Guwahati : Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Thursday had inaugurated the second edition of Brahmaputra Literary Festival at Srimanta Sankardev Kalashetra in Guwahati.
In his speech, the Assam CM said that, literature is the bedrock of any civilization. It is through books that the richness of any civilization percolates down to the future generations.
“Considering the immense power of literature, we want our youth to dedicate more on literary and cultural activities. This literary event is not just a festival. This is our investment for a strong and vibrant future,” Sonowal said.
The 3-day long literary event is jointly organized by the National Book Trust, India and Publication Board, Assam.
Terming Literature as the mirror of the society that reflects its strengths and weaknesses, Sonowal said that literature is the art of discovering something extraordinary about ordinary people and saying with ordinary words something extraordinary.
He further hoped that the festival would open new opportunities of intellectual exchange for the youth and guide them in the art of creative writing.
“This intellectual exchange will definitely inspire our youth, encourage new ideas and promote the habit of reading amongst them,” the Assam CM said.
Stating that a nation degenerates and decays if its literature declines, Sonowal underscored literature as a means of driving a country’s development and harbinger of positive change.
The Assam CM urged the writers to focus more on the pressing issues of modern times such as climate change, degenerating ethical and human values, power of cooperation, harmony and peaceful co-existence so that such literatures could positively cultivate the mind and contribute in building a better society.
“Literature of the region must also highlight our relation with the ASEAN countries since the days of the Ramayana and Mahabharata to entrench the ties,” Sonowal said.
Sonowal also urged the writers to focus more on literary translation.
“Translation of literary works would introduce us to hitherto unknown dimensions of human thought and exchange of ideas. The Assamese literature would also be highly benefitted from such an exercise,” the Assam CM said.
Eminent scholar Indra Nath Choudhri and Chairman of National Book Trust Baldev Bhai Sarma while delivering their speech on the occasion highlighted the role played by literature in promoting heritage, tradition and ethical values as well as its inspirational role in social life as a whole.
While Director of National Book Trust Dr. Rita Choudhury delivered the welcome speech, Minister of State for Cultural Affairs Naba Kumar Doley, Chief Minister’s Legal Adviser Santanu Bharali, noted writer from France David Collin, Chief Secretary Vinod Kumar Pipersenia, Additional Chief Secretary VB Pyarelal, Principal Secretary of Education Department Ajay Tewari, Secretary of Publication Board Pramod Kalita and writers from different parts of India and abroad were also present in the inaugural function.
(Reporting by Hemanta Kumar Nath)