The fourth day of the Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest saw writers awarded for their excellence
The afternoon session at NCPA saw a staged reading of extracts, followed by a Q&A with the shortlisted writers for the Theatre Group’s Sultan Padamsee Awards. Revived after a long break, the award was presented for the first time at the Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest.
After going through 64 entries from across the world, the first prize was a tie between authors Vineet Bhalla for ‘A Farming Story’ and Ramneek Singh for ‘Parvati’s Dark Children’. The award was presented by Theatre Director, Alyquee Padamsee. The runner up was author Faezeh Jalali for ‘Shikhandi: A story of the in-betweens’. The winners were given cash prizes of Rs. 3 lakhs. Farrokh Mehta, from the panel of judges, said “Choosing the winner was quite a task for the judges!”
In other sessions at NCPA, noted historian John Horne, gave a straight talk to the audience about the changing face of war in the twentieth century.
Meanwhile a session was taking place titled ‘Naam ke Vaaste’, comprising Member of Parliament – Rajya Sabha, Narendra Jadhav, poet and professor at TISS Ashwani Kumar, and Professor at JNU Nivedita Menon on the panel. Chaired by Founder Editor of The Wire, Sidharth Bhatia, he set the ball rolling by asking Dr. Jadhav about the Private Member’s Bill he is planning to move in the Rajya Sabha to eliminate the use of surnames in an attempt to move towards a casteless society. While there was a vigorous discussion on whether the removal of surnames could erase caste consciousness, the panellists all concurred that the national debate that would ensue if such a bill was considered, would be extremely significant.
Poet Ashwini Kumar made a plea for the democratisation and secularisation of surnames; he and Dr. Jadhav both described how poets and social reformers in the past had often dropped their surnames. Professor Menon explained the context of how surnames originally came into being.
The panel also discussed issues of identity and empowerment that goes with names and surnames, with a growing sphere of people embracing their previously lower caste names with pride, asserting that they are as good as anyone else. It was agreed by all members of the panel that a tremendous mindset shift needs to take place, but the trend towards change is definable and should be further stimulated.
At Prithvi Theatre, the session ‘Chairman Maa’ had Margaret Alva, once India’s youngest Rajya Sabha MP, activist and actor Shabana Azmi, and Burmese writer Ma Thida, recount stories of women politicians in South Asia and discuss why more women are not actively encouraged in politics.
A parallel session at Prithvi Theatre traced a headmaster’s story in ‘Bringing up a Generation’. The panel for the session was made up of writer Devpriya Lahiri, actor Gul Panag and CEO of Fox Star Studios Vijay Singh, and chaired by Managing Director of UTI Asset Management Co. Ltd. Leo Puri. The discussion centred around Mr. Lahiri’s experiences as headmaster of Lawrence School, Lovedale and the challenges he faced on a daily basis. Mr. Lahiri said that the education system in India should encourage students more to explore than to merely learn.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
Copyright © 2014 - 2022 The Global Indian New Network (TGINN)