arunachal Pradesh Literary Society (APLS), got underway at the multipurpose cultural hall here on Thursday.

The festival is aimed at creating awareness on the importance of literature, and throwing light on eminent writers and poets and emerging writers.

“It is aimed at facilitating interface between the local writers and established writers and authors, thereby encouraging budding talents to enhance their skills in creative writing, besides providing them a platform to express themselves in terms of creativity and literature,” the DIPR informed in a release.

Themed ‘Building bridges through literature’, this edition of the festival will focus on “reading, creative thinking and expressions,” a series of brainstorming literary sessions, and sharing knowledge through presentations and discussions, the DIPR said.

Many prominent authors, publishers, writers, poets, upcoming writers and literature lovers from the state and outside are participating in the event.

Addressing the inaugural function, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein emphasised the need for “documenting the rich oral literature of the state for its preservation and prosperity.”

“Although, owing to its remote location, Arunachal Pradesh is a late starter in education as well as in the journey of development, there is no dearth of talents, and the state is catching up with other states in all fields,” he said.

The DCM informed that the history department of RGU has been entrusted with the task of “researching and writing the history of the Khampti tribe and the state’s unsung heroes who rebelled against the British.”

He said also that there is a need to “translate the rich local literature (dialects) in Hindi or English for the people to understand, besides the poetic form of Khampti literature into prose format for better expression.”

Mein urged the APLS to “play a vital role to keep the mother tongue alive, as well as the true essence of language.”

The tourism minister’s adviser Laisam Simai encouraged budding writers to “inculcate the habit of writing and reading.”

Stating that “such literature festivals provide appropriate platform to translate one’s dream and imagination into reality through creative writings,” Simai urged the eminent authors/writers outside to “motivate the budding writers to hone their talent.”

APLS president YD Thongchi said that, “though the state with numerous tribes is rich in oral literature, there were no written literature earlier due to lack of scripts, except for Khampti and Monpa.” He informed that the APLS was formed in 2006 to “create awareness on the importance of literature, provide a platform to writers for better exposure, and create new writers through various literary activities across the state, which later paved the way for the literature festivals.”

“This 4th edition is being organised in Namsai for the first time outside Itanagar to give a fillip to the literary movement in the eastern part of the state, besides presenting the picturesque beauty of the place to the outside guests,” he added.

Renowned writer and Padma Shri awardee Mamang Dai in her address advised upcoming writers to “explore the world and express their feelings through writings,” adding that “writing is about language and imagination with honesty of feelings.”

Reciting a Manipuri poem, ‘My Beloved Mother’, in English, Dai said that a “literature festival is an intangible heritage and facilitates the writers and boosts their imagination to raise the standard of creativity among them, besides providing a meeting ground of our thoughts.”

IPR Director Onyok Pertin also spoke.

MLAs Chow Zignu Namchoom, Jummum Ete Deori and Dasanglu Pul, the Namsai ZPC, DC CR Khampa, HoDs, prominent public leaders, besides students from the AUS and other local colleges attended the inaugural function.

Other highlights included the “release of a book on poetic collections in Hindi by Dr Jamuna Bini, group song by students of the AUS and Tai Khampti language teachers, and peacock dance by Tai Khampti Heritage and Literary Society,” the DIPR said.

Book stalls have been set up by Guwahati (Assam)-based National Library and Itanagar-based Reader’s Realm, displaying their collections of books.

The festival will feature events such as poetry recitations, short story reading, ‘rainbow conclave’/queer poetry, a workshop on poetry writing by Tenzing Tsundue, and on novel writing by Jayant Madhav Bora, among others.