Monday, March 29, 2010


The Sammelan was concluded on Sunday 28th March. The concluding session is as important as inaugural session. The last one was more so due to presence of Amitabh Bachhan. In true spirit of literacy meet he chose to recite poems of his father. Superbly mould himself for the role. Has all correct lines to inspire and arouse the audience. The organizers were smart for once to give him last slot. That kept the everybody happy and nobody belittled.

If Amitabh Bachhan stole the show by presence, the Chief Minister was equally conspicuous by his absence. The politicians were quick to criticize or defend as per their loyalties. Both had little to do with literature. Even the shunning of the chief minister had nothing to do with literature. Probably his presence would also have little to do with literature. The Chief Ministers have little more to do than announcing grants and helps. Some exceptions are like Late Yashwantrao Chavan and Sushilkumar Shinde who attended he meet as literature lovers. Definitely the Chief Minister has liberty to decide whether to attend or not to attend but not attending after confirming attendance is wrong. That too due to fear from bosses makes mockery of the democracy.

Time has come to review the extent to which the presence of non literary personalities should consume time of the meet. The ought to be facilitator to the meet and not overbearing. Few year back the same Amitabh Bachhan attended the Dramatics meet ( Akhil Bhartiya Marathi Natya Sammelan). When he left the audience after brief presence, whole crowd followed him. Not only the audience but the stage too was deserted. The Presidential speech which is otherwise main theme of the meet was hardly heard by anybody. The presidential speech of Literature meet was once deferred to other tha inaugural session owing to the presence of the President of India Pratibha Patil. This definitely kills the spirit of the meets.

The organizers seem to be occupied more with financial success through sponsorships than to worry about such matters. The organizers, their role, priorities, behavior are fast becoming matter of concern that need to address to.

Arvind Khare

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