July 25, 2024, Thursday
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Kathmandu Kalinga Lit. Festival -2 concludes, stresses on intensified cooperation and collaboration among South Asian peoples

The Nepal Weekly
September 5, 2023

The 2nd Kathmandu Kalinga Literary Festival (KLF) that kicked off in Kathmandu on Sunday, September 3. The event was inaugurated by chief guest Foreign Minister NP Saud. Acclaimed Indian economist and writer, Dr. Bibek Debroy, linguistics Dr. Madhav Prasad Pokhrel, Jagman Gurung, former Vice Chancellor of Nepal Academy, among others attended the tree day literary extravaganza.

“Vedas, Upanishads and Puranas, which were developed in Nepal and India thousands of years ago have spread light of knowledge to the entire world at a time, when the human beings in other parts of the globe were living in the forests,” remarked Saud on the occasion. He underscored the need for furthering cooperation between Nepal and India which provided by their common culture, religion, literature and languag, he pointed out.

Buddhism flourished in Nepal had spread to Sri Lanka and Thailand through Odissa of India during the time of Ashoka, remarked Rashmi Ranjan Parida, founder and director of Kalinga Literary Festival, Odissa. This edition of KLF Kathmandu is designed to strengthen the civilizational, cultural, and spiritual dialogue as well as literary perspectives in the South Asian Region, he pointed out. In the inaugural ceremony the Yashaswi Sahitya Sanman were conferred upon legendary Nepalese writer Dr. Madhav Prasad Pokhrel, Indian writer Prof. Awadhesh Pradhan and actress-writer Divya Dutta. Over 200 writers from Nepal, India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka joining the festival.

Central Theme of the Festival was “Shakti and Bhakti – The Civilizational Connection: Nepal as a Centre of Global Thought.”. Other important sessions in the three day festival include: “Ordeal of Sita: Women’s Struggle in South Asia” and “Voice of South Asia: Media and Entertainment.”

The blockade of Nepal’s southern border in the post constitution promulgation era has created a kind of distrust in the relations between Nepal and India at people’s level, remarked Ranjit Rae, former Indian Ambassador to Nepal, who was speaking at one of the panel discussions during the literary festival.

Having many commonalities between Nepal and India the emotional links at people’s level between the two countries also do have significant meaning, diplomat Rae, also the author of “Kathmandu Dilemma,” pointed out. “The self-respect of the country and people should not be weakened,” he made it clear elaborating that “there is one kind of relationship between the two governments but the people to people relations between Nepal and India should not be analyzed through the eyes of Kathmandu only.”

A host of speakers on the occasion underscored to move SAARC forward in a new way for the promotion of regional trade. They underscored the need for cooperation and collaboration among peoples of the South Asian Region.

Nepalese Political analyst Chandra Dev Bhatta on the occasion expressed the view that people to people relations between Nepal and India could not be in the absence of the activisation of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

SAARC could not move forward because India-Pakistan relations have worsened over the past one decade, pointed out Suhasini Haider, senior journalist of India.

This has obstructed the regional cooperation, she added. She underscored the need for proactive role of media to strengthen people to people relations between Nepal and India.

The emergence of China as an active player in the SAARC region in the recent period resulted in drastic changes in the geo-political scenario in the region, she pointed out adding, this has also brought changes in the policy of cooperation among the nations in the region.

Surya Nepal, an Indian joint venture is the main sponsor of the three day festival while Life Insurance Corporation (Nepal) , another Indian joint venture is the co-sponsor of the event that concluded in Kathmandu on Sunday.