Lit fests are back; Welcome to the clueless world of literature festivals!

Literature Festival and the sham we witness

Once again, the season of literary festivals and book fairs has come. It will begin (or has already begun) very soon and will continue until the early March, perhaps. These literary festivals and book fairs promote literature and literary discussions. Such occasions also offer a very grand platform to the authors who are struggling to establish their image. Art, in various forms, is also present in these fairs and gatherings. However, the one thing that a true literary enthusiast would not like to see is the politics. Nonetheless, what we get to see is mostly politics and seldom literature in its true spirit. It begins politically and ends politically – Shashi Tharoor, Salman Khurshid, Rajdeep Sardesai, the Devil’s Advocate… the list of guests for ‘literary festivals’ is long and these are some prominent ones… what would you be expecting in such gatherings?

On the other hand, one may argue that literature has a wide canvas and it must reflect the current political scenario. True, it has to be. Literature has to be all inclusive and it should reflect what needs a reflection. If an author or a poet or a literary critic thinks that politics deserves more attention than literary art, it’s his or her prerogative to reflect upon the same. At the same time, such commentaries do need objectivity. A person who writes such works needs to be as objective as possible; if one continues to attack a certain pattern or ideas or political belief without any concrete evidence and just based on personal whims and inclination, the person and the work become redundant, irrelevant and useless.

Right now, we can see what happens on the dais of literary gatherings and forums and fairs. We see the ‘economists’ discussing ‘politics’ and ‘politicians’ referring to us the best use of literature… The line that distinguished the limits and ramifications of the occupations has been watered and now we have an all-inclusive, clueless metaphor – literature. How good or how bad this is, is subject to scrutiny; in the raw form that we can see, it seems useless and meaningless. I believe more literature and more substance is there in class 9 literary gathering than the current literary festivals which are hosted by media houses with a particular agenda. All the best!


by Alok for Literature News