Gear up for a double dhamal! January 26 marks Republic Day in India. On the same day this year, Hyderabad Literary Festival (HLF) is scheduled to begin in the city of Nizams.
The three day event will start on Friday, brining into focus Spain and Kannada. It will feature as many as 150 speakers from various fields, including Chandrasekhara Kambara, Seema Mustafa, Girish Kasaravalli, and Rajdeep Sardesai.
According to HLF organizer Ajay Gandhi, about 15,000 people are expected to turn up for the event at Hyderabad Public School (HPS). The event is open for all with no entry fee.
Started in 2010, HFL is all set to showcase creativity, entertain literary enthusiasts, and inspire budding writers, poets and artists for the eighth time in a row.
Kingshuk Nag, former editor of Times of India, calls HLF a landmark event for the city.
“It is good that Hyderabad has its own literary festival, which is becoming bigger and bigger each passing year. It draws a lot of attention,” he noted.
Software professional Abdul Mumin considers HLF a confluence of arts, ideas and cultures.
“It is an excellent platform for vernacular writers. I found some interesting works of Telugu and Urdu writers last year,” he recalled.
But he thinks the HLF brand hasn’t reached masses yet. “No doubt HLF grew over the years, it is still an unfamiliar event as far as general masses are concerned.”
Nevertheless, senior advocate L. Ravichander argues that HLF adds value to Telangana State and brings Hyderabad on the map of literary happenings.
Young poet and journalist Saima Afreen goes a step further to submit that HLF presents to the world of literature and art a unique mélange of voices from different parts of the country.
Youth at HLF
HLF attracts a huge crowd of youngsters every year. According to the organizer, about 30 percent of visitors at the event were youth and students. It also offers scope for budding writers, poets and various artists.
“A platform like HLF definitely helps nurture the generation of young poets and authors. The outcome from such exposure can really be rewarding in terms of creativity,” Afreen noted.
According to the organizer, there are sessions where new writings can be read, poetry can be recited or exhibits put up. In addition, there’s a session where interesting initiatives can be promoted as well.
When asked whether HLF would train new writers, poet and artists, Gandhi says: “We don’t have resources to go there yet. Wish we could.”