The third edition of the Brahmaputra Literary Festival got off to an elegant start with participation of eminent authors from 20 countries along with participation of aspiring writers and book lovers from the Northeast states at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra in Guwahati on February 9.

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal while inaugurating the festival said that it would inspire youth of the state in the realm of creative writing and help them to evolve as good human being.

The lit fest, organized by the Publication Board of Assam under the guidance of state education department, has put special focus on ASEAN literature. Celebrated authors from 10 ASEAN countries as well as writers from United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Sri Lanka, Tibet and other countries are participating in the 3-day festival.

“All writers are committed to human welfare, whatever thoughts they pen down; it touches human conscience and contributes to development of society. This festival is a big opportunity for the youth of the region. Interaction with the acclaimed writers will broaden their horizon and will also lead them towards a meaningful life,” the chief minister said.

Sonowal also hoped that association of the young writers with the creative genius and intelligence of these acclaimed writers would immensely help them and prove to be a stepping stone for success in life. He also appreciated the organizers for planning interaction sessions of aspiring writers with the participating authors, which he said would be a great learning lesson for the young writers.

Sonowal on the occasion also announced to introduce two awards to promote creative writing. While the national level award to be presented during the next edition of the festival will carry a reward of Rs 10 lakh, the state level award will offer a reward of Rs 5 lakh.

Assam education minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya was also present on the occasion. He, in his speech, highlighted the universality of human feelings which goes beyond geographical barriers. He further said that with the invention of printing press, human feelings received a major shot in the arm and underscored the rich heritage of oral literature of India.

Ma Thida, eminent author from Myanmar and guest of honour on the occasion, in her speech impressed upon the importance of freedom of imagination, speech and opinion. She said that literature doesn’t have any race and the freedom it requires for promoting better human society must be respected.

The Myanmar writer further said that progress of literature doesn’t depend on writers alone. The readers also have an important role to play in keeping the art of writing moving forward. Moreover, she said that during her dissident days, literature was the only window through which she could connect with the world.

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