Udupi, Sep 07, 2018: The second edition of the three-day Manipal Literature Festival organised by the Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) began here on Thursday. The theme of the festival is: “A Millennium Revisited: Tradition and Transformation”.
Inaugurating the festival, Atamjit Singh, playwright, questioned why nationalism was being used as a stick. He did not think that anybody in the world could be anti-national. But when nationalism was used as a stick against others, it became a question of ego.
The person branded as anti-national had to fight against the stick, he said. His speech also focused on the plural traditions of the country.
In his presidential address, H. Vinod Bhat, MAHE Vice Chancellor, said, “The idea behind this festival is to have a space for every expression in the university. There should be a platform not to rebel but to speak, hear and express.”
Two books, ‘Kannada Theatre History 1850-1950: A Source book,’ by K.V. Akshara, and ‘A Handful of Sesame’ (translation) by Maitreyi Karnoor’ were released on the occasion. H.S. Shivaprakash, poet-playwright, delivered the keynote address at the inaugural session.
In the ’Screen and Stage’ event, Ramakrishnan Ramanathan, playwright-director from Mumbai, said, “Theatre is a living repository of languages. Being a minority art, it has the freedom to state certain things that mainstream films could never dream of. Also, India being a country with an ‘oral tradition,’ theatre will always be an important part of its culture.”
Speaking on the behind-the-screen processes of a play, Alok Rajwade, a stalwart of Marathi experimental theatre, said, “The innumerable factors that are involved, make it a completely different ball game altogether.” He further added, “If you want to ‘make it’ in the current generation, all you need is a little consistency.”
Writers, S. Diwakar, Rajendra Chenni, G. Rajashekar, and Raghavendra Patil participated in the panel discussion ‘A Negotiation with the Millennium through four modern Kannada writers’.
The panel was moderated by T.P. Ashok, writer. The discussion focused on the modern Kannada literary writing which took prominence from the twentieth century and the influence of English, Sanskrit and other regional languages on it.
K.V. Akshara and Prasad Vanarase conducted the theatre workshop, ‘Introduction and overview of Kannada and Marathi theatre traditions.’ Musician-singer-director R. Paramashivan and Deputy Editor of The Hindu , Deepa Ganesh, conducted the workshop on ‘Theatre Music: Kannada.’
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