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Valley of Words: Interesting literary sessions on cards

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By Arun Pratap Singh

Dehradun, 22 Nov: “Valley of Words” carved an important place for itself on the literary calendar of Dehradun in its first edition last year. The second edition of the international literature and arts festival is due to begin tomorrow at Hotel Madhuban and will be inaugurated by Governor Baby Rani Maurya. Leading economist and author Bibek Debroy shall deliver the keynote address during the inaugural session.

The three day literary festival is jam-packed with a host of interesting sessions and debates. The first day’s events include a discussion on “India’s Wars since Independence” with a special tribute to General Zorawar Bakshi.  A conversation between Bibek Debroy, Dr Jayawanti Dimri and Dr Divya Saxena on Valmiki’s Ramayana would be eagerly awaited, also, because the Ramjanmabhumi issue is very much in the news these days. The conversation, however, is expected to focus on Valmiki’s Ramayana. There are book launches, too, in the offing. One of the books being launched is Robin Gupta’s Milestones @ 70 and interestingly the session will be chaired by celebrated journalist and author Mark Tully. Some discussions on regional issues are also in the offing which include a panel discussion on Drivers of Change in Uttarakhand, a session to be chaired by Dr AN Purohit and the panellists include Sudhir Nautiyal, STS Lepcha, JB Pandey, Anjali Nabiyal, while Krishna Rautela shall be moderating the session. Another such session will be a keynote address on ‘The Meta Narratives of Migration in Uttarakhand’, a session to be chaired by former Chief Secretary and former Chief Information Commissioner NS Napalchyal. The keynote speaker is SS Negi. Another session is “Ballads of Garhwal” by Anjali Nauriyal, and Anupama Joshi will chair the session.

On the second day of the event, some very interesting sessions are lined up. One conversation is on the ‘Legacy of Patel’, again a very hot topic. Here Deepak Gupta will be in conversation with former Chief Information Commissioner of India and senior bureaucrat Wajahat Habibullah, while Prem Shankar Jha shall chair the session.

One strategic topic up for discussion on the second day is “China: Living with the Dragon; Sino- Indian Relations” which will be moderated by Ambassador TCA Rangachari and the panellists will be Lt Gen Rajiv Narayanan and Lt Gen KK Khanna. Partition stories will also be discussed by Vijay Bansal, Anirudh Kala and RI Singh. Another strategic topic is ‘Pakistan: A challenge for itself! And the World’. The discussion is to be chaired by Habibullah while the participants are Tilak Devasher, Ashali Verma and Rajiv Dogra. The book launches on the second day include ‘Highlander Voices’.

On the third day, the valedictory session will be chaired by PV Ramesh, while former MP and author Tarun Vijay shall be the main speaker. One interesting session on the ultimate day shall be “Literature in Schools” between Jyotsna Brar, Syeda Imam, Matthew Raggett and Bijoya Swain. Another discussion will dwell on spirituality of India, which will have renowned scholar on Hinduism Maria Wirth in discussion with Sankrant Sanu and Ashali Verma. The session is titled ‘Thank You India’. Hindi Media shall be discussed also between LS Bajpai, Anant Vijay, Mamta Kiran and JP Pandey on the ultimate day.

Senior bureaucrat of West Bengal cadre Sanjeev Chopra is one of the organisers of the event.