Chengannur (Kerala), July 24 (IANS) The third edition of the SIWE (South Indian Writers Ensemble) Literature Festival got underway here on Friday evening on the banks of the sacred Pampa river.
Taking part are popular poets and authors from the northeast and south India and the festival theme this year is “Diverse Voices, Universal Sensibility”.
Inaugurating the three-day event, Tamil and English writer Ambai (C.S. Lakshmi) said that in independent India, post the language division of the states, there was a movement to assert the identity of language.
“It was then for the first time, that I wondered if language is going to define our identity. To understand diversity in a manner that it is linked with our life, that should be the aim of a festival like SIWE,” said Ambai.
“What is India? That is a question that this festival is going to ask again and again, because it is this question and the discussions that will/should lead us forward in the years to come,” she said.
Noting that there are 220 ethnic groups in the northeast, noted writer from the region Mitra Phukan said: “Much of the issues and conflict of this region are reflected in the writings from this area.
“There is the other issue of being misunderstood by the rest of the country and then there is an issue of mistrust of the outsiders within the NE states. So this distance that separates us can only be bridged through the medium of culture.”
About 50 authors and writers and 200 delegates are participating in the meet. Noted poet and novelist T.P.Rajeevan, is the festival director.