Union human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and others lighting the ceremonial lamp at the inaugural function of Brahmaputra Literary Festival at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra in Guwahati on January 28

Literature is the mirror of a society and it reflects its strengths and weaknesses. Speaking at the Brahmaputra Literary Festival, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that literature enables the readers to ask questions, start conversations and look for answers in uncertain times.

Taking part in the inaugural function of first Brahmaputra Literary Festival at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra in Guwahati on Saturday, Sonowal said that the festival would be a great platform for interaction and exchange of ideas between the readers and litterateurs from all over the country and abroad.

Referring to Brahmaputra and its glory, Sonowal said that literature of the state and region must highlight the river and its role in shaping Assamese identity at the global level. “Brahmaputra is the symbol of Assamese pride and its place in culture and literature in the state is undeniable,” the chief minister said.

“The river personifies the essence of life which inspires many to create master-pieces. Music maestro Bhupen Hazarika, through his timeless songs, has portrayed the importance of Brahmaputra in the life of Assam,” Sonowal said.

Expressing hope that the three-day literary festival would be able to inspire the young writers of the state and the region, the chief minister said that the habit of reading must be inculcated among children so that more and more readers are created.

Sixteen foreign authors from 10 countries and some major writers from across India are participating in the festival. Among noted participants will be Randy Taguchi from Japan, Carlo Pizaati, Giampaolo Simi and Alessandra Bertini from Italy, Francois Gautier and Nicoloi Idier from France. Prominent Indian writers include Damodar Mauzo, Subhash Kashyap, Makarand Paranjpe and Narendra Kohli, besides many others from the Northeast.

Union human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar, who was the chief guest at the function, said that this is not just a literary festival but a cultural investment conference whereby a platform is provided for cultural and literary exchanges.

The three-day festival will witness participation of more than 185 authors over 22 languages from India and abroad.

“This is going to be a huge opportunity for the people here to get exposed to authors of national and international fame. Again at the same time, the guests coming here from different parts of the country and abroad will have a unique experience. We are looking forward to make it a grand success and make it an annual event,” Rita Chowdhury, director of NTB said.

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